Faculty guitarist Michael Partington celebrates the release of his eleventh solo CD, "Concoctions from the Kitchen," dedicated to the music of American composer Bryan Johanson. Featuring pieces written during the last five years, including "The Illustrated Guitar," "Oranges," and "Sonatine-Cahier," the program also includes some of Johanson's popular Preludes. The composer will be in attendance, and will take audience questions during a post-concert question-and-answer session. The release is the first Partington has recorded for Canadian publishers Productions d’Oz.
Concoctions From the Kitchen
From 24 Preludes (2012): Bryan Johanson (b.1951)
5:Tempo di valse lento
10: Adagio Cantabile
23: Allegretto maestoso
24: Largo sostenuto, molto cantabile
From The Illustrated Guitar (2023)
One Note at a Time
Navigating the Landscape of Memory
Case of the Jitters
Magic Serenade (2013)
From Oranges (2022)
A live question-and-answer session with the composer follows the performance.
Bryan Johanson is an active concert guitarist, composer, and author who has taught at Portland State University since 1978. A Professor of Music, he currently serves as Chair of the Department of Music. His articles and reviews on the guitar have appeared in the top journals and magazines in the field, including Soundboard, Guitar Review, Acoustic Guitar, and American Lutherie. His compositions have been published by Columbia Music Company, Edizioni Musicali, Berben, Frederick Harris Music Publishers, Guitar Solo Publications, Thomas House Publication, Earthsongs Music Publishers, and Mel Bay Publications, Ltd.
The recipient of many commissions, his music has been performed and recorded by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, The Oregon Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, David Starobin, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, David Tanenbaum, the Portland Symphonic choir, and Third Angle New Music Ensemble. He has won numerous composition prizes, including awards from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival, the Esztergom (Hungary) International Guitar Festival, the Festival of August (Venezuela), the Roger Wagner Center for Choral Studies, as well as multiple awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).
Johanson's music is recorded extensively and appears on record labels such as Albany, Bridge, EMI, GSP, Gagliano Recordings, and Naxos. In 1999, his critically acclaimed composition Open Up Your Ears for guitar was recorded on David Starobin's Grammy Award nominated New Dance, and, in 2004, his Pluck, Strum and Hammer and Let's Be Frank were recorded by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet on their Grammy Award winning Guitar Heroes.
Michael Partington is one of the most engaging of the new generation of concert players. Praised by Classical Guitar Magazine for his “lyricism, intensity and clear technical command,” this award-winning British guitarist has performed internationally as a soloist and with ensemble to unanimous critical praise. Audiences are put at ease by his charming stage manner and captivated by his musical interpretations. His innate rhythmic understanding and sense for tonal colour combine to form some of the most memorable phrasing to be heard on the guitar.
He began playing guitar at age 6 while growing up in Wales, gave his first public performance at age 7 and won his first competition at age 9. He has trained with many of the world’s greatest guitarists, including Oscar Ghiglia, Eliot Fisk, Eduardo Fernandez, Manuel Barrueco and David Russell, who commented on his “exquisite good taste and fluid perfection.”
Mr. Partington has appeared throughout the USA, UK, Canada, Russia and Scandinavia in solo recital, with orchestra and in chamber ensembles. His North American appearances include the first solo guitar recital in Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, as well as Town Hall and Meany Theater in Seattle, Austin, Los Angeles, New Haven, Phoenix, Portland, Reno, San Francisco, Vancouver and many others. Concerts in England and Wales have included Blackheath Halls, the Royal College of Music, St. Martin-in-the-Fields and St. James’, Piccadilly in London; the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff; St. Mary in the Castle, Hastings; Bristol Music Club; Russell-Cotes Museum, Bournemouth; Brewery Arts Centre, Kendall; Trinity Arts Centre, Tunbridge Wells; Nottingham; Carlisle; Derby; and others. He has performed live on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune, BBC Radio Bristol, BBC Wales and Great Western Radio in the UK, as well as St. Paul Sunday on National Public Radio in the US, KUOW, KING FM, KZAZ, and KAOS in Washington, JPR in Oregon, KUT in Texas, and cable television in California, Montana and Washington.
An advocate of new music, he has commissioned and premiered works by Stephen Goss, Bryan Johanson, Toshio Hosokawa, Angelo Gilardino, Tom Baker, Kevin Callahan and others. He is a frequent performer and teacher at festivals, including the Guitar Foundation of America Festival, Llantilio Crossenny Festival, La Guitarra California, Columbus Guitar Symposium, Appalachian Guitar Festival, Portland Guitar Festival, Northwest Guitar Festival, Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, Cascadia Festival and Chelan Bach Fest. He has also performed with Seattle Opera, Seattle Chamber Players, Seattle Pro Musica, Orchestra Seattle, Philharmonia Northwest, Seattle Creative Orchestra, Wenatchee Valley Symphony, Rainier Symphony, Portland State University Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Chorale, Seattle Choral Company, and flutist Paul Taub in the duo Dinamici. Mr. Partington is frequently invited to adjudicate or sit on the jury for local, national and international competitions in the US and Canada, including the Guitar Foundation of America competition, the National finals for the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals, the Music Teachers of North America national finals and the Portland Guitar Competition. He has released 8 solo CDs for Rosewood Recordings, and is also featured on releases on the Cadenza Music and Present Sounds labels.