Cuban born, classical master guitarist Hector Garcia headlines the opening evening on December 5. He is thought by many to be the best classical guitarist in the world. Born in Havana, Cuba, he received Master of Guitar and Master of Music degrees from Peyrellade Conservatory and subsequently joined the faculty of the conservatory. He later studied with the eminent musicologist and guitarist Emilio Pujol in Barcelona, and assisted him with master classes for advanced students and performing artists. Hector García's repertoire consists of works spanning the Renaissance through the present day, performed on the original instruments; he plays a Pimentel guitar in addition to vihuela, lute, and Baroque guitar. He has performed with orchestras including the Havana Symphony, Los Angeles Sinfoniette, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, University of Albuquerque Chamber Orchestra, Dupont Consortium (Washington, DC), and Caspar Symphony, and has toured major U.S. and European cities as well as Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, the Canary Islands, and Africa.
Dr. Lisa Cheryl Thomas
Dr. Thomas graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the University of North Texas, May 14, 2010. Her research and lecture recitals on American Classical Native Piano Repertoire and Indianist Piano Repertoire are awakening a new enthusiasm and interest in this music, which she has performed internationally in Varna, Bulgaria and Amalfi, Italy and in America for numerous organizations including several music teacher associations, culminating in the Texas Music Teachers’ State Convention in Arlington, Texas (June 2010), The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Millennium Stage in Washington, D.C. (July 2010).She is herself of Native American stock, counting members of the Cherokee, Blackfoot and Sioux tribes among her ancestors. Sunday, December 7th at 3:00 PM in the Mescalero Apache HS Auditorium Dr. Thomas will play a program of “classical” piano music inspired by Native American songs, prayers, and tunes composed by a variety of early 20th century composers. Dr. Thomas will also conduct a performance lecture Monday, December 8 for the students (of the Apache School and others) where she will explain the origins of the works, with pictures, words, and performance of some of the pieces she performed on stage in the Sunday recital. All students of the Mescalero Apache School and residents of the Mescalero community may attend free of charge. In addition to the performance lecture at the Mescalero Apache School, Dr. Thomas will conduct the same, or similar, performance lecture(s) for the Ruidoso Pubic Schools (locations and times TBD).
Pianist Sean Chen is being hailed as a rising star with a “million-volt smile” and a “formidable set of fingers” (Dallas Morning News). In 2013 Chen won the American Pianists Association’s DeHaan Classical Fellowship, one of the most lucrative and significant prizes available to an American pianist. He also won Third Prize at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, becoming the first American to reach the finals since 1997. The 25-year-old American pianist has appeared as soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under Gerard Schwarz, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin and Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Corpus Christi, New West, Phoenix and San Diego symphony orchestras, and the Suwon City Philharmonic in South Korea. Last season Chen performed in recital at Jordan Hall in Boston, the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago, SubCulture in New York City, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and on tour in the Czech Republic. In March 2014 International Piano magazine named Chen “One To Watch.” In case you want to watch him right now, the webcast of his April 2013 performance of Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Indianapolis Symphony can be viewed at AmericanPianists.org. Mr, Chen will conclude the festival with a piano recital at Ruidoso High School on Saturday, December 13 at 3:00 PM.