jason vieaux biography
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Jason Vieaux portrait
Grammy-winner Jason Vieaux, “among the elite of today's classical guitarists” (Gramophone), is the guitarist that goes beyond the classical. NPR describes Vieaux as, “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.” His most recent solo album, Play, won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo and earned a place on NPR’s “50 Favorite Songs of 2014 (So Far)” for Vieaux’s recording of “Zapateado.”

Vieaux has earned a reputation for putting his expressiveness and virtuosity at the service of a remarkably wide range of music, and his schedule of performing, teaching, and recording commitments is distinguished throughout the U.S. and abroad. His solo recitals have been a feature at every major guitar series in North America and at many of the important guitar festivals in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Mexico.

Vieaux returned to the Caramoor Festival as the 2017 Artist-in-Residence, a distinguished position which has been held by pianist Jonathan Biss, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and many other world-class musicians in recent years. Other recent and future highlights include returns to the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, New York's 92Y, Ravinia Festival, and performances at Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Seoul Arts Center, and Shanghai Concert Hall. Vieaux’s appearances for Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Bard Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Strings Music Festival, Grand Teton, and many others have forged his reputation as a first-rate chamber musician and programmer. He collaborates in recitals this season with Escher Quartet; Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke; violinists Anne Akiko Meyers, Kristin Lee, and Tessa Lark; acclaimed harpist Yolanda Kondonassis; and will tour the US with accordion/bandoneon virtuoso Julien Labro in support of their duo album Infusion, which was recently released on Azica Records to critical acclaim by classical and jazz critics alike. Vieaux’s passion for new music has fostered premieres of works by Avner Dorman, Dan Visconti, Vivian Fung, Keith Fitch, Kinan Abou-Afach, David Ludwig, Jerod Tate, Eric Sessler, José Luis Merlin, Jeff Beal, Gary Schocker, and more.

Jason Vieaux has performed as concerto soloist with over 100 orchestras, including Cleveland, Houston, Toronto, San Diego, Fort Worth, Buffalo, Arkansas, Edmonton, Illinois, IRIS Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Jason recently gave world premiere performances of Visconti’s “Living Language” Guitar Concerto with the California Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and Reading Symphony. During the 2017-18 season, Jason Vieaux will be concerto soloist with Columbus Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, and New Mexico Philharmonic.

Vieaux continues to bring important repertoire alive in the recording studio as well. Upcoming recording projects include a new album with Escher Quartet featuring Boccherini’s Guitar Quintet and Aaron Jay Kernis’ 100 Greatest Dance Hits (Azica), Jeff Beal’s “Six Sixteen” Guitar Concerto with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (BIS), and Jonathan Leshnoff’s Guitar Concerto with the Nashville Symphony (Naxos). Recent recordings include Infusion (Azica), a collaboration with bandoneonist Julien Labro featuring the duo’s original arrangements Leo Brouwer, Piazzolla, Radamés Gnattali, Pat Metheny, and Tears for Fears’ Everybody Wants to Rule the World; Ginastera’s Guitar Sonata, which is featured on Ginastera: One Hundred (Oberlin Music) produced by harpist Yolanda Kondonassis; and Together (Azica), a duo album with Kondonassis. Of his Grammy-winning 2014 solo album Play, Soundboard Magazine writes, “If you ever want to give a friend a disc that will cement his or her love for the guitar, this is a perfect candidate,” while Premier Guitar claims, “You’d be hard pressed to find versions performed with more confidence, better tone, and a more complete understanding of the material.”

Vieaux’s previous albums include a recording of Astor Piazzolla’s music with Julien Labro and A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra; Bach: Works for Lute, Vol. 1, which hit No. 13 on Billboard’s Classical Chart after its first week and received rave reviews by Gramophone, The Absolute Sound, and Soundboard; Images of Metheny, featuring music by American jazz legend Pat Metheny (who after hearing this landmark recording declared: “I am flattered to be included in Jason's musical world”);and Sevilla: The Music of Isaac Albeniz, which made several Top Ten lists the year of its release. Vieaux’s albums and live performances are regularly heard on radio and internet around the world, and his work is the subject of feature articles in print and online around the world, including such magazines as Acoustic Guitar, MUSO, Gramophone, and on NPR’s“Deceptive Cadence.” Vieaux was the first classical musician to be featured on NPR’s popular “Tiny Desk” series, on which he made a rare repeat performance in 2015 with Yolanda Kondonassis.

In 2012, the Jason Vieaux School of Classical Guitar was launched with ArtistWorks Inc., an unprecedented technological interface that provides one-on-one online study with Vieaux for guitar students around the world. In 2011, he co-founded the guitar department at the Curtis Institute of Music, and in 2015 was invited to inaugurate the guitar program at the Eastern Music Festival. Vieaux has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 1997, heading the guitar department since 2001.

Vieaux is affiliated with Philadelphia’s Astral Artists. His primary teachers were Jeremy Sparks and John Holmquist. In 1992 he was awarded the prestigious GFA International Guitar Competition First Prize, the event’s youngest winner ever. He is also honored with a Naumburg Foundation top prize, a Cleveland Institute of Music Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, and a Salon di Virtuosi Career Grant. In 1995, Vieaux was an Artistic Ambassador of the U.S. to Southeast Asia.

Jason Vieaux is represented by Jonathan Wentworth Associates, Ltd and plays a 2013 Gernot Wagner guitar with Augustine strings.

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