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Classical 101

Women in Music for the Guitar: Lily Afshar and Liat Cohen

Lily Afshar playing the guitar
Courtesy of the artist
Lily Afshar

Lily Afshar is an American-Iranian guitarist who was born in Tehran.  She came to the U.S. in 1977 and studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music.  She's won many awards and is now head of the guitar program at the University of Memphis where she has taught for a number of years.

Liat Cohen is a Franco-Israeli guitarist now living in France.  She studied in Paris and was the first classical guitarist to receive the Nadia and Lili Boulanger Prize from the Foundation of France.  She has performed with many orchestras around the world and collaborated with ensembles such as the Talich String Quartet.

As Women's History Month comes to a close, on the next Fretworks I'll be presenting recordings by these two fine artists.  Lily Afshar will play an homage to Johann Sebastian Bach titled Adagio by Polish composer Gerard Drozd and a piece by Argentine composer Jorge Morel, Jugueteando.  Liat Cohen will be the soloist in an orchestration of three Israeli songs (I am a Guitar, I Did Not Know What, and A Beautiful Day) with the Jerusalem Symphony conducted by Rafi Kadishson.

Also on the program, guitarist Benjamin Biers has music of Mexican composer Manuel Ponce, his Sonata No. 3 from 1927.  He wrote it for Andres Segovia while living in Paris studying with Paul Dukas.  Ponce had first met Segovia in Mexico in 1923, and this sonata is one of a number of pieces he wrote for the great Spanish guitarist.

The Italian Guitar Trio will play a landler by the early 19th century Austrian composer Joseph Kueffner, and  Lutenist Paul O'Dette will begin the program with music from the 17th century by the innovative  German-Italian composer for the lute and theorbo, Johann HieronymousKapsberger (or Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger).

Join me for Fretworks Saturday and Wednesday evenings at 7 on Classical 101