Guitarist Sharon Isbin and Brazilian percussionist Thiago de Mello to perform at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts


Image: Sharon IsbinClassical guitarist Sharon Isbin, the Grammy award-winning virtuoso likened to Monet for her ability to pull sensuous colors from her instrument, performs with Brazilian percussionist Thiago de Mello at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, Saturday, March 2 at 8 p.m. a pre-show "Art to Heart" session with Brian Torff, jazz musician and director of Fairfield University's music program, will be held from 7 p.m. to 7:40 p.m. Torff will present a discussion and demonstration of Brazilian rhythms and instruments.

Isbin, considered one of the world's finest guitarists, first collaborated with de Mello on the Teldec album, "Journey to the Amazon," which topped the Billboard charts and earned her a 1999 Grammy nomination for "Best Classical Crossover Album." On stage, de Mello surrounds himself with gourd drums, rain sticks, rattles and other unusual instruments, producing sounds and rhythms that complement the dialects and nuances Isbin draws from her guitar.

In 2001, Isbin won a Grammy Award for her CD, "Dreams of a World: Folk Inspired Music for Guitar," a compilation of tunes from the Appalachian Mountains, British Isles, Spain, Greece, Brazil and elsewhere. It was the first such honor for a classical guitarist in 28 years. The first guitarist ever to win the Munich Competition, Isbin is also a first-prize winner of the Toronto Competition, winner of Madrid's Queen Sofia Competition and winner of the "Best Classical Guitarist" and "Classical Album of the Year" awards from Guitar Player magazine.

She is credited with doing more than any other musician to expand the repertoire for guitar, commissioning nine concertos from major composers such as John Corigliano, Lukas Foss, Joseph Schwantner and Joan Tower. Isbin is founder of the guitar programs at the Julliard School and the Aspen Music Festival and has appeared as a soloist with many symphony orchestras. Her sold-out performances around the world include New York City's Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall, Boston's Symphony Hall, Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center, London's Barbican Centre and Madrid's Teatro Real.

The Minnesota-born Isbin has produced more than 20 albums-a versatile selection ranging from Baroque, Spanish/Latin and 20th century to crossover and jazz-fusion. An American space crew presented one of her album's, "American Landscapes," to Russian cosmonauts aboard the Mir space station. Isbin began her guitar studies in Italy at the age of 9 and later studied with Andrés Segovia and Oscar Ghiglia. She began touring Europe at age 17.

Isbin has appeared on more than 20 magazine covers and maintains a website at www.sharonisbin.com. She finds inspiration in art, literature and meditation and enjoys snorkeling, mopeding around the Greek Islands and hiking in the mountains and rainforests.

Tickets to the concert are $30, $27 and $24 with discounts available for seniors, students and groups. For tickets or information, call the Quick Center Box Office at (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-ARTS-396, or visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 13, 2002

Vol. 34, No. 153