Jason Vieaux, guitarist
“Vieaux ... makes everything look and sound easy. An uncommonly relaxed figure onstage, he seems immersed entirely in the moment. Every note comes out fully formed, but nothing he does feels premeditated, and the music, just a little understated, speaks eloquently for itself.” – Washington Post
“Vieaux is a complete master of the guitar; it is simply a tool he uses to convey the essence of the music – flamboyant, introverted, festive, or gloomy – all played with complete authority” – Classical Voice North Carolina
“virtuosic, flamboyant, dashing and, sometimes ineffably lyrical.” – The New York Times
“a substantially gifted guitarist whose playing revealed equal portions of stylistic elegance and technical polish.” – The Baltimore Sun
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.” Among his extensive discography is the 2015 Grammy Award winning album for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, Play.
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, and studio 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.
Jason Vieaux has performed as concerto soloist with over 100 orchestras, including Cleveland, Toronto, Houston, Nashville, San Diego, Buffalo, Auckland Philharmonia, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Recent performance highlights include debuts at the Domaine Forget International Festival and the Carmel Bach Festival, as well as performances at the Caramoor Festival as Artist-in-Residence, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the National Gallery of Art, Buenos Aires’ Teatro
Colon, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, New York's 92Y, Ravinia Festival, Eastern Music Festival, Curtis Presents, and performances at the Phillips Collection, Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon, Seoul Arts Center, and Shanghai Concert Hall.
In the 2019-2020 season, Vieaux returns to San Francisco Performances for a solo recital in the Herbst Theatre and to the Ellnora Guitar Festival. He will perform at Wolf Trap with the Escher Quartet, and give concerto performances with the Buffalo Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony, New West Symphony, Bakersfield Symphony, and Kentucky Symphony.
He has forged his reputation as a first-rate chamber musician and programmer through performances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Bard Music Festival, Music@Menlo, San Francisco Performances, Cleveland Chamber Music Society, Strings Music Festival, Grand Teton, and many others.
Chamber music collaborators include the Escher Quartet; Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke; violinists Nigel Armstrong, Anne Akiko Meyers, Kristin Lee, and Tessa Lark; acclaimed harpist Yolanda Kondonassis; and accordion/bandoneon virtuoso Julien Labro.
Vieaux’s passion for new music has fostered premieres of works by Jonathan Leshnoff, Avner Dorman, Dan Visconti, Vivian Fung, Keith Fitch, Kinan Abou-Afach, David Ludwig, Jerod Tate, Eric Sessler, José Luis Merlin, Jeff Beal, Gary Schocker, Mark Mancina, and more. Vieaux recently premiered Visconti’s “Living Language” Guitar Concerto with the California Symphony and has performed the work over a dozen times since.
Vieaux’s latest CD release, Dance (Azica) with the Escher Quartet, includes works by Boccherini, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Aaron Jay Kernis. His premiere recording of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Guitar Concerto with the Nashville Symphony (Naxos) was also released in 2019. Later this season, he will release a new solo Bach recording on Azica. Previous albums include Jeff Beal’s “Six Sixteen” Guitar Concerto with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (BIS); Infusion (Azica), a collaboration with bandoneonist Julien Labro featuring the duo’s original arrangements of 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 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.”
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 ranked highly 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 worldwide, and his work is the subject of feature articles in print and online, 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. 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 Award, and a Salon di Virtuosi Career Grant. In 1995, Vieaux was an Artistic Ambassador of the U.S. to Southeast Asia. His primary teachers were Jeremy Sparks and John Holmquist.
Jason Vieaux is represented by Jonathan Wentworth Associates, Ltd and plays a 2013 Gernot Wagner guitar with Augustine strings.
For more information, visit www.jasonvieaux.com.
Photo by Tyler Boye