Naxos Records will release the world premiere recording of Jonathan Leshnoff's Guitar Concerto, recorded by Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux with the Nashville Symphony and conductor Giancarlo Guerrero. Leshnoff calls the work, “an exploration of worlds, from its mysterious beginnings to its fiery, dance-inspired finale.”
“I am so pleased to have recorded this exhilarating piece of music – and with such a fantastic orchestra,” says Vieaux. “It is quite beautiful, and in a technical sense even advanced some of my chops along the way! I have never had to practice any piece for performance more perhaps than this one, but it was well worth the effort, because the concerto has made me a better guitarist.”
Though he had already composed 12 concertos, Leshnoff does not play the guitar himself, so this commission from the Baltimore Symphony and Marin Alsop presented a unique challenge. “It’s notoriously difficult to write for the instrument unless you play it,” Leshnoff says. Nonetheless, he immersed himself in studying the literature, crafting a work Nashville Symphony’s Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero considers “one of the greatest additions to the guitar and orchestra repertoire in recent years.”
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.
In addition to this premiere recording of the Jonathan Leshnoff Guitar Concerto, in 2019 Jason will release a new album with the Escher String Quartet featuring Boccherini’s Guitar Quintet and Aaron Jay Kernis’ 100 Greatest Dance Hits (Azica). Along with his Grammy-winning 2015 solo release Play, his previous albums include a performance of Jeff Beal’s “Six Sixteen” Guitar Concerto with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (BIS); Infusion (Azica) with accordionist/bandoneonist Julien Labro; Ginastera’s Guitar Sonata, on Ginastera: One Hundred(Oberlin Music) produced by harpist Yolanda Kondonassis; Together (Azica), a duo album with Kondonassis; a recording of Astor Piazzolla’s music with Julien Labro and A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra; Bach: Works for Lute, Vol. 1; Images of Metheny; and Sevilla: The Music of Isaac Albeniz. Vieaux was the first classical musician to be featured on NPR’s popular “Tiny Desk” series.