Best Classical Compendium

Best Choral Performance

Best Composition

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance

Christopher Theofanidis: Complete Works with Guitar, Vol. 1, recently released by Albany Records, is the culmination of a project initiated by Italian guitarist Nicolò Spera to record all the composer’s guitar music. The evocative disc features three works for various combinations of guitar, performed by Mr. Spera, and ensemble. Vaghe Stelle dell'Orsa is a stunning collaboration between guitar, viola (Matthew Dan), and flute (Christina Jennings). Mr. Spera and Ms. Jennings team up again for the composers’ Spring Verses. The centerpiece of the album, Door Out of Fire, commissioned by Mr. Spera, features the timely and gripping poetry of Melissa Studdard and the ethereal voices of EXIGENCE Vocal Ensemble conducted by Eugene Rogers.

Door Out of the Fire (2021), based on poems by Melissa Studdard, is a setting of four choral “messages in a bottle,” a time capsule reflecting several current issues of today’s humanity. COVID, the climate crisis, Black Lives Matter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life, and immigration are all explored in this poignant work. Written in four parts—"Burning Cathedral,” “The Book of Rahul,” “Ruth’s Aria,” and “Migration Patterns”—Theofanidis’ Door Out of Fire was commissioned by Mr. Spera and received its world premiere in October of 2021 at the University of Michigan.

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Italian guitarist Nicolò Spera is one of the few guitarists in the world to perform on both six-string and ten-string guitars, as well as on theorbo. A primary goal of Nicolò’s creative work is to expand the guitar repertoire. He has commissioned, performed, and recorded new works ranging from solos to programs with choirs, small ensembles, and orchestras. He has collaborated with composers from Europe and the Americas, including Nicola Campogrande, Carlos Cordero, Filippo Del Corno, Steve Goss, Corrado Margutti, Francisco del Pino, Annika Socolofsky, Giacomo Susani, and Christopher Theofanidis. Nicolò’s passion for choral music and his interest in new works for guitar and choir have also led him to a close collaboration with Eugene Rogers and EXIGENCE Vocal Ensemble. He teaches Classical Guitar at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Composer Christopher Theofanidis’ music has been presented by many of the world’s leading performing arts organizations, from the London Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic to the San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and the American Ballet Theatre. He is a two-time Grammy nominee for Best Composition and his work for viola and chamber orchestra won the 2021 Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo. He is on the faculty at Yale University and the Aspen Music Festival.


Milina Barry PR


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