Duo (Matthijs Koene
– Panflute, Stefan Gerritsen – Guitar)
||Verso was formed
in 1997. The duo was named after the work 'Verso', which
was written for them by the American-Dutch composer Ron Ford.
Passionately and with a sense of style the duo performs classical
music, as well as contemporary repertoire.
One of the most
important goals of Verso is the creation of distinguished
repertoire for panflute and guitar. So far more than 40 works
have been written for this special combination. The outstanding
expression of the instruments is put to use in a very broad
range of styles, from Dowland, Giuliani and Piazzolla, to
the newest music by Theo Loevendie, Artyum Kim, Daan Manneke,
Gerard Beljon, and Louis Aguirre.
For more information see
||Dr Newton studied under
the renowned Pepe Romero at the University of Southern California,
where he received his BMus and MMus degrees with honors. He
has taken master classes with Andrés Segovia and Alirio
Diaz, and jazz master classes with Laurindo Almeida and Lee
Ritenour. His doctoral degree was under the direction of Dr
Peter Yates at the University of California, Los Angeles.
He has given concerts and master classes throughout Great Britain, the USA, Canada,
South America, the Middle East, Scandinavia, and Western and Eastern Europe.
Newton is on the faculties of Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Valley College
and Glendale College. He is president of the American Guitar Society, director
of the AGS International Concert Series, a member of the Board of Directors of
the Guitar Foundation of America, has been a frequent contributor to guitar periodicals,
and adjudicates on national and international competitions. This will be his
first visit to South Africa.
||David Grimes was majoring
in maths at Caltech when he was introduced to the classical
guitar through an Andrés Segovia recording. He later
pursued classical guitar studies with Guy Horn and Oscar Ghiglia.
As a soloist he has performed extensively throughout North America and Europe,
and recent concert tours have taken him to Mexico, Greece, Bulgaria, Spain, Denmark,
France, Malta, Belarus, Serbia and Montenegro. He is also in demand as a conductor
and competition judge.
Grimes is past President of the Guitar Foundation of America and remains as Reviews
Editor for the journal ‘Soundboard’. He has produced editions such
as ‘Luys Milan: the Complete Fantasias’ and the celebrated series ‘Treasures
of the Baroque’, published by Mel Bay Publications. He is Director of Guitar Studies
at California State University, Fullerton, where he has developed one of America's
leading centers of guitar instruction
||Tessa has developed a successful career as a professional performing artist, playing regularly for private and corporate functions. She has performed on numerous occasions for the Soirée Society, for the Classical Guitar Society of South Africa, for PACT, at the Grahamstown Festival, on radio and over many years on television, not only as a musician, but also as a presenter and actress. She joined the National Symphony Orchestra in accompanying Pavarotti on his SA visit and was at the opening act for the ‘Hollies’SA Tour.
The Spanish guitarist, Narciso Yepes, innovator of the modern 10-string guitar, also had a profound influence on Tessa’s
musical development, and she has studied with him intermittently over the years while she was still studying with Fritz Buss, her mentor.
She was the first matric student to play the classical guitar as her instrument, and continued her musical education at Wits, obtaining a B.Mus. (Hon) degree.
Tessa’s recording career has produced, amongst other, eight
solo CD’s. Her collaboration with David Hewitt, guitarist and composer, as a duo comprised a significant period of her life as a performer and recording
Together with Dave she has published his works for solo guitar and guitar duet.
Her classical guitar repertoire is varied, from pre-Baroque, classical, romantic music to current, more popular ballads.
||In her diverse
artistic career Avril has performed on 4 continents, recorded
5 CDs, composed over 25 works for classical guitar, produced
documentaries for SABC television, authored 2 music books,
a film script and several articles for ‘Classical Guitar’,
UK, as well as having founded the Cape Town Academy of Music,
where she also lectures.
She has been awarded prizes and scholarships including
the Adcock Ingram Classical Guitar Competition first prize,
the Jules Kramer Fine Art and Music Scholarship and the Astris
award, a life time achievement award for excellence in music.
In 2009 Avril obtained an MMus with distinction for her 308
page research dissertation ‘Music for Classical Guitar
She is the first person in South Africa to commission a classical
guitar composition from a Black South African composer.In
2010 she lectured and performed at the Royal Academy of Music
in London, and gave master classes, adjudicated and performed
at the Hermoupolis Guitar Festival and Competition in Greece.
interest in flamenco guitar started at a young age. At 15 he
had to leave school and work to support his family, who were
thrown out of District Six by the forced removals of apartheid,
but by 1989 he was able to fully pursue his love of flamenco
when he travelled to Seville (Spain) to study under several
On his return to South Africa he performed for several years with various Spanish
bands and Flamenco dance groups. In 1992 he started his own Flamenco Guitar School.
Besides his solo and group performances he has made several recordings with four
of his compositions selected for inclusion on the soundtrack of the movie Confessions
of a Gambler.