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Slovenian classical guitarist to present recital at Fredonia

Submitted Photo Guitarist Mak Grgic

Mak Grgic, a Slovenian classical guitarist touted as a “gifted young guitarist” by The New York Times and “a guitarist to keep an eye on” by the Washington Post, will give a recital tonight, Feb. 11.

The performance, hosted by the Fredonia Guitar Society, will be held in Diers Recital Hall at 8 p.m. at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Admission is free.

Mr. Grgic’s versatility and wide-ranging interests encompass Baroque and Renaissance periods to music of the cinema; from ethnic music of his native Balkans to extreme avant-garde and microtonal music. As a testament to his versatility and wide-ranging appeal, Grgic was invited by legendary singer-songwriter k.d. lang to perform as the opening act for the North American leg of her Ingenue Redux Tour in 2018.

Grgic averages 85 concerts a year, as both soloist and collaborator. He is a founding member and active performer in two duos — the Flamenco-style “Duo Deloro” with Adam Del Monte and the new music-focused “FretX Duo” with Daniel Lippel, guitarist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).

As Young Artist in Residence with the Da Camera Society of Los Angeles, he founded “DC8,” an octet declared “an inspiring addition to the contemporary music landscape in Los Angeles” by the Los Angeles Times.

Grgic made his debut in Russia in 2009, at the age of 22, performing Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. He toured the United States as a member of the Zagreb Guitar Quartet and, at the Lancaster Festival in Ohio in 2009, performed Rodrigo’s “Fantasia para un Gentilhombre with the festival orchestra and Boccherini’s famous “Introduction et Fandango” with the festival string quartet.

A month-long tour recently took him to China, Japan and the Balkans. Other engagements include performances and residencies at several venues in Portugal; in Castilla-Leon, Spain, at the Teatro Cervantes de Bejar; the Sarajevo Music Academy; at several venues in Slovenia; the Paris Guitar Foundation; Zurich University of the Arts and the Hong Kong International Guitar Festival.

In North America, Grgic has performed at Austin Classical Guitar, Beyond Microtonal Music Festival in Pittsburgh and Dunbarton concerts in Washington, D.C.

Also an active entrepreneur and educator, Grgic is director of EuroStrings, a consortium of 17 guitar festivals in Europe; as well as Zagreb Guitar Festival; Roots & Notes Interactive Music Festival in Croatia; and the Music@Rush Hour in Los Angeles. He also serves as director of Elemental Guitar, a youth program in Santa Monica, Calif. He is an adjunct faculty member at Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles.

Grgic’s albums capture a probing and continuous exploration of the world of guitar and all its possibilities. His latest recording, “Balkanisms,” explores a vast repertoire spanning ethnic music, microtonal, new music and early music on re-fretted instruments, such as a “zig-zag fretted Bach prototype guitar” that captures the temperaments of the Baroque period.

Grgic was one of the first students to apply for the University of Southern California (USC) Thornton’s new Arts Leadership graduate program, which he incorporated into his doctoral studies in guitar. He has been a student of William Kanengiser and Scott Tennant of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, in addition to Brian Head, artistic director of Guitar Foundation of America. In the fall of 2017, he began the Artist Diploma program at USC, the first guitarist in the university’s history to be admitted to this elite program.

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