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Piorkowski to be honored at GuitarFest at APSU

SUNY Distinguished Professor James Piorkowski interacts with students in a guitar class. Submitted Photo

GuitarFest 2021 at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., will be dedicated to the music of SUNY Distinguished Professor James Piorkowski, who heads the guitar program at the State University of New York at Fredonia School of Music.

Austin Peay’s guitar studio will present a livestream performance of Mr. Piorkowski’s music on Wednesday, March 17, at 8:30 p.m.

The Fredonia Guitar Quartet – including Charles Mossey, a junior majoring in Music Performance from Saratoga; Dawson Hinds, junior, Music Education, Kirkwood; Ian Underwood, junior, Music Performance, Canandaigua; and Olivia Mescallado, first-year, Music Performance, East Northport – has also been invited to participate in the concert. The quartet will perform the world premiere of Piorkowski’s “One Night in Romania.”

Live performances of both guitar ensembles can be viewed at: https://www.facebook.com/ApsuGuitarProgram/live

Piorkowski will work with the APSU guitar studio through a series of remote coaching and lecture sessions dealing with his original works for guitar solo, duo, quartet and a newly commissioned composition for guitar quintet, “A Fine Day’s Evening.”

As a performer, Piorkowski has given recitals in Spain, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Jamaica, Canada and throughout the United States. From 1982 to 2000, he was a member of the internationally acclaimed Buffalo Guitar Quartet.

Piorkowski studied composition with Anton Wolf and Donald Bohlen, and has had classes with Aaron Copland, Jacob Druckman, Lucas Foss, Morton Feldman and Milton Babbitt.

Of Piorkowski’s writing style, Classical Guitar Magazine (UK) stated, “his compositional skills are illustrated in a very favourable light, with his work conjuring up musical imagery, extending through a whole assortment of emotions from jubilant and rhythmic, to the impressionistic.”

Piorkowski compositions have been published by Mel Bay Publications, IMD, Seconda Prattica, Clear Note Publications and Sergio Assad/Editions Henry Lemoine.

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