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Parkening International Guitar Competition Announces Judges for 2012 Competition
The judges for the third triennial Parkening International Guitar Competition, to be presented by Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, from Wednesday, May 30, to Saturday, June 2, have been announced.
Representing different areas of the classical music world, the five judges are Dave Grusin, film composer and jazz artist; Costa Pilavachi, Senior Vice President of Universal Music Group and one of the judges at the 2009 Parkening Competition; David Russell, guitar virtuoso; Julie Smith, Classical Project Manager for The Recording Academy (presenter of the Grammy Awards); and Jim Svejda, Classical KUSC radio host and producer.
The competition, which debuted in 2006, offers the largest prize purse of any classical guitar competition in the world, with competitors vying for cash awards in excess of US$65,000. The gold medalist wins the Jack Marshall Prize of US$30,000.
The panel will judge 15 competitors, three of whom will advance to the final round to perform a concerto before a live audience with the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra. The gold, silver, and bronze medalists will be announced at the conclusion of the final round.
The Parkening Competition honors classical guitarist Christopher Parkening's lifetime commitment to fostering musical excellence in young artists as demonstrated by his mentor, the great Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia. Parkening serves as Distinguished Professor of Music at Pepperdine.
In addition to the Parkening International Guitar Competition, on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29 and 30, 2012, the Parkening Young Guitarist Competition will be held at Pepperdine. This two-day event will help to identify outstanding young guitarists and encourage them to continue their performance careers and studies.
The 2012 Parkening Competition is made possible by generous grants from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson and Juanita and Manny Del Arroz.
Applications, more information about competition requirements and judging, and the competition schedule are available at: http://arts.pepperdine.edu/parkening/
Biographies of the Judges
Dave Grusin has worked in the profession of music since the late 1950s, variously as an arranger, pianist, composer, and record producer. Born in Littleton, CO, and educated at the University of Colorado, he holds honorary doctoral degrees from CU and from the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Considered one of the top 10 film scorers of his generation, Grusin is also renowned as a jazz artist and cofounder of the independent record label GRP. Early fusion jazz albums include Mountain Dance, Harlequin, and Migration, with a deep immersion in digital technology. In the 1990s he returned to a focus on the acoustic piano, which led to four critically acclaimed tribute albums of Gershwin, Ellington, Mancini, and Bernstein material.
From 1976 to 1995 he was in partnership with Larry Rosen as owners of GRP records. His life as a recording artist and producer has resulted in 10 Grammy Awards and numerous nominations (including one for Two Worlds in 2002 and another for Amparo in 2008). These two classical projects with guitarist Lee Ritenour feature performances by Renée Fleming, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, Chris Botti, and James Taylor, among others.
Grusin has written over 60 film scores, including The Graduate, Tootsie, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Firm, Havana, Heaven Can Wait, and On Golden Pond. Having received eight Academy Award nominations, he won an Oscar in 1988 for The Milagro Beanfield War, featuring guitarist Angel Romero. Most recently he scored Recount for HBO.
He has also arranged for and/or performed with Quincy Jones, Gerry Mulligan, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Arnold Steinhardt, Bobby McFerrin, Peggy Lee, Patti Austin, Diana Krall, Grover Washington Jr., Earl Klugh, Arturo Sandoval, Clark Terry, Sérgio Mendes, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Andy Williams, and Paul Simon, among others.
In addition to his profession, Grusin is cofounder (with Rosen) of the National Foundation for Jazz Education, a philanthropic group dedicated to helping young jazz musicians. He is also a rancher and dedicated environmental activist.
Costa Pilavachi, the former international head of Decca, Philips Classics, and EMI Classics, returned to Universal Music Group as its Senior Vice President of Classical Artists and Repertoire in June 2010. In this capacity he oversees the artistic direction of the Decca and Deutsche Grammophon labels.
In 1999 Pilavachi was a key player in the merger of the Philips and Decca labels under the Universal umbrella, remaining with the label until 2006 when he joined EMI for three years. In the intervening period he was an artistic advisor to Seiji Ozawa's Saito Kinen Festival in Japan.
Pilavachi began his career in 1976 as Director of Sales for the Toronto-based David Haber Artist Management. Key positions he has held include Director of the Music Department of Ottawa's National Arts Centre, Director of Music of Toronto Arts Productions, and Artistic Administrator of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival.
Classical guitarist David Russell is world renowned for his superb musicianship and inspired artistry, having earned the highest praise from audiences and critics alike. He spends his time touring the world, appearing regularly at prestigious halls in such cities as New York, London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Madrid, Toronto, and Rome.
During his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Russell twice won the Julian Bream Guitar Prize. Later he won numerous international competitions, including the Andrés Segovia Competition, the José Ramírez Competition, and Spain's prestigious Francisco Tárrega Competition. In recognition of his talent and international career, he was named a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 1997.
Since 1995 Russell has had an exclusive recording contract with Telarc International, with which he has recorded 16 CDs, among them Aire Latino, which received a Grammy Award in 2005.
After he won the Grammy, the Spanish town of Nigrán where he resides gave him a silver medal. In 2003 he was made an "adopted son" of Es Migjorn, the town in Minorca where he grew up. Later the town named a street after him, Avinguda David Russell. Also in 2003 he was given the Medal of Honor of the Conservatory of the Balearics. In 2005 the music conservatory of Vigo, Spain, paid homage to him, culminating with the opening of a new auditorium named Auditorio David Russell.
In 2009 Russell was named an honorary member of Amigos de la Guitarra, the oldest guitar society in Spain.
Julie Smith has been involved in the music business for almost 20 years, most notably working for Virgin Entertainment Group as a product manager for classical, jazz, and specialty music.
Currently she works for The Recording Academy as the Classical Project Manager, whose duties include running the classical awards process and organizing the yearly "Salute to Classical Music" with honorees such as Plácido Domingo, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Sir Neville Marriner.
Smith has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Clarinet Performance, with a minor in voice and photography from Central Washington University in Washington State.
Of the many instruments Smith can play, her most recent endeavor has been the Highland bagpipes. She currently plays with the Pasadena Scots Pipe Band, which has toured China, played in the world bagpipe competition in Scotland, and achieved the Grade 3 overall championship in the Western United States Pipe Band Association for the past two years. Smith also had the honor of winning the Cameron Clan award for best Grade 3 Solo Piper in Southern California in 2010.
Although Jim Svejda is one of the most respected critical voices in the classical music field, he is also one of the most entertaining and popular program hosts on public radio. Since 1979 he has delighted Classical KUSC listeners with his witty, meticulously crafted essays on diverse composers, conductors, and artists—as well as his commentary on a wide range of other subjects that attract his musical fancy.
Svejda is the host and producer of the long-running radio series The Record Shelf, which is broadcast in Los Angeles on Sunday evenings and carried by public radio stations across the nation.
His weeknight evening program may be heard on Classical KUSC from 7 p.m. to midnight, always commencing with his signature opening, the third movement of Martinu's Piano Quartet no. 1.
Svejda is the author of The Insider's Guide to Classical Recordings, among other books, and an occasional film critic.