Guitar  x 2

Harris Becker and Pasquale Bianculli

 

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       Harris Becker, guitarist and lutenist is an active soloist, chamber musician, educator and adjudicator. Performances have taken him throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Mexico and Canada. New York performances include Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Becker has premiered many new works for solo guitar and guitar in ensembles. Composers who have dedicated works to him include Raoul Pleskow, Howard Rovics and the microtonal composer, Johnny Reinhard.  The Lakeville Journal, CT reviews Becker’s performance…  “Mr. Becker played these pieces {Bach Lute Suite} with fine musicianship and style…”

Director of Guitar Studies at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, Mr. Becker is Founder and Director of the Long Island Guitar Festival, which just completed its tenth season. In 1997, the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs selected Mr. Becker to be part of Florida's Artist Residency program, giving lecture/demonstrations on the history of the guitar, including performances on the lute and Baroque guitar. Mr. Becker has been on the music faculties of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and Director of Music for Mixed Ensembles at the International Institute for Chamber Music at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich.

During the 2001-2, season Mr. Becker presented two series of lectures, “Exploring Music” and Aspects of 20th Century American Music at the Bruce Museum of Art in Greenwich, Connecticut. In the summer of 2001 Mr. Becker participated in the Summer Chamber Music Festival at Long Island University giving master classes and a concert with the Pierrot Consort and at the “III International Guitar Festival Pro-musica/SESC” in Caxias do Sul, Brazil. His transcriptions and editions are published by T.D. Ellis Music Publishing.

 

   

Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Pasquale Bianculli began playing the guitar at the age of 13 under Joseph Cassano. His earliest musical influence was his father, Philip, an accomplished woodwind player and jazz musician. Following in his footsteps, he played popular music in dance and club bands throughout the city. In 1972, he began intensive study in classical guitar with Jerry Willard and Edgard Dana, at the Guitar Workshop in Oyster Bay, NY. He received his M. Mus. degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1981, and holds a certificate from Teachers College Columbia University as a Performing Artist in the Schools. Other teachers and coaches have included Alexandre Lagoya, Angel Romero and Timothy Walker.  

As a recitalist, he has been heard across the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Caribbean.  In 1983, he made his New York solo debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.  Tim Page, of the New York Times, describing Mr. Bianculli’s performance of J.S. Bach, said, “…a sensitive musician…he juxtaposed workmanlike playing with passages of real inspiration”.  And of his Nocturnal by Benjamin Britten …”{Mr. Bianculli} was true to the works improvisatory quality, calling up some ominous, shimmering overtones from the instrument”.  He had the honor of performing for the legendary guitarist, Andres Segovia, in Granada, Spain. Both he and his wife, flutist, Kathy McDonald, taught (1989-90) at the Edna Manley School of the Arts in Kingston, Jamaica, performing throughout that country. While a grad student, he taught at SUNY Stony Brook, and later contributed his expertise as a consultant on a doctoral panel. He has been on the faculties of Dowling College and the Rocky Ridge Music Center in Colorado. Pat has served as adjudicator in music competitions sponsored by Queens College and the American String Teacher’s Association (ASTA). 

He has written three books; "Learn Folk Guitar with the Music of John Denver" and “101 Tips and Tricks for the Acoustic Guitar”, published by Cherry Lane Music. Currently, he is on the faculty of C. W. Post Campus of Long Island University and the United Nations International School.

Since 1976, Harris Becker and Pasquale Bianculli have been both friends and musical partners. It was during that year when they performed their first recital as a duo while students of Jerry Willard.  As Guitar x 2, they have been featured artists and teachers in schools and on recital series throughout the New York area. In 2002, composer/guitarist Carlo Domeniconi composed "Long Island Suite, op. 101" for the duo, in recognition of the 10th anniversary of the Long Island Guitar Festival. In addition to classical music, they also enjoy jazz, world music and the Beatles.

Their 1999 release, "Catgut Flambo"  has been heard on WNYC-FM in New York, Connecticut Public Radio, Radio Kerry in Ireland, and Radio Canada. Recent concerts will include performances at "Guitar Intensives" in Blue Hill, Maine and at the Moulin Berniere Museum in Courcelles, Quebec.