Guitar, Performance Competition Judge

February 21, 2021
5:00 pm EST

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Combining a solid classical music background with a profound involvement with popular music and the art of improvisation, Brazilian Aliéksey Vianna has been featured in prestigious music venues in over thirty countries throughout Europe, the Americas, Oceania, Africa and the Middle East. Some of his noteworthy appearances include New York’s Carnegie Hall, Washington’s BID, San Francisco’s Yoshi’s Jazz Club, Basel’s Stadtcasino, Canberra’s Wesley Music Center, Cairo’s Opera House, Mexico City’s Sala Nezahualcoyotl and São Paulo’s Auditório Ibirapuera.

A winner in over 20 international classical guitar competitions, Aliéksey has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Sinfonieorchester Basel, Turku Philharmonic, Filarmonia das Beiras, Orquesta Ciudad de Almeria, the Aukso Tychy Chamber Orchestra and the Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais.

He has also played in chamber music and jazz settings with a wide diversity of first-class musicians, such as Antonio Meneses, Gabriele Mirabassi, Nguyen Le, Peter Erskine, Tracy Silverman, Paul Hanson, Stepan Kurmann Strings, Artaria Quartet, Quarteto de Cordas da Cidade de São Paulo, Knifkvartetten, Dimos Goudaroulis, Antonio Carlos Carrasqueira, Mauricio Freire Garcia, Felix Renggli, Sylvia Nopper, Petri Sakari, Nicole Paiement and Pierre Boulez.

Aliéksey is often engaged in contemporary music projects. In 2001, he was chosen to perform Boulez’s landmark work “Le Marteau sans Maitre”, conducted by the composer at Carnegie Hall. Since then he has premiered works by Egberto Gismonti, Ralph Towner, Edino Krieger, David Burge, Eric Johnsen, Eduardo Angulo and Sérgio Assad.

A major turning point in his career happened when maestro Assad offered to produce a recording of his own solo guitar works with the young Aliéksey as the interpreter. The debut album “Aliéksey Vianna plays Sergio Assad” came out in 2005 on the GSP label of San Francisco. In 2009, Aliéksey released his second record: “Ritmos e Danças”, a double CD of Pan-American music for guitar and strings recorded with the São Paulo and Harmony-Shanghai string quartets.

In 2011 Aliéksey put out his first album with improvised music: the DVD “Ébano”, recorded live with his long time collaborator Mike Eckroth and the legendary Paul McCandless (multi-instrumentalist of the group Oregon). In 2015 he released his fourth record, this time in trio with bassist Stephan Kurmann and drummer Mauro Martins. “Aliéksey Vianna Trio in concert at the bird’s eye” came out through the Swiss company TCB – The Montreaux Jazz Label.

Christina’s Party, in duo with Venezuelan virtuoso bass player Roberto Koch, is Aliéksey’s fifth and latest release. It came out in November 2017 through the label Unit Records and has been getting very good reviews in the specialized press. Aliéksey first took up the guitar at the age of eight. At age twelve, he began formal classical guitar studies. At 18, he left Brazil on a scholarship to study with Professor Thomas Patterson at the University of Arizona, USA, where he stayed for four years. While a student, he performed in master classes of Sergio and Odair Assad, Manuel Barrueco, Ivan Rijos, Paul Galbraith, Abel Carlevaro, Oscar Ghiglia, Roberto Aussel, Roland Dyens, Nigel North, Paul O’dette, Hopkinson Smith and Ralph Towner.

Aliéksey holds a bachelor’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, in the class of David Tanenbaum, and two master’s degrees from the Musik Akademie der Stadt Basel: classical guitar class of Pablo Marquez and jazz guitar class of Wolfgang Muthspiel. He is currently studying for a doctoral degree in artistic research at the docARTES program of the Orpheus Institute in Ghent (Belgium). His PhD research project, on unaccompanied guitar improvisation, is funded by the Brazilian foundation CAPES and supervised by professors Frans de Ruiter (Promotor), Marcel Cobussen, and Dusan Bogdanovic.

Since 2005, together with Fernando Araújo and Juarez Moreira, Aliéksey also serves as artistic director of the International Guitar Festival of Belo Horizonte, Brazil.