Office: Room 400i Hunter North
Fall 2017 Office Hours: Thursdays 10am–12pm
The guitarist, educator, and composer João Luiz began to play the popular music of his native Brazil professionally during his childhood and was later trained in classical guitar by his mentor Henrique Pinto. As a performer and composer João is equally at home with classical, Brazilian and world music; his solo guitar, guitar ensemble and chamber music repertoire cover all the main works in the guitar literature from Dowland to Carter and Brazilian rhythms from Chôro to Baião. His versatility led him to be chosen to collaborate with Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos Prieto on a project to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Cuban composer Leo Brouwer in a landmark concert in Cuba in 2014. João’s interests include bridging Classical, Jazz, and Latin American music, and discovering ways to make classical music education more accessible to minorities. While studying with Henrique Pinto, with whom he recorded two albums as a member of the Violão Câmara Trio ensemble, the Brasil Guitar Duo with Douglas Lora was born.
In 2006 the Brasil Guitar Duo won the prestigious Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York, resulting in a full global touring schedule and numerous critically acclaimed recordings. For five years João also performed and recorded with the classical guitar quartet Quartenaglia, one of Brazil’s most important chamber music ensembles. João has recorded more than thirteen CDs playing solo, duo, trio and in quartet, all of which have featured his arrangements of classical or Brazilian works. He has recorded for Avie, Naxos, CAG records, Equilibrium and Guanabara Records. Quaternaglias’s Presenca (2004) and Estampas (2007) feature João’s interpretations of Tom Jobim and Alberto Ginastera’s compositions. Brasil Guitar Duo’s Bom Partido (2004), the duo’s first CD of all- Brazilian repertoire, was the first recording produced by Concert Artists Guild. The Brasil Guitar Duo’s debut for the Naxos label features two CDs of the complete works for two guitars by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (2009) and the complete works for two guitars by Cuban composer Leo Brouwer (2015). Just one of many stellar reviews includes the American Record Guide, which wrote, ‘’It would be hard to imagine a better performance… this is wonderful music played at the highest interpretive level.” Another release features the complete Bach Flute Sonatas with flutist Marina Piccinini released on Avie in 2010. For this collaboration, João and Douglas transcribed all of Bach’s sonatas for flute and harpsichord to flute and two guitars. Neblina, his first solo CD featuring Spanish composers, was released in July 2012. The duo has also recently recorded Edu Lobo Songbook, a CD of João’s arrangements of one of Brazil’s most important popular music (MPB) composers. An eager advocate of Latin American music, João has premiered works by composers such as Leo Brouwer, Paulo Bellinati, Marco Pereira, Egberto Gismonti and Marlos Nobre. He also formed the Trio Virado in 2011 with flutist Amy Porter and violist Juan Miguel-Hernandez to promote contemporary Latin American chamber music. The first CD of the trio, Mangabeira was released in the fall of 2015 featuring world premiere recordings of works written specially for the trio by Assad, Hand and Brouwer.
João teaches guitar and is the director of chamber Music at Hunter College. He is also on the faculty at Purchase College and NJCU. As a soloist and teacher, João appears frequently at important music festivals such as Festival Eleazar de Carvalho and Campos do Jordão International Festival in Brazil and the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes where he teaches guitar and chamber music. João holds a Masters in Classical Guitar from Mannes College of Music in New York as a student of Michael Newman and Frederic Hand. As the recipient of the Augustine Foundation scholarship, João earned his doctoral degree from Manhattan School of Music as a student of David Leisner.
His arrangements and compositions have been recorded and played by Marina Piccinini, Fábio Zanon, Paulo Martelli, Quaternaglia, Ná Ozzetti, Paquito D’Rivera, Clarice Assad, Parker String Quartet, Sybarite 5, The Newman & Oltman guitar duo, Bridget Kibbey, and the New York City Classical Guitar Society. For his project with Grammy-award winner Paquito D’Rivera, João wrote all of the arrangements for their Latin American Synergy Tour. One of João’s favorite projects was writing the guitar methods for beginners, designing the guitar curriculum and training instructors for an important music education initiative for underprivileged children in São Paulo, Guri Santa Marcelina.
João made his debut at the Aspen Festival in July 2010 as a member of the Brasil Guitar Duo. Previous summers have included concerts at New York’s River to River Festival, The Gran Teton Music Festival, Chautauqua Institution, Bermuda Guitar Festival, Tirol’s Outreach Festival (Austria), and Two Moors Festival (UK). Recently featured New York City recital engagements include Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, NY Guitar Seminar at Mannes College, Symphony Space and New York Guitar Society. In addition, the duo has performed for the Orange County (CA) Performing Arts Center, Lied Center (University of Kansas), Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Chicago, Spivey Hall, Montalvo Center for the Arts, Purdue University Convocations, Daytona Beach International Festival, Virginia Arts Festival, CityFolk Festival in Dayton, OH, the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Guitar Festival, the Miami Guitar Festival, the Asociacion Nacional de Conciertos in Panama City, Semana de La Guitarra in Colombia, and the Classical Guitar Societies of St. Louis, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Tucson and Upstate New York. The duo’s most recent recording of the complete works for two guitars by Leo Brouwer was nominated for the 2016 Latin Grammy.