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Classical: Contemporary Moods: Type: Acoustic Classical: Chamber Music

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Guitar x 2 Harris Becker & Pasquale Bianculli

GUITAR x 2 – Pat and Harris gave their first concert together in 1976 . In 1999 they released their first duo guitar CD titled "Catgut Flambo," on the MSR label. Guitar Review called it " of the most beautiful-sounding guitar recordings that I have heard." In his review in Fanfare, critic Raymond Tuttle says, “Becker and Bianculli have techniques that are beyond reproach. They eschew bright colors and a brash performance style, and they seem most comfortable with being mellow and quietly insinuating”
“Long Island Suite, Op. 101”, written by Carlo Domeniconi for Becker and Bianculli, received its world premiere at the 10th Anniversary of the Long Island Guitar Festival. Other composers who have written works for the group include Howard Rovics and Hayley Savage.

PASQUALE BIANCULLI has been heard in concert 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 the performance said, “…a sensitive musician…he juxtaposed workmanlike playing with passages of real inspiration”. Of his Nocturnal by Benjamin Britten “…{He} was true to the works improvisatory quality, calling up some ominous, shimmering overtones from the instrument”.

Pat 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. In 1972, he began intensive study in classical guitar at the Guitar Workshop in Oyster Bay, NY under Jerry Willard and Edgard Dana, Other teachers and coaches have included Alexandre Lagoya, Angel Romero and Timothy Walker. He received his M. Mus. degree from Stony Brook University in 1981. That year he also performed for the legendary guitarist, Andres Segovia, in Granada, Spain. He has been on the faculties of Dowling College and the Rocky Ridge Music Center in Colorado and has taught at the Edna Manley School of the Arts in Kingston, Jamaica, performing throughout that country. Currently, he is on the faculty of C. W. Post Campus of Long Island University and the United Nations International School.

He has written two books; “101 Tips and Tricks for the Acoustic Guitar” and “Learn Folk Guitar with the Music of John Denver” published by Cherry Lane Music. He performs regularly in duo with his wife, Kathleen McDonald and with guitarist, Harris Becker. In 1999, the guitar duo released their CD, “Catgut Flambo”. Pat is a co-founder of “A Midsummer Music Festival / Songe d’été en musique". He recently released a CD with Kathleen McDonald, called "Hill of Slane - Psalms, Sonatas & Sojourns".He plays a guitar made in Magog, Quebec by Bruno Boutin.

HARRIS BECKER has had a rich and varied career as a guitarist and lutenist. He has performed extensively both as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Mexico, and Canada. His interest in contemporary music has offered him the opportunity to premiere many new works by renowned composers including Carlo Domeniconi, Hayley Savage, Raoul Pleskow, Howard Rovics, and Johnny Reinhard. The Florida 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 and performances on the lute and baroque guitar. Recent performances include: a concerto with the Ridgefield Symphony, chamber performances at the Long Island Guitar Festival and the University of Richmond, solo performances at the Islip Arts Council, Cos Cob Library, Long Island Classical Guitar Society and the Bristol Guitar Society. The director of the Bristol Guitar Society wrote: “…Harris Becker demonstrated considerable technical skill, musical knowledge and expertise...".

In addition to his career as a performer Harris Becker has been very involved in the musical world as an educator. He has given master classes in the United States, Europe, and Canada. He is director of guitar studies at Long Island University, and has been on the music faculties of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and the International Institute for Chamber Music at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich. In 2007 Mr. Becker received a faculty recognition award for outstanding service from the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Long Island University. 

Mr. Becker is founder and director of the Long Island Guitar Festival, which is currently in its 17th season. Mr. Becker is also co-founder of a summer music festival in rural Quebec: “Songe d’été en Musique”. His other recordings include Catgut Flambo with guitarist Pasquale Bianculli. Fanfare Magazine wrote: “Becker and Bianculli have techniques that are beyond reproach. They eschew bright colors and a brash performance style, and they seem most comfortable with being mellow and quietly insinuating”.