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Parkening International Guitar Competition Announces Judges for 2015 Competition

January 13, 2015 Malibu, CA -- The judges for the fourth triennial Parkening International Guitar Competition, to be presented by Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, from Wednesday, May 27, to Saturday, May 30, 2015, have been announced.

Representing different areas of the classical music world, the five judges are Lynn Harrell, cello virtuoso and conductor; Lee Holdridge, Emmy Award-winning film composer; Charlotte Lee, senior vice president, IMG Artists; Angel Romero, guitar maestro, soloist, and conductor; and David Thomas, recording 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. After three days of intense public performances, the winner of the Parkening International Guitar Competition receives a gold medal, the Jack Marshall Prize of US$30,000, and the most prestigious title in classical guitar.

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 Debut Orchestra. The gold, silver, and bronze medalists will be announced at the conclusion of the final round.

The Parkening Competition honors the distinguished career of the classical guitarist Christopher Parkening and his lifetime commitment to fostering musical excellence in young artists as demonstrated by his mentor, the great Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia. Parkening is celebrated as one of the world's preeminent virtuosos of the classical guitar and serves as Distinguished Professor of Music at Pepperdine University. A two-time Grammy nominee and a featured soloist in some of the finest orchestras in the country, his concerts and recordings have received the highest worldwide acclaim, captivating audiences around the world, from New York to Tokyo.

"The creation of this competition was one of my lifelong dreams," says Parkening. "It champions and rewards the traditions of musical excellence, and fulfills my vision for a world-class guitar competition equal to the great piano and violin competitions."

In addition to the Parkening International Guitar Competition, on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 26 and 27, 2015, 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 2015 Parkening Competition is made possible by a generous grant from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson.

For the first time in its history, the Parkening International Guitar Competition is now accepting applications online. The process is now faster and more accessible for potential competitors around the world. Applications are due February 6, 2015.

Biographies of the Judges

Lynn Harrell is a renowned cellist whose presence is felt throughout the musical world. A consummate soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, conductor, and teacher, his work throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia has placed him in the highest echelon of today's performing artists. Mr. Harrell is a frequent guest of many leading orchestras including Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, and the National Symphony. In Europe, he partners with the orchestras of London, Munich, Berlin, Tonhalle, and Israel. An important part of Lynn Harrell's life is summer music festivals, which include appearances at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Aspen and Grand Tetons festivals, and the Amelia Island Festival. With an extensive discography of more than 30 recordings, Mr. Harrell was awarded two Grammy Awards – in 1981 for the Tchaikovsky Piano Trio and in 1987 for the complete Beethoven Piano Trios (both Angel/EMI). In June 2010, along with his wife, violinist Helen Nightengale, he founded the HEARTbeats Foundation, a 501(c) charity. Based in Los Angeles, the HEARTbeats Foundation strives to help children in need harness the power of music to better cope with, and recover from, the extreme challenges of poverty and conflict. LynnHarrell.com

Lee Holdridge has scored numerous film and TV hits, including films such as Splash, Big Business, Mr. Mom, Micki & Maude, 16 Days Of Glory, The Other Side of the Mountain Pt. II, Mustang Country, The Beastmaster, Jeremy (Cannes Festival award winner), Sylvester, The Tuskegee Airmen, and El Pueblo Del Sol. TV shows include Moonlighting, Beauty and the Beast, the complete eight-hour remake of East of Eden, and many more. More recently, Mr. Holdridge scored the motion pictures Puerto Vallarta Squeeze; Unlikely Heroes; the Hollywood Film Festival Documentary award winner Beautiful Music; the PBS Emmy-nominated series American Family; and Saving Milly for CBS. Mr. Holdridge has received numerous awards and nominations during his career. Amongst these he received six Emmys for writing. He received both Emmy and Grammy nominations for his title song for Moonlighting, which he cowrote with Al Jarreau. Mr. Holdridge's extensive background in both the concert and theatre fields include coauthorship of the Joffrey Ballet standard Trinity, the one-act in-school operas The Prospector and The Magic Dream, and the one-act opera Journey to Cordoba, commissioned by the Los Angeles Music Center Opera. LeeHoldridge.com

Charlotte Lee is a senior vice president and artist manager at IMG Artists in New York. Her tenure at IMG Artists began in 1998 where she worked on the management teams for Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Evgeny Kissin, and Lang Lang. Promoted to become IMG Artists' youngest manager at age 25 and, in 2007, the agency's youngest vice president at age 30, Ms. Lee served for seven years as director of orchestral booking in overseeing the booking of IMG's roster of 75 conductors and instrumentalists with the major orchestras of North America. Now as a senior vice president she personally manages 10 internationally recognized artists including violinists Itzhak Perlman and Nicola Benedetti, pianist Simon Trpčeski, cellist Johannes Moser, and several conductors, including Cristian Măcelaru and Joana Carneiro. She holds two bachelor's degrees from the University of Texas at Austin (U-T), where she graduated cum laude in 1998 with a BA in music and a BA in Plan II, U-T's liberal arts honors program. She is a violinist and former concertmaster of the New Jersey Youth Symphony. While at U-T Austin, she served as assistant concertmaster of the U-T Symphony Orchestra, studied with Vincent Frittelli (a former Ivan Galamian pupil) and performed in master class for Dorothy DeLay.

Angel Romero's eminence in the music world as soloist and conductor is heralded by audiences and critics alike. Hailed for his superior artistry as the Spanish maestro of the guitar, Mr. Romero has appeared in the major cultural centers throughout the world and has appeared as soloist with such leading orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic. As conductor, he has led numerous orchestras worldwide including the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and the Royal Philharmonic, among many others. In February 2000 he was presented with the highest honor that the country of Spain has to offer, the Grand Cross of Isabel la Catolica and was knighted Sir Angel Romero in reverence of his astounding musical accomplishments. In 2007 Angel Romero was honored by the Recording Academy, producer of the Grammy Awards, with the Recording Academy President's Merit Award for his significant contributions to the music world and for his professional career achievements. For his work on the film Bienvenido-Welcome, Mr. Romero won the 1995 ARIEL (the "Academy Award" of Mexico) in the category of music written originally for film. AngelRomero.com

David Thomas has been involved in the music industry for nearly 25 years. Active in the recording industry, he produced the last nine Christopher Parkening recordings for EMI and Sony Classical. Mr. Thomas has also produced recordings with soprano Kathleen Battle, baritone Jubilant Sykes, guitarists Virginia Luque and Liona Boyd, the soundtrack for the movie Last Flight Out, as well as projects with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. His profession has taken him to such internationally acclaimed studios as Abbey Road in London, as well as Capitol and Sony/MGM studios in Los Angeles. He founded TYI/Concert Marketing, which coordinates venue marketing for many labels, including Universal, Sony, and Warner. Originally from the Napa, California, Mr. Thomas now resides in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with his wife, Joanna, and their two sons, Julian and Sebastian. ###

High-resolution photos available upon request.

 

Pepperdine University reserves the right to change any or all criteria or details pertaining to the Competition.