Young Guitarist Competition
Judging the 2012 Parkening Young Guitarist Competition are Patrick Russ, Pablo Sáinz Villegas, and David Thomas.
Patrick Russ, symphonic orchestrator and music arranger, has over 170 film-score credits with Hollywood's finest film composers. He began his career as principal orchestrator for Academy Award winners Elmer Bernstein and Maurice Jarre, and he now has several film projects in current release throughout the year. Russ enjoys writing symphonic arrangements for orchestras and has had over 50 concert premieres around the world, including performances for the US president at the White House, members of the British Royal Family at Hampton Court, Pope John Paul II, and the King of Sweden. He arranged the Olympic Hymn and other works for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and London. Through the Hal Leonard Corporation he has published seven music anthologies and symphonic suites, including two volumes with Christopher Parkening: Duets and Concertos and Solo Pieces. Since his days as a guitar student of Parkening in 1979, Russ has had a longtime collaboration and friendship with the renowned guitar virtuoso. Russ is president of the Film Music Foundation, which awards grants for film music research and education in addition to assisting film composers in placing their music with educational institutions. A native Californian, Russ earned a master of arts degree in music composition at UC Santa Barbara and a graduate degree in theology from Regent College in British Columbia. He resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Shirley, a physician researcher, and their two children.
Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas quickly established himself as one of the world's leading classical guitarists by winning the gold medal at the first Parkening International Guitar Competition in 2006. His prize-winning performance with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra has led to concerts in more than 30 countries. These include his four-performance debut with the New York Philharmonic under renowned conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos; the success of these performances resulted in two subsequent engagements with the orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall. Sáinz Villegas made his debut with the Houston Symphony under conductor Alondra de la Parra, with whom he once again collaborated as a soloist for a Sony Classical recording with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. In 2009 he also completed a very successful 12-concert tour with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Israel under the baton of Frühbeck de Burgos. Other orchestral performances include appearances with internationally acclaimed orchestras in the UK, Australia, Spain, Russia, Denmark, France, Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, the United States, and Austria in such prestigious concert halls as the Musikverein in Vienna. Sáinz Villegas' worldwide recitals have led him to play at the Berliner Philharmoniker Chamber Music Hall in Berlin and earned him ongoing engagements at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow and the Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia. Born in Spain but now living in New York City, Sáinz Villegas combines charismatic stage presence, deep passion for his music, and stunning technical abilities in performances that consistently bring audiences to their feet.
David Thomas has been involved in the music industry for over 20 years. An active recording producer, he has produced the last nine Christopher Parkening recordings for EMI and Sony Classical. Thomas has also produced recordings for soprano Kathleen Battle, baritone Jubilant Sykes, guitarists Virginia Luque and Liona Boyd, and the movie Last Flight Out. He has worked on recordings with some of the world's finest orchestras, including 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. In the early 1990s he founded TYI/Concert Marketing, which coordinates venue marketing for many major labels, including Universal, Sony Masterworks, EMI, and Warner Atlantic. The company also includes the label Arioso Classics, as well as the management division ACM 360 Artists. Born in the Napa Valley in California, Thomas now resides in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with his wife, Joanna, a physician, and their two sons, Julian and Sebastian.