JOSE MANUEL LEZCANO
Twice Grammy-nominated composer and guitarist José Manuel Lezcano has composed many works for solo guitar, guitar in chamber music, and concertos for solo guitar and guitar with wind instruments. He has been described as an "excellent guitarist and imaginative composer" by Fanfare magazine (2012). His work has been performed and/or recorded by leading musicians including William Bennett, Stephen Aron, Antigoni Goni, Brett Deubner, Alturas Duo, Duo Con-trastes, Melinda Toth, and Maestra Joanne Falletta conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic. Jose has performed his solo concerti with orchestras such as the North-South Consonance Orchestra of New York City, the Orquesta Nacional del Peru, Orquesta Nacional del Ecuador, Orquesta Juvenil del Ecuador, Orquesta de Tolima (Ibague, Colombia), Orquesta de Solistas de la Habana (Cuba), and with the Keene Chamber Orchestra where he resides. Dr. Lezcano's works are published by Alry, Mundoarts, and Sheetmusic.com, and he is a member of ASCAP.
Recent premieres include a solo recital at the Identidades International Festival (Havana, February 2016), where he played his second Double concerto for flute, guitar and strings (“Sojourners”) at the Basilica Menor de San Fransisco de Asisi, with Antipe di Stella, and Ivan Valiente conducting the Orquesta Solistas de la Habana; and the New York premiere of his “Postcards” for flute and piano at the Spectrum NYC Composers Now Festival, with Lisa Hansen and Max Lifchitz (2/28/16). In 2013 he served as Artist in Residence at the Studios of Key West where he completed a commission for the Duo Amaral of Baldwin-Wallace College. His completed Key West Suite for two guitars can be heard on youtube. He also performed a concert of his solos and songs with Key West singer Melody Cooper and appeared for the third time with Music in Miami (July 2013), presenting a concert of his original works, including the Florida premiere of his Viola Concerto. Among most recent commissions, "Mojito, Guitarra, Flauta, Habano, y Cuerdas," was recently premiered in July 2014 at the Music in Miami Chamber Music Series (musicinmiami.net). Other 2014 performances include the Cuban premiere of his "Poemas Concertantes," with Antipe de Stella, flute; Galy Martin, guitar; and the Festival Orchestra, at the 27th Festival of Contemporary Music in Havana Cuba, in November 2014. Recent commissions and premieres include Fantasia Latina for guitar and harp, composed for Franziska Huhn and premiered by Jose and Franziska at the 2015 Centro del Mundo Festival in Quito, Ecuador; and "Canciones de Ausencia" for mezzo and guitar, for the Barcelona Festival of Song, accompanying Patricia Caicedo, mezzo and collaborator (as lyricist); and "Mojito, Guitar, & String Quartet," premiered with the Portland (ME) Chamber Music Festival, and in Portsmouth, NH, for the Athaneum Society Concert Series.
Jose serves as Professor of Music at Keene State College (NH) where he coordinates the guitar program, conducts the KSC Guitar Orchestra and KSC Latin American Ensemble, and teaches a thriving studio of talented young guitarists. Dr. Lezcano’s guitar students have been frequent winners of the Department’s and College’s highest awards and scholarships, and members of the Guitar Orchestra under his direction have given concerts in Ecuador, New York City, and multiple appearances at the Boston Guitar Society Festivals. He also curates a biannual Guitar Festival at KSC featuring concerts and clinics by guest artists and faculty musicians, and attended by regional high school guitarists and their teachers. He was also honored by Keene State with its award for “Distinguished Faculty Research and Scholarship.” He recently received a 2016 Ewing Arts Award from the Keene Sentinel, in recognition of his international performing, composing, and teaching career, and contributions to the Arts in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire