HAGERSTOWN, MD >> Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin will take center stage April 11 and 12 as soloist with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of "Affinity: Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra," written especially for her by noted jazz and rock musician, Chris Brubeck.
The final Masterworks concerts of the MSO's 33rd season will begin at 8 p.m. April 11 and 3 p.m. April 12, in Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St.
Acclaimed for her extraordinary lyricism, technique, and versatility, multiple Grammy Award winner Isbin has been hailed as "the pre-eminent guitarist of our time." Her win in 2001 for "Best Instrumental Soloist Performance" made her the first classical guitarist to receive a Grammy in 28 years. She is also the winner of Guitar Player magazine's "Best Classical Guitarist" award.
Isbin has appeared as soloist with over 170 orchestras and has given sold-out performances in the world's finest concert halls. Her catalog of over 25 recordings — from Baroque, Spanish/Latin, and 20th Century to crossover and jazz infusions — reflects remarkable versatility. Her latest recording, "Sharon Isbin & Friends," became a No. 1 bestseller on Amazon.com, and includes guest rock/jazz guitarists Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Nancy Wilson (Heart), Stanley Jordan and Romero Lubambo.
She is a frequent guest on national radio programs including "All Things Considered" and Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion." She has also performed, in concert, at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama. She is the author of the "Classical Guitar Answer Book" and is director of guitar departments at the Aspen Music Festival and The Juilliard School (which she created in 1989, becoming the first and only guitar instructor in the institution's 100-year anniversary).
Chris Brubeck first hit the music scene as an innovative rock and jazz musician, eventually recording and performing with his dad, the legendary Dave Brubeck. He plays bass, trombone, piano, guitar, sings, and has earned international attention as composer, performer, and leader of his groups, The Brubeck Brothers Quartet and Triple Play.
"'Affinity' possesses an international stylistic flair with sounds that reflect the rhythms and harmonies of South America, the Middle East, Iberian Peninsula, and America," said Brubeck. This is a 'tour de force' for a truly exceptional guitarist."
All ticket holders may attend Prelude an hour before each concert. Music director Elizabeth Schulze and the guest artists share information on featured composers and their works.
Tickets range from $15 to $50 and are available online at tickets.marylandsymphony.org or by calling (301) 797-4000. Students through grade 12 are admitted free.