Classical guitar concert for Celebration of Sharing

Published 01 October 2010

powisThe virtuoso classical guitarist Simon Powis will give a concert on Sunday 10 October in Armidale to raise funds for two local causes: Paws Up, and Sarah McFarlane-Eagle in support of SANE Australia.

The concert is part of the University of New England’s annual program of fund-raising activities known as Celebration of Sharing.

Simon Powis (pictured here), who was born in Sydney and is now based in the United States, is on a national concert tour of Australia. His Armidale concert will start at 3 pm in Our Lady of the Angels Ursuline Chapel on the corner of Jessie and Barney Streets, and will feature masterworks by Albéniz, J.S. Bach, Domenico Scarlatti, Joaquín Turina, and the contemporary Australian composer Phillip Houghton. Simon Powis will be joined by the Armidale-based guitarists Steve Tafra and Steve Thorneycroft.

Simon completed his studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Raffaele Agostino and Greg Pikler in 2004.  He then travelled throughout Europe to study with world-renowned guitar virtuosos including Oscar Ghiglia, David Russell, Pavel Steidl and Aniello Desiderio.

He completed a Master’s degree program in music at Yale University on a full scholarship, and was then accepted as the first guitarist in over two decades to undertake doctoral studies at Yale, where he studied with Ben Verdery.

He has toured as a soloist throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, South America and Australia. A passion for chamber music has resulted in international collaborations with the Modigliani String Quartet and the violinist Ian Swenson. He has collaborated with a variety of composers to premiere more than 30 new works on the concert stage.

The event on October 10 will be the second fund-raising concert sponsored by UNE’s School of Arts and Faculty of Arts and Sciences for this year’s Celebration of Sharing. (The first concert, by the Sydney-based ensemble Charisma, raised $500.) Other fund-raising events in this year’s campaign have included an art auction (organised by UNE’s Marketing and Public Affairs Directorate) that raised $5,400, and an evening of entertainment from UNE’s own rock band, The Commendations, that was attended by about 115 University staff members and raised $1,200.

Paws Up is a program for disadvantaged boys who are given a Border Collie puppy to look after and train under supervision. Sarah McFarlane-Eagle is planning a 1,400-km walk across the mountainous terrain of Shikoku in Japan in 2011 in support of SANE Australia, a national charity working for a better life for people affected by mental illness.

Entry to the guitar concert is by donation. For more information please contact music@une.edu.au.