Brazil and Beyond:
Enchanting Viola and Guitar Duo
Melding the rich tonal beauty of classical guitar, viola, and violin, Hilary Field and Gwen Franz offer an evocative palette of music that transcends generations and crosses musical boundaries. The lyrical beauty of this music spans from Brazil to Bach, from the elegance of Baroque suites and sonatas, to the colorful and exciting rhythms of Latin and Afro-Brazilian sambas, choros, and tangos.
Read the reviews from their performance at Festival Entrecuerdas in Chile!
Hilary Field, classical guitarist, is a past winner of the Northwest Young Artist Series Competition and was the first guitarist to win the Ladies Musical Club Soloist Competition. Hilary has held faculty positions as the head of the Guitar department at Seattle Pacific University and Pacific Lutheran University. Hilary's debut recording, Music of Spain and Latin America, was an award winner for Classical Album of the Year by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors. Her other award winning recordings include Ballad Stories, Siente, and Cantilena. Hilary is currently working on a new CD, featuring premiere classical guitar recordings.
Gwen Franz has been an active classical violist and violinist in the Seattle area for many years as a chamber and studio musician. A regular extra player with the Seattle Symphony and the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestras, she also was a member of the Northwest Sinfonietta for six years and a concerto soloist with the Bremerton Symphony. Her extensive work in violin and viola include advanced degree studies at Indiana University, the University of Evansville, Michigan State University, and the University of Washington. Gwen has also recently been performing in other genres such as jazz and traditional world music with the string trio Douce Ambiance and Pearl Django.
From The KUOW Performance Studio: Preserving Brazil's Choro Heritage
The music of Brazil is rich, varied and an appealing mix of moods, melodies and rhythms reflecting the country's diverse population and geography. The sounds of European explorers, African immigrants and indigenous people are all part of Brazil's musical heritage. That variety draws musicians of all backgrounds and interests into Brazilian music.
That's the case with Seattle artist Gwen Franz — she plays violin and viola — and guitarist Hilary Field. They are presented this weekend by the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle in a concert on Saturday, October 1 at the Frye Art Museum. Gwen and Hilary stopped by the KUOW Performance Studio recently to play and talk about old and new Brazilian music that they are performing. Much of the music they play is in the Brazilian Choro, or street music, tradition. Gwen and Hilary play music composed in 2010 by the contemporary Brazilian composer Douglas Lora, and they perform works by Brazil's most famous composer, Heitor Villa–Lobos.
Gwen Franz and Hilary Field speak with KUOW's Dave Beck.
Hilary Field and Gwen Franz also perform with vocalist Patrice O'Neill, known throughout the Pacific Northwest for her beautiful voice and personal songwriting style, as well as her work with the popular group Uncle Bonsai. Her wonderfully expressive vocals are featured on her debut solo release, Elusive, which offers original songs that present an extraordinary view of an artist at the peak of her craft. Victory Music Review has praised her "...expressive, yet delicate phrasing"; Dan Roberts wrote about "...a voice so pure and sweet that it could melt rock..."; and Pandemonium reviewer Laura Horton said "Patrice's voice is that of an angel - ; it defines beauty, and demands your attention." Patrice and Hilary's two CDs of night songs and lullabies, Cantilena and Siente, won numerous awards, including Parents' Choice Gold Medals, the American Library Association Notable Recordings Award, and was chosen as one of the ten best children's CDs of 2010 by amazon.com.