Bill Kanengiser - USA
Recognized as one of America’s most brilliant guitarists, William Kanengiser has developed a unique repertoire for his instrument, ranging from dazzling arrangements of Mozart, Handel, and Bartók to his innovative excursions into the music of Eastern Europe and the Caribbean.
Praised by the Los Angeles Times for his “dizzying execution” and “exceeding vitality and warmth,” Mr. Kanengiser has performed in recital and as guest soloist with orchestras in virtually every major American city, ranging from New York City’s Carnegie Hall to San Francisco’s Herbst Theater, as well as throughout Canada, Europe, and Asia.
Through unusual commissions and a creative approach to transcription, Mr. Kanengiser has won recognition for expanding the repertory beyond the staples of guitar literature. He has performed and recorded works written for him by composers as diverse as Dusan Bogdanovich, Ian Krouse, and Brian Head, and has won consistent praise for his own transcriptions of scores from the traditional repertory, most notably Mozart’s Piano Sonata in A major (featuring the “Rondo Alla Turka”), which he prepared for the Columbia Pictures release, Crossroads, in which he was Ralph Macchio’s guitar double and coach. Many of these arrangements have been published by GSP, Gendai Guitar, and Doberman Editions.
As a founding member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, William Kanengiser tours extensively throughout North America, Asia, and Europe, and has recorded for the GHA, Delos, and Sony Classical labels. LAGQ currently records exclusively for Telarc. Their 2001 Telarc release, LAGQ: Latin, was nominated for a Grammy, and their follow-up recording LAGQ’s Guitar Heroes won a Grammy for Best Classical Crossover Album of 2004. The latest release, Spin, features an original composition by Mr. Kanengiser for four guitars, “Turn to the Sea.” LAGQ recently released a live concert DVD for Mel Bay Publications, LAGQ LIVE!, and will record a CD of Brazilian music with jazz singer Luciana Souza in 2007.
Beyond his work with LAGQ, Mr. Kanengiser has performed chamber music at festivals and concerts with a wide range of noted artists and ensembles, including the Miami String Quartet, the Vermeer Quartet, flutist Marina Piccinini, pianist Mia Chung, violinist Maria Bachmann, and recorder artist Aldo Abreu.
Mr. Kanengiser won First Prize of the 1987 Concert Artists Guild Competition as well as major international competitions in Toronto (1981) and Paris (1983). The recipient of two Solo Recitalist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, he was also chosen as one of Musical America’s Outstanding Young Artists. A member of the guitar faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles since 1983, he has given master classes at conservatories and guitar festivals around the world. Born in Orange, New Jersey, Mr. Kanengiser studied at the University of Southern California, being named Outstanding Graduate of the School of Music upon the completion of both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. His principal teachers were Malcolm Hamilton, Pepe Romero, and James F. Smith.