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Gitarrissima Quintet of Vienna

Wednesday 12th December 2018, 7:30pm

Clitheroe Royal Grammar School Sixth Form Centre, York St., Clitheroe, BB& 1ET

As this is our Christmas Concert there will be mince pies and glühwein at the interval

Gitarrissima – This unique ensemble of five young female guitarists from Bulgaria, Hungary, Russia, Japan and Austria have been enchanting a steadily growing international audience with their sensitive musical interplay and virtuoso performances. In 2014 they won 3rd Prize and the special Audience Prize at the 3rd International Competition for Guitar Ensembles in Aschaffenburg, Germany, impressive proof of their musicality when they excited both the professional jury and the audience with their performances. Thanks to their unusual line-up – the quintet consists of an octave guitar (Olga Dimitrova), three concert guitars (Réka Mihalovics-Zottmann, Antonina Ovchinnikova and Ayako Kaisho) and an acoustic bass guitar (Emily Smejkal) – and their original arrangements, the ensemble is breaking new ground in the genre of classical guitar music. They create a refreshingly original sound which gives a new dimension to popular classical works as well as less well known compositions. The Quintet is characterized by a wealth of musical colour and an orchestral density which is rarely heard. One former member of the ensemble, Krisztina Groß Dobó is responsible for almost all of the arrangements, which combine cleverly balanced voicings with an airy transparency and make ingenious use of the entire range of playing techniques including percussive effects.The current line-up inherits the legacy of Gitarrissima, which was founded and built with a devotion and love to the music and to the guitar over the past seventeen years. Soon after formation in the year 2001, they were Prize-winners at the International Guitar competition “Open Strings” 2002 in Osnabrük, Germany, which led them to performances in Germany, Austria, Taiwan, China, Luxemburg, Italy, England, Croatia, Hungary, Mexico, Estonia and Turkey.

Due to unprecedented demand


in order to guarantee seats for all our members
and those who have already purchased tickets.

Should you wish to be placed on a Waiting List
in case any tickets become available please email



George Bizet / Rodion Shchedrin ~  Carmen: Dance Arragonaise, Seguidilla, Intermezzo, Bolero

Tchaikovsky ~ Swan Lake:
Scene, Allegro moderato, Waltz

Dmitri Shostakovich ~ Tahiti Trot (Tea for Two), Jazz Suite No.1: Waltz No. 2

George Gershwin ~ Porgy and Bess: Potpourri

Aaron Copland ~ Rodeo: Hoe Down

Tchaikovsky ~ The Nutcracker: Dance of the Reed Pipes, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Chinese Dance, Russian Dance

Andrew York ~ African Suite: Bantu

Shingo Fujii ~  Rhapsody Japan: Furusato

Leó Weiner –  Divertimento No.1, Op.20:
Fox Dance

Petko Staynov  ~ Thracian Dances Suite: Rachenitsa

Antonina Ovchinnikova was born in Kamensk-Uralskiy, Russia. Completed Studies at the Music college “Gnesiny” by Alexander Vinitskiy and at the Academy of Music “Gnesiny” by Dmitriy Illarionov and Dmitry Murin. Since 2011 Concert Studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna by Prof. Alexander Swete. 2015 Bachelor Diploma with distinction. 2015 debut at Wiener Musikverein, Austria, as a participant of the concert “Students of MDW”. Participation in master classes with Goran Krivokapic, Marcin Dylla, Lucio Matarazzo, Zoran Dukic, Petrit Çeku, Michal Nagy and Sanel Redžic. Winner of a 3rd prize at the International Guitar Competition “Guitar Virtuosos” in St. Petersburg, Russia. Winner of a 3rd prize at the International Guitar Festival in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prize-winner of the Summer Academy “Allegro Vivo” in Horn, Austria. CD recording together with the quartet “Consonance” (VP Music Media, Italy). Performances in Russia, Estonia and Austria as a soloist, together with the “Kaluga Municipal Chamber Orchestra” under the direction of A. Levin, as well as a member of the Quartet “Consonance”. Member of Gitarrissima since 2014.

Ayako Kaisho was born in Osaka, Japan. First guitar lessons at the age of four with Hideaki Kimura, Noriyuki Masuda and Tomonori Arai. Since 2014 Concert studies by Prof. Ahmed Noor-Baluch and Prof. Alvaro Pierri at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Winner of three 1st Prizes at the National Guitar Competition in Japan (2006, 2007 and 2008). Winner of the 1st Prize and Grand Prix at the Guitar Competition “Daisuki Minna Atsumare” 2009. Winner of the 2nd Prize at the Nagoya Guitar Competition 2013. Member of Gitarrissima since 2014.

Maria Benischek is a founder member of Gitarrissima. Maria was born in Melk, Lower Austria. First guitar lessons at the age of 6. Preparatory course at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna at the age of 10. Successful participation in several competitions „Prima La Musica“. Classical Guitar Studies with Konrad Ragossnig and Eugenia Kanthou at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Numerous performances with different ensembles. 2005 – 2010 member of Gitarrissima (concert guitar) and again since 2018 (acoustic bass guitar). Performances with Gitarrissima throughout Europe, in Mexico and Taiwan. CD recording together with Gitarrissima („Tales & Dances” 2005). Tonight Maria replaces fellow Austrian Emily Smejkal who recently had twins. 

Olga Dimitrova was born in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. Completed Studies at the Music High School “Dobrin Petkov” in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Completed Concert Studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria.  Winner of a 2nd and two 1st Prizes at the International Guitar Competition in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (1994, 1995 and 1996). CD recording together with Maria Miteva (flute): “Danse et reves” (vision4media). Performances in Spain, Poland, Mexico, Germany, England, Wells, Belgium, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Croatia, Austria, Bulgaria and Estonia. Member of Gitarrissima from 2006 to 2010 and again since 2014.

Réka Mihalovics-Zottmann  was born in Budapest, Hungary. Completed Guitar Studies at the Béla Bartók Conservatory in Budapest with Prof. Sándor Szilvágyi. Completed Concert Studies, Instrumental and Vocal Pedagogy and Pop Guitar Studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna with Prof. Walter Würdinger, Prof. Brigitte Zaczek and Arnoldo Moreno. A member of the Charity Program of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation “Live Music Now”. Participation in master classes with József Eötvös, Ede Roth, Prof. Alexander Swete, Prof. Ahmed Baluch, Marcyn Dylla, Prof. Alvaro Pierri and Zoran Dukic. Performances together with the “Hungarian Guitar Orchestra” under the direction of Ferenc Fodor. Since 2006 numerous performances with Gitarrissima in Germany, Italy, England, Croatia, Austria, Taiwan, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Spain, Mexico and Estonia. Winner of one 1st and one 3rd Prize at the National Guitar Competition in Hungary. Winner of a 2nd Prize at the Conservatory Internal Competition in Hungary. Member of Gitarrissima since 2006.

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We have been promoting chamber music concerts by professional artists in the Ribble Valley since 1952.

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All concerts are on Wednesdays at 7:30pm and take place at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School Sixth Form Centre.