Valérie Hartzell began her classical guitar studies on a half-size Ramirez at the age of three. At the age of six, she studied with maestro Alexandre Lagoya at the Académie Internationale d’Eté in Nice, France.
She has performed in Europe, Canada, the U.S. and has appeared on television in Nice, FR and Houston, TX. She has also been featured on National Public Radio in Texas and Alaska, the show “Women in Music” which is broadcast on CKWR, 98.5 FM Canada, American syndicated radio show, Classical Guitar Alive!, and on BBC Radio 3 on the show, In Tune. She has been featured in several guitar magazines and newspapers including The Times & Citizen (UK), The Bedfordshire Oracle (UK), Anchorage Daily News (USA), South Warrington News (UK), Warrington Guardian (UK), Ashbourne News Telegraph (UK), Soundboard Magazine (USA), Nice-Matin (FR), Classical Guitar Magazine (UK), Dronfield Eye (UK) and Gendai Magazine (Japan).
She has performed in over 30 festivals, including the Middle Tennessee State University Festival, the East Carolina University Competition and Festival in Greenville, NC, the ChamberArt Music Festival in Madrid, Spain, the Pennsylvania Academy of Music Festival sharing the stage with Eliot Fisk, Guitaromania in Agen, France, the Annual Classical Guitar Fall Festival in Oneonta, NY, and the Menil Community Arts Festival at the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. Most recently, she was the first and only classical musician selected to perform on the BBC Introducing Stage at the 2017 Latitude Festival.
In the UK, Valérie has been featured as a guest soloist for the Oxford Guitar Society, the Manchester Acoustic Guitar Society, the Liverpool Guitar Society, the Ealing Guitar Society of London, the North Wales Guitar Circle, Music on the Quantocks, The Mayfield Music Society, and in the U.S., she has performed for the New York City Classical Guitar Society, the Grand Canyon Guitar Society, the Performing Arts Society of Kenai, Alaska, the Troubadour Series at Wofford College, Triangle Guitar Society, at Arizona State University, Appalachian State University, Auburn University in Alabama, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Alaska at Anchorage, and Peck School of the Arts (Wisconsin).
In England she has performed in prestigious venues such as Warrington Parish Church of St. Elphin in Warrington, St Mary Magdalen in Geddington, the Holywell Room at Oxford University, Clare Hall at Cambridge University, and the 1901 Arts Club in London.
In Texas, Valérie has also performed with studio members of the Houston Grand Opera at the Rienzi Recital Series, Fantasia para un gentilhombre by Joaquin Rodrigo with the Kingwood Pops Orchestra, and Carols of the Southwest by Conrad Susa with the Houston Chamber Choir. Recently, she performed at the Taipei American School Arts Festival in Taiwan.
Additionally, she is an international prizewinner in 8 international competitions including 1st prizes at the 10th International Guitar Competition “Simone Salmaso” in Italy and at the Concours de Guitare Classique Heitor Villa-Lobos in France.
At the Peabody Conservatory, Valérie studied with Manuel Barrueco on scholarship earning her Bachelor of Music in 1997. She was awarded a Graduate Teaching Fellowship at Radford University and was placed as Adjunct Faculty while studying for her Master Degree in Arts, receiving it in May of 1999.
As a private instructor, her students have received scholarships to prominent universities, such as San Francisco Conservatory, University of Texas, Arizona State University, Texas State University, and University of Louisville. Many of her students have won national competitions or placed in international competitions such as the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America.
Her CD, Ex Tenebris Lux, recorded at the National Public Radio studios in Houston, was released through Soundset Recordings. Her second CD ‘Presti,’ an ensemble project, was also recorded at the NPR studios.
Currently, Valérie lives in Bedfordshire, England where she maintains an active concert career both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. She also started composing in the summer of 2018 and has written for solo guitar, duo guitar, guitar orchestra and for choir. She is the Musical Director and conductor to the Cambridge Guitar Orchestra and is the Artistic Director to the “Classical Minds” Guitar Festival held in Cambridgeshire
“Terrific! Flames licking at the guitar!” -BBC Radio 3
"Classical Minds" Faculty Artist, Daniela Rossi is a virtuoso classical guitarist from Argentina. She studied guitar with Eduardo González Velasco at the Conservatory of Bahía Blanca, her hometown, where she graduated in 2006. Since then she has also studied with Eduardo Isaac, Victor Villadangos, Graham Devine and Nigel North.
Currently based in Cambridge where she is also a private tutor, Daniela regularly performs in Latin America, Europe and the UK in solo recitals, duets and small ensembles. She has been guest artist at many festivals including London Guitar Festival at King’s Place, Segovia Guitar Week in Italy, Festival Ramon Noble in Mexico, and most recently the International Guitar Summit in London. Her orchestral debut was at the age of 21 in México, performing the "Concierto de Aranjuez" by Joaquín Rodrigo with the University of Hidalgo Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with the Bahía Blanca Symphony Orchestra in Argentina, the Chile Symphony Orchestra, and the Almeria City Orchestra in Spain. She has performed as a guest artist for the Whitstable Music Society Series, the Canterbury Society Series, The Sage Gateshead Newcastle, at the Mumford Theatre and St Paul’s Church in Cambridge.
Daniela is comfortable with music from all periods. She is particularly interested in the music of romantic composer Giulio Regondi, and has explored his language in depth over the last few years. As a result, she has just recorded a CD featuring Regondi’s works, including the etudes. Daniela also enjoys performing music by contemporary composers written for guitar, and worked on several new pieces commissioned by the International Guitar Foundation in London, such as Graham Lynch’s “Orpheus” for guitar and orchestra, giving the first concert performance at London’s Kings Place with the Newham Philharmonic.
She has a deep understanding of the music of her native Argentina, which she plays on the CD “Invierno Porteño” with her duet partner, Argentinean guitarist Sebastian Pompilio.
Daniela has won or placed in 16 competitions across South America and Europe, including First Prize in the XXXVI Luis Sigall International Music Competition held in Viña del Mar in Chile (2009), First Prize in the London International Guitar Competition (2015), third prize at the Concurso Internacional de Guitarra Julian Arcas in Spain (2015), and Second Prize in the Heinsberg Guitar Competition and Festival in Germany (2017).
Raymond Burley is one of Britain's most experienced guitarists having performed solo concerts, concertos, on film scores, radio, and television and in virtually every possible guitar ensemble combination.
As a soloist he has toured extensively throughout the UK, Europe, the USA, South America, Canada and the Far East, and has appeared many times at London's Wigmore Hall, the South Bank Centre's Purcell Room, and Birmingham's Symphony Hall. Raymond has been featured on BBC Radio, and worked with many of England's foremost orchestras including the BBC Symphony, the Philharmonia, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic.
Raymond has premièred many new works by composers that include Stephen Dodgson, Reginald Smith Brindle, John Duarte, Raymond Head, Edmundo Vasquez, Gilbert Biberian, Dudley Moore, Christopher Wright, Tom Eastwood, Colette Mourey, Mark Houghton, and Jerome de Bromhead.
For several years he performed and broadcast with harpsichordist Stephen Bell; many established composers were enthusiastic about the combination and wrote works for the duo, helping to create a more substantial repertory. He now performs with harpsichordist Richard Leigh Harris. As a chamber musician he has also performed with the Bochmann String Quartet, flautist Jennifer Stinton, and given mixed programmes of poetry and music with the late Dame Peggy Ashcroft. The most recent duo partnerships include Gordon Giltrap in the duo Double Vision, percussionist Keith Fairbairn and with virtuoso Portuguese violinist Emanuel Salvador.
Between 1988-95 Raymond worked in a duo with American guitarist Alice Artzt and – based in New York City – he was also a member of the Alice Artzt Trio. He has also performed and recorded with mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Fox, worked in guitar duos with John Mills, Gilbert Biberian, Gregg Nestor, John Feeley and the jazz guitarist John Etheridge; he is currently a member of the Rodrigo Guitar Trio. Shortly after its release, the trio's second CD, Danzas Fantasticas, was Henry Kelly's 'CD of the week' on Classic FM. This CD was released under the trio's former name, The New Pro Arte Guitar Trio.
He is also in great demand as a teacher and has given master-classes and directed guitar workshops, festivals and summer schools throughout the UK and in Dublin, Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Seattle, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Washington DC, New York, Princeton, Bremen, Bonn, Rotterdam and Lima.
Raymond has many guitar arrangements to his credit; the publishers include Schott, MSM, Southern Guitar Productions, RGT Publications, Lathkill and Corda (UK), Arpeggione (Switzerland), Durand (France), AIG (USA) and PWM (Poland). He has also edited a large number of music albums for Schott. Raymond is also a regular contributor to the bi monthly magazine Acoustic.
Mathew James has been playing classical guitar for over ten years. He began lessons at the age of fourteen in Lincoln with Rob Johns. Mathew went on to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, until he graduated in 2015 as a Bachelors of Music with honours. During his time at RWCMD, Mathew studied under John Mills, Graham Devine, Stephen Gordon, Helen Sanderson and Eleftheria Kotzia. Mathew has also performed in master classes with Gary Ryan, Chris Stell, Ian Watt, and Julian Byzantine.
Mathew has performed solo concerts across England and Wales, has performed live on BBC Radio Lincolnshire, and recently gave a lecture recital on 20th Century Cuban guitar music as part of Cambridge's Festival of Ideas. Mathew is also first chair for the Cambridge Guitar Orchestra under the baton of Valerie Hartzell. He has played several concerts with them featuring a range of ensemble works written specifically for the guitar orchestra and transcriptions. Mathew has also contributed his own arrangements to the orchestra’s repertoire. Mathew currently resides in central Cambridge where he teaches with Cambridgeshire Music and Hertfordshire Music Service and is the "Classical Minds" Festival Assistant.