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Since first appearing in the early 16th century, the guitar has been an integral part of European classical music traditions, and guitar composers should be considered innovators who had a strong hand in the development of European art music. Join us as Karl explores the depth of music written for the guitar, and illuminates the role that the guitar and its composers played in the culture of classical music.
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Karl Wohlwend performs across North America, Europe, and Asia, playing guitar in various styles and settings. The guitar’s greatest strength in its versatility, and he strives to do it all: classical concert halls, rock ‘n roll, musical theater pit orchestras, flamenco tablao, jazz clubs, and Irish pubs. He holds a master’s degree in classical guitar performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with John Holmquist. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of South Carolina, where he studied with Christopher Berg. Wohlwend served on the faculties of The Ohio State University, Capital University, Otterbein University, and Ohio Wesleyan University. He coordinated the jazz/improvisation program for the Chamber Music Connection, and served on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s Classical Guitar Workshop for twenty years. Wohlwend recently accompanied mandolinist, Carlos Aonzo, completed a week-long residency with New York’s avant-garde ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, toured with Grammy-winning countertenor, Ian Howell including an appearance on Ravinia’s Rising Stars series, performed with the Flamenco Company of Columbus at the Chautauqua Festival and with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and played with clarinet legend Richard Stolzman and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra on stage and for their debut recording, Ragomania. He was twice featured as concerto soloist with the Westerville Symphony Orchestra, most recently in 2019 for the rarely-performed Concierto del Sur of Manuel Ponce. Wohlwend performs frequently as a freelance artist, teaches privately around central Ohio, and builds custom tube guitar amplifiers through his own business, The People’s Amplifier. The Outer Banks (NC) Forum for the Lively Arts hailed his “extraordinary talent,” and the Washington, DC Guitar Society praised his “command of technique, beautiful tone, and sensitive musicianship.” Wohlwend appears on dozens of recordings, including eight CDs with the Irish bands Knot Fibb’n, Two2Many, and Dogwood Road. His second solo CD, Out of Italy, features the only recording of M.A. Zani de Ferranti’s opus 11 Capricci, and his project of 5-course baroque guitar music, Passacaglie, is the first-ever recording of the entire 90-minute cycle of the 24 passacaglias from Michele Angiol Bartolotti’s 1640 publication. He also recorded with lauded flutist, Kimberlee Goodman, in the EOS Duo, premiering Garrett Ian Shatzer’s The Frame. With Stanley Yates, he recorded two volumes of Guitaromanie, including premier recordings of arrangements and compositions by notable 19th century composer Ferdinando Carulli.