Oltman Guitar Duo’s phenomenal musicianship places them solidly at
the top of their field. Their innovative programming, matchless technique and
ensemble precision, combined with their commitment to expanding the repertoire for guitar duo make them a stand-out chamber ensemble in every way.
Newman and Oltman’s concert tours have taken them to world cultural capitals and premiere venues across five continents. Recent highlights include performances in the United States and Asia, major capitals of Europe, South America, South Africa, Canada, the Caribbean and the South Pacific, with performances at Carnegie Hall, aboard the Queen
Elizabeth II, at Caramoor and at the Grand Canyon, among other locales. The Duo has demonstrated extraordinary stylistic breadth in their collaborations with such diverse artists as author Frank McCourt (“Angela’s Ashes”), composer/conductor Marvin Hamlisch and the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, violinist Arnold Steinhardt, fiddler Eileen Ivers, and numerous string quartets including ETHEL, Calder, Daedalus and Turtle Island.
Upcoming performances for 2010 will include collaborations with violinist T
imothy Fain at the Raritan River Music Festival, flutist Clare Hoffman and bandoneon virtuoso Daniel Binelli at the Grand Canyon Music Festival, and the New York premiere of Repentance by Sofia Gubaidulina (for three guitars, cello and bass) at the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes. The Duo will also perform concerts and master classes at the Iserlohn International Festival in Germany and at the International Music Festival F. Sor in Bogota, Colombia.
Through their groundbreaking New Music Commissioning Program, Newman & Oltman have built a unique repertoire of works for two guitars by leading and emerging composers such as Paul Moravec, Augusta Reed Thomas, Lowell Liebermann, Dušan Bogdanović and Roberto Sierra. The duo’s latest CD, Music from Raritan River (MSR Classics 1298), which was hailed by Fanfare Magazine as “top notch” and “a winner all around”, features a collection of world premieres commissioned by the duo over the past decade.
Their artistry has also been captured on nearly a dozen other acclaimed recordings, including Songs of Spain (BMG), Laments and Dances: Music from the Folk Traditions (Music Masters) with the Turtle Island Quartet, Sally Rogers and Jay Unger, Tango Suite! Romance for Two Guitars (Music Masters) and Christmas Pastorale: 600 Years of Carols, Chorales, Preludes and Pastorales on Two Guitars (Musical Heritage Society). Their recordings uniformly garner critical praise: “A reference standard” (Billboard), “Their duet recordings reveal a finely blended sound and true unity of timbre and style” (The New York Times), “…beautifully realized performances” (Guitar Player Magazine).
Newman & Oltman’s contributions to the world of music have been recognized by grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and other national and international organizations, including the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.
The Duo has served as ensemble-in-residence at New York’s Mannes College of Music since 1987, and has recently been featured artists-in-residence at Cornell University, University of Puerto Rico, and Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. Michael and Laura are founders and artistic directors of the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes, which takes place every summer in New York City (www.mannes.edu/guitar). They also are founders and music directors of New Jersey’s Raritan River Concerts and the Raritan River Music Festival (www.RaritanRiverMusic.org).
Michael Newman serves on the faculty of Mannes College. Laura Oltman serves on the faculties of Princeton University and Lafayette College. More information, including the latest on the duo’s schedule of appearances, is available on their website, www.guitarduo.com.