Classical Minds Guitar Festival Inc.
Valérie Hartzell, founder, 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, U.S. syndicated radio show, Classical Guitar Alive! and on the BBC Radio in the UK. She has been featured in several guitar magazines and newspapers including Bedfordshire The Oracle (UK), Bedfordshire on Sunday (UK), Anchorage Daily News (Alaska, USA), Warrington Guardian (UK), Soundboard Magazine (US), Classical Guitar Magazine (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 2010 ChamberArt Music Festival in Madrid, Spain, the Pennsylvania Academy of Music Festival where she shared the stage with Eliot Fisk, Guitaromania in Agen, France, at the Annual Classical Guitar Fall Festival in Oneonta, NY, at the Menil Community Arts Festival Performance at the Rothko Chapel in Houston and at the Latitude Festival in England on the BBC Introducing Stage (first classical musician to perform at this festival and was chosen out of 117 musicians on the short list by BBC Radio 3).
Hartzell has been featured as a guest soloist for the New York City Classical Guitar Society, the Grand Canyon Guitar Society, the Performing Arts Society of Kenai, Alaska, the Liverpool Guitar Society (UK), the North Wales Guitar Circle (UK), the Oxford Guitar Society (UK), at Arizona State University, at Svenska Margaretakyrkan in Oslo, Norway, at University of Alaska at Anchorage, at Peck School of the Arts (University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin), Clare Hall at Cambridge University (UK), and Holywell Room at Oxford University (UK). In spring 2016, she gave an eleven-concert tour of Alaska as part of Duo Amiche (with mezzo-soprano & pianist, Tamara McCoy) and an seven-concert tour of England, including a London debut.
Hartzell has also performed with studio members of the Houston Grand Opera at the Rienzi Recital Series, Fantasia para un getilhombre by Joaquin Rodrigo with the Kingwood Pops Orchestra and Carols of the Southwest by Conrad Susa with the Houston Chamber Choir.
She is a 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.
Hartzell has a Bachelor’s from Peabody Conservatory where she studied with Manuel Barrueco on scholarship and a Master’s Degree from Radford University in Virginia where she was awarded a Graduate Teaching Fellowship.
She has two recordings; Ex Tenebris Lux, a solo project and Presti, an ensemble project, which were both recorded at the Houston Public Media studios in Houston.
Currently, she lives in Bedfordshire where she maintains an active concert career both as a soloist and as a chamber musician while maintaining a private guitar studio. She is the Musical Director and Conductor of the Cambridge Guitar Orchestra (UK). Hartzell is the owner of Classical Minds and is looking forward to being part of CM as both an observer and as a future guest artist.
Board of Directors
Jay Kacherski, Artistic Director
Nadene Crain – President
John Farraro – Vice President
Eddie Healy, Education Director
Greg Hendrickson – Corporate Secretary
James D. Crain – Treasurer
Andrea Ricci Cannon – Outreach Director
Angelina Fonseca – Communications Director