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), 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 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, and at the Menil Community Arts Festival at the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. Most recently, she was the only classical musician selected to perform on the BBC Introducing Stage at the 2017 Latitude Festival.
Valérie 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 Oxford Guitar Society (UK), the Manchester Acoustic Guitar Society (UK), the Liverpool Guitar Society (UK), the Ealing Guitar Society of London (UK), the North Wales Guitar Circle (UK), the Troubadour Series at Wofford College, Triangle Guitar Society, at Arizona State University, Appalachian State, Auburn University in Alabama, University of Texas at Dallas, Svenska Margaretakyrkan in Oslo, Norway, University of Alaska at Anchorage, and Peck School of the Arts (University of Milwaukee-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.
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.
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’s Degree in 1997. She was awarded a Graduate Teaching Fellowship at Radford University and was placed as Adjunct Faculty while studying for her Master’s Degree in Music, receiving her performance degree 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 is the Musical Director and conductor to the Cambridge Guitar Orchestra and is the Artistic Director of the annual “Classical Mind” Guitar Festival which will be held in Cambridgeshire, England after 14 amazing years in Houston, Texas.
Valérie is currently under Noel Music Management. www.valeriehartzell.co.uk
“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).
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.