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   James Baur - Avanti Duo - Chicago

About The Artist

Avanti Duo > Bio of James Baur

James Baur is part of a musical family: his father is a composer, his mother a flutist. Born in 1976, he was constantly exposed to a variety of musical styles. After beginning his musical studies on the violin, he turned his attention to the guitar at the age of 12. Throughout high school in Memphis, Tennessee he studied with the prominent guitarist Lily Afshar.

In 1999 he received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Northwestern University, under the direction of Anne Waller. While at Northwestern, he was selected to perform in the masterclasses of Oscar Ghiglia, Pepe Romero, Manuel Barrueco, Paul O'Dette and Scott Tenant. He is currently finishing his Doctorate of Music in Guitar Performance at Northwestern.

He was awarded First Prize in Guitar in the 1998 Society of American Musicians Competition. In 2000 he was selected to perform on both the Chicago Classical Guitar Society's Local Artist Showcase and The Friends of the Windows Second Saturday Concert Series, on which he was invited to perform again in 2001. Recent performances include appearances on concert series at Sherwood Conservatory of Music, the Northbrook Public Library, and The Ukranian Institute of Modern Art with the MAVerick ensemble. In 2005 he performed on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series at the Cultural Center in Chicago; the performance was simulcast on WFMT 98.7FM.

In February 2001 he premiered his father John Baur's Etudes for Guitar and Songs of Love for Soprano and Guitar at the Imagine Festival in Memphis, Tennessee, and has performed with Ensemble Noamnesia and Northwestern University's Contemporary Music Ensemble. In April 2003 he gave World Premiere performances for Chicago composers Bjorn Berkhout and Robert McDonald. In November 2003, he played the electric guitar in Virgil Moorefield's ensemble work Things You Must do to Get into Heaven. In March 2004 he performed "fa/sil" by Bjorn Berkhout at the New Music Festival at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois.

Recent concert programs include "A History of the Guitar: The Twentieth Century," a series of 4 concerts chronologically exploring significant works from the guitar's repertoire. He is also a member of The Avanti Duo, a flute and guitar duo with flutist Kim Sopata. His current projects include a series of concerts exploring the works of Chicago composers, and a new CD of works by John Dowland, Maurice Ohana, Sergio Assad, and John Anthony Lennon. His most recent CD release features Benjamin Britten's Nocturnal after John Dowland, J.K. Mertz's Elegie, and Mauro Giuliani's La Rossiniana, Op. 119.

Also active as a teacher, he is on the faculty of Lake Forest College, The Suzuki-Orff School for Young Musicians, The Lake Forest Symphony Music School, and the Music Institute of Chicago.


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