The Founders

The Founders

Pianist Emilia Vishnevetsky-Flegel and guitarist James Flegel both have extensive performing careers as soloists and chamber musicians, and, from 1996, as a piano-guitar duo.

We wanted to create concert programs for guitar and piano, and found very little original repertoire.  We looked toward the guitar concerto repertoire and found that in the published arrangements the piano part was simplified and did not reflect the beauty and depth of the original orchestral scores.

We looked to such great composers as Bach, Falla, Rodrigo, and Vivaldi as a source and inspiration for our transcriptions.

We also present original compositions of contemporary composers for guitar.

Emilia Vishnevetsky-Flegel

Emelia Vishnevetsky-Flegel

Emilia Vishnevetsky-Flegel was born in Lithuania, on the Baltic Sea. She graduated from Samara (Russia) Music College with Honors. She continued her education in the renowned Saint Petersburg Conservatory under the tutelage of the most eminent musicians of Russia: pianists Nadezhda Golubovskaya and Vladimir Nielsen; chamber music under Tamara Fiedler; and collaborated with Natalya Arzumanova, Ilya Musin, and Valery Gergiev. She earned Masters degrees in solo piano performance, chamber music, accompanying, and pedagogy.

After graduating with the highest honors, she followed the path of a performing artist by accepting a position of concert pianist/chamber musician with the Samara State Philharmonic for eleven years, where she was awarded the prestigious Artist Diploma. Along with solo performances and playing with orchestras, she collaborated with different instrumentalists, opera singers. She also co-produced programs in different musical theater genres, such as Poulenc’s La voix humaine, and was featured in national radio and television broadcasts in programs of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Chopin. In addition to her success as a performer, she was praised for her outstanding musical abilities as an arranger, improviser and collaborator.

After moving to the U.S., she appeared as a recitalist for The Schubert Club, as a chamber music collaborator with Minnesota Orchestra members, and as a soloist with the Minnesota Sinfonia. She coached and accompanied singers, including Elizabeth Knighton-Printy, soprano (Shostakovich Symphony 14), who appeared with the New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, the Washington Opera, St. Louis Opera, and the Minnesota Opera. Emilia Vishnevetsky-Flegel also collaborated with Malin Fritz-Walrod (Mussorsgky, Tchaikovsky), who appeared with the Metropolitan Opera. She worked as a coach and accompanist for the string and voice faculty of the University of Minnesota. She also worked at Bowdoin International Summer Music Festival as a coach/accompanist and performer in collaboration with famous violin/viola professors Almita and Roland Vamos’ students, such as Rachel Barton Pine and Jennifer Koh.

Throughout her professional life, she has revealed her talent and unique ability to enrich the musical expression by re-arranging the existing score, even transposing at sight or by ears, whether it’s a baroque concerto or popular repertoire. She has maintained a private teaching and coaching studio, training piano students and teachers, and coaching and accompanying singers and instrumentalists. Many of her students have followed professional music paths, continuing their education at the Lawrence Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, and Conservatoire de Paris.

James Flegel

James Flegel

Classical Guitar James Frederick Flegel was born in Minnesota, and earned Bachelor’s degrees in both Music and Psychology from St. Olaf College, where he studied classical guitar and renaissance lute. He earned a Master’s degree in Composition from the University of Minnesota, where he studied composition, counterpoint, orchestration, and analysis under renowned professors Dominick Argento, Michael Cherlin, and Paul Fetler. He earned a Master’s degree and his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in classical guitar performance, studying under Jeffrey Van, with additional studies under Robert Guthrie.

He has taught at Carleton College, Macalester College, the University of Minnesota School of Music, and is currently on the faculty of the University of Minnesota-Morris. He also teaches guitar at the MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis, where he specializes in Suzuki Guitar.

Dr. Flegel is known for his exquisite artistry as a performer and for his passion, insight, and dedication as a teacher.  He has won praise for his rare musicality and for the depth of his expression. He has performed, taught, and adjudicated competitions throughout the United States.  In 2011 he released a solo CD, Music of Spain and Latin America – available through this website.

Some of his highlights as a performer include collaborating with members of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra to perform in a festival of Elliott Carter’s music, performances of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, and performances, as soloist, of guitar concerti by Rodrigo, Ponce, and Vivaldi.  He has performed extensively in guitar/piano duo with Emilia Vishnevetsky-Flegel, playing works by Bach, Vivaldi, Giuliani, Falla, Rodrigo, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Ponce.  As a flamenco guitarist, he has performed as a soloist, in guitar duos, and as an accompanist for full dance ensembles.  He has also performed with string and chamber ensembles, with many choirs, with guitar ensembles, and has collaborated in duos with voice, flute, clarinet, violin, and guitar.

As a composer and arranger he has written for guitar, chamber winds, string orchestra and string quartet, voice, choir, and guitar ensembles.  His arrangements include string quartets, solo guitar, piano and guitar duo, and guitar ensembles.