|Robert Nathanson||Classical guitar|
Although each performer has established solo careers, Frank Bongiorno and Robert Nathanson have performed as a duo since their debut performance at the Tenth World Saxophone Congress in Pesaro, Italy in 1992. Frequently invited to perform at saxophone, guitar, and composer conferences, the duo has also toured throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, with performances in Berlin, Valencia and Tarragona (Spain), Lubjiana (Slovenia), Montreal, San Francisco and Chicago.
As champions of new music, the Ryoanji Duo has commissioned award-winning composers such as David Kechley, Marilyn Shrude, Jing Jing Luo, Daniel Worley, Ernesto Garc'a de León, and others to write for this unique chamber group. In addition, in their searching to further expand the repertoire for the duo, they have transcribed and published select well-known 'classics' by Mozart, Handel, Villa-Lobos, Ravel, Fauré and other significant composers of the past.
They have collaborated on two recordings, and have released a duo CD of new music for saxophone and guitar written for them on the Liscio Recordings label entitled "Images". (http://www.lisciorecordings.com).
Both are currently on the faculty in the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where they teach saxophone and classical guitar respectively, among other courses.
Points of Departure - Five Pieces for Guitar and Saxophone - David Kechley
Prologue and Dramatic Exposition
Chorale, Cadenza and Slow Dance
Epilogue and Lyric Recapitulation
While the combination of saxophone and guitar is innovative in itself, the instrumentation has slowly become a viable medium for both performer and composer in recent years. These works are a result of a growing interest in this medium, due in part to the innovative and entrepreneurship activities of the Duo that have not only created a world-wide genre of saxophone and guitar music, but has also allowed these works to be commissioned and subsequently recorded for posterity.