March 9, 2021
Guitar Faculty Jason Vieaux Collaborates with Pat Metheny
CIM guitar department head and alumnus Jason Vieaux (BM ’95, Holmquist) is featured on a new album by acclaimed US jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny. This work, entitled Road to the Sun, was released on Friday, March 5, 2021, by Modern Recordings/BMG and is an exceptional collaboration between Metheny, Vieaux and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.
Metheny’s compositional style, which at its core highlights the power of melody, is on full display in this unique fusion of the classical and jazz guitar worlds. One of the two original compositions on the album is Four Paths of Light, a four-movement through-composed work written “specifically with Jason [Vieaux] in mind,” says Metheny. He adds: “I have followed the classical guitar world with interest, and from the first moment I heard Jason, he has been one of my favorite musicians.”
This project holds a strong significance for Vieaux in more ways than one—Metheny has been an inspiration to Vieaux’s playing for decades. “It was kind of a dream of mine to work with Pat,” says Vieaux. “Even though I know so many of [his] improvised solos by heart, the compositional aspect of his music was always the biggest factor.”
Said to be “among the elite of today’s classical guitarists” (Gramophone), Vieaux is described by NPR as “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.” Among his extensive discography is the 2015 Grammy-winning album for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, Play.
Vieaux recently made his debuts for Domaine-Forget Festival, Carmel Bach Festival and Wolf Trap, and made returns to San Francisco Performances, Caramoor, Ravinia and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Other recent venues include the National Gallery of Art, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the 92Y, Seoul Arts Center and Shanghai Concert Hall. Vieaux has performed as soloist with over 100 orchestras, including Cleveland, Toronto, Houston, Nashville and Orchestra of St. Luke’s.
Vieaux performed the live recording of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Guitar Concerto with the Nashville Symphony in 2019 (Naxos). His passion for new music has also fostered recent premieres from Jeff Beal (House of Cards Symphony, BIS, 2017), Avner Dorman, Vivian Fung, Mark Mancina, Dan Visconti and many more. Slated for summer 2021 release is a new solo Bach recording on Azica.
Vieaux’s multiple appearances over the years with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music@Menlo, Strings Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival and more have forged his reputation as a top chamber musician. Regular collaborators include the Escher String Quartet, Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, and accordion/bandoneon virtuoso Julien Labro.
As a teacher, Vieaux has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music for 25 years and co-founded the guitar department at the Curtis Institute of Music in 2011. His online guitar school has subscribers from over 30 countries.
Road to the Sun is available now on double-vinyl, CD and all digital formats at modernrecordings.de/roadtothesun.
Written by first-year master’s student Abigayle Williams, who studies with Mary Schiller.