"endlessly rewarding release from one of the contemporary guitar's most gifted stars"
-Paul Fowles, CLASSICAL GUITAR (U.K)
"Once in a great while, a guitar CD stands apart with sheer creativity and musicality"
-Jim McCutcheon, SOUNDBOARD
"If you want to push the envelope, challenge convention, and strike down stereotypes, the world of classical guitar isn't the most likely place to start. The tradition is rather strictly adhered to and the rules that have been laid out aren't meant to be bent or broken. Michael Nicolella seems intent on doing exactly that, however, and his latest release, Shard [Gale], is an exciting textbook on how to honor classical tradition and kick it in the ass at the same time."
-Matt Blackett, FRETS
" an innovative and superb CD"
-Francois Nicolas, GUITARE CLASSIQUE (France)
Classical guitarist Michael Nicolella's new CD of contemporary cutting-edge works for classical and electric guitar entitled Shard. The CD features music by Steve Reich, Elliott Carter, Jacob ter Veldhuis, Joshua Kohl, Christopher DeLaurenti, David Mesler and Michael Nicolella. The recording alternates works for solo classical guitar with pieces for guitar and orchestra, multi-tracked guitars and electric guitar. Highlights include Nicolella's own Guitar Concerto performed with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra led by conductor Anthony Spain; Jacob ter Veldhuis ground breaking, genre bending piece GRAB IT! for electric guitar and boombox; and Nicolella's 'orchestration' of Steve Reich's modern masterwork Electric Counterpoint for a plethora of varied electric and acoustic guitars.
Michael Nicolella is recognized as one of America's most innovative classical guitarists. He has received wide critical acclaim for his performances, recordings and compositions. Classical Guitar magazine recently referred to him as “one of the contemporary guitar’s most gifted stars”; while the Washington Post stated “Since the passing of Andres Segovia the guitar world has needed an advocate... perhaps Michael Nicolella is that person.”
A uniquely eclectic and versatile artist, Michael blurs the lines between musical styles and disciplines. He is part of a growing trend in classical music to revitalize the role of the composer/performer. As a concert artist he frequently programs his own works for guitar in solo, chamber and orchestral settings. Known for his creative programming, he has introduced electric guitar into his "classical" programs and extended the repertoire and audience of his instrument not only with his own compositions and transcriptions, but also by premiering and commissioning works by some of today's most exciting emerging composers.
Michael has performed with the Seattle Symphony, Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Ensemble Sospeso, odeonquartet, Seattle Choral Company and Charanga Danzon. As a performer and composer, he has received awards from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, 4Culture, Wisconsin Arts Board, Washington State Arts Commission, Seattle Arts Commission and was first prize winner of both the Portland and Northwest solo classical guitar competitions.
Michael is a graduate of Yale University, Berklee College of Music and the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy. He is on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.