Duo Tenebroso is excited to announce the release of their debut album "Portrait" on May 30, 2018, which features the World Premiere recording of "La Danza Grotesque" by American composer Alexander Liss. Interviews along with four tracks from the album were featured on NPR's program "Classical Guitar Alive!" on May 23, 2018. The album also features 7 new transcriptions of music by Spanish composer Víctor Carbajo as well as Domenico Scarlatti. Other music featured on the CD is music by Steve Reich, Sergio Assad, Érik Satie, and Antonio Vivaldi.
Having commissioned a guitar duo piece from the award-winning American composer Kristina Avila, Duo Tenebroso performed the World Premiere of "Destination: Dublin" at the Portland Classic Guitar Concert Series on May 18, 2018.
Duo Tenebroso is known for their warm musicality and singular interpretations. Member David Franzen has performed with renowned artists such as Angel Romero and the Columbia Symphony under Huw Edwards, the Oregon Symphony under Norman Leyden, the Siberian Chamber Orchestra under Alexei Ludmilin, the Guitar Foundation of America Festival, and the Montreal Jazz Festival. Member Kristen Waligora's music has been broadcast worldwide on BBC Radio's program "In Tune" as well as NPR's "Classical Guitar Alive!" which broadcasts on 250+ stations to reach over one million listeners each week.
The name Duo Tenebroso is inspired by the painting style of Tenebrism which employs extreme contrasts of dark and light, with darkness being the predominant feature to allow a spotlight on the subject. In much the same way, Duo Tenebroso strives to use the language of music to illuminate the spirit.
Having performed in such varied places as the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi to soloing at the Montreal Jazz Festival, David Franzen is known for his mesmerizing stage presence, lush tone, and deep and articulate performances. Mr. Franzen has toured throughout Italy, Germany, Central America, the United States, and Canada. One of the many highlights of his career occurred in 2011 when he joined master guitarist and icon Angel Romero in Joaquin Rodrigo's double guitar concerto the Madrigal with the Columbia Symphony.
David was the first-prize winner of the Northwest Guitar Festival Competition as well as becoming a semifinalist in the Guitar Foundation of America International Solo Guitar Competition. He also took first prize in the North Carolina School of the Arts concerto competition in Winston Salem, NC.
In 1991 he was honored to collaborate with the father of modern guitar pedagogy Aaron Shearer in the music interpretation section of the method book series, “Learning the Classical Guitar.” Mr. Franzen plays the examples and pieces on the accompanying recording published by Mel Bay.
Mr. Franzen has also performed as guest soloist with many symphonies including the Winston Salem Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the Olympia and Columbia Symphonies, and most recently with the Siberian Chamber Orchestra led by Alexei Ludmilin. In September 2001 he joined the Oregon Symphony Orchestra in a collaborative concert with Pepe and the Bottle Blondes where they performed original Latin songs he co-wrote with lead singer Pepe Raphael. Their single Rumba De Five Kilos was bought by Sony Digital and added into the compilation CD Hear Music, Volume Four and sold at Starbucks internationally along with their CD Late Night Betty. They were featured with artists such as Van Morrison, Beck, and Miles Davis.
David has an extensive background in ensemble work. His most recent collaboration is Duo Tenebroso with guitarist Kristen Waligora. He is also a former founding member of the critically acclaimed ensemble the Oregon Guitar Quartet which was featured at the 2014 Guitar Foundation of America in Los Angeles.
David Franzen has been on the music faculty at Oregon State University, Pacific University, Marylhurst University, and is currently on faculty at Portland State University.
Kristen is a multiple award-winning classical guitarist whose recording of "Vincent's Night" was broadcast worldwide on BBC Radio 3's program "In Tune" on April 20, 2018. The same recording was also featured on NPR's program "Classical Guitar Alive!" on April 1, 2018, which broadcasts on 250+ radio stations to reach over one million listeners each week. Ms. Waligora is known for possessing a crystalline technique that gives her the voice and palate to convey her heartfelt and elegant artistry. Her debut album "In the Night's Wood" featuring "Vincent's Night" by Krisitna Avila along with pieces by Ponce, Bach, Baden Powell, Brouwer, and James MacPherson, will launch this Fall 2018.
"I believe there is no instrument closer to the heart than the classical guitar. It's a unique instrument in the way it breathes and gives voice to life's quiet and ecstatic murmurings in an intimate and sacred way.
"For me, classical music is a means to understand and plumb the depths and emotions of what it means to be human. It's a shared universal consciousness given voice through my prism. This never ending striving and searching for a distillation and clarity is a means for me to connect with myself, the past, the universal, the individual, and the intimate. It's endlessly fascinating to me. There is a sense of the profound through this connection of doing and sharing.
"And it's you, the listener, who makes this connection complete and worthwhile."
Ms. Waligora has premiered many new works with a variety of groups including a performance in the World Premiere of the opera "Buck Jones" with a guitar part written especially for her by Jack Stamps. She also performed as a soloist with tenor Oliver Mercer on the opening night of the 2002 Bel Canto Northwest Festival and was a featured soloist with the Willamette Men’s Master Chorus under maestro Dr. Paul Klemme. Ms. Waligora performed as head soloist with the PSU Guitar Orchestra in the world premiere of Bryan Johanson’s "Concerto Grosso" as well as performing the first guitar part in the world premiere of Bryan Johanson’s "Little Suite for Guitar Orchestra" and "Toccata for Guitar Orchestra."
Ms. Waligora has a Bachelor of Music degree in classical guitar performance from Portland State University and works/eavesdrops as a court reporter.