Master Classes

Liza Zoe

Evangelos Assimakopoulos

Evangelos & Liza

The superb concerts of Evangelos Assimakopoulos and his wife Liza Zoe in Europe, United States and Canada, have made them one of the most highly regarded duo guitarists in the world today.

Not only have the two Greek musicians been acclaimed by many newspapers of repute, including the New York times, Daily Telegraph, Paris Matin, Chicago Sun, El Sol de Mexico and Los Angeles Times, but they also earned the esteem of the great Andrés Segovia himself, who wrote of them: “Since Fate cruelly deprived us of Presti-Lagoya, I no longer had the pleasure of listening to any similar duo. But lately, when the talented Greek guitarists Evangelos and Liza played for me, I felt complete satisfaction and enjoyment. I cordially wish Evangelos and Liza to conquer the high esteem of the public as they have conquered mine!”

They both began their studies of the guitar in 1953 at the National Conservatory of Athens under Dimitris Fampas. After receiving first prizes “with excellence” upon graduating, they shared the first two prizes in the International Competition in Naples, Italy. For four consecutive periods they were awarded scholarships to study with the Presti-Lagoya duo in France and with Andrés Segovia in Spain. Shortly after, they became professors at the National Conservatory in Athens.

Since their arrival on the international scene in 1967, Evangelos and Liza have carried out extensive tours all over the world and given hundreds of recitals at some of the most famous concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall, le Théâtre de la Ville, the Lincoln Center and the Herodion. They have also performed for many radio and television stations (the BBC, Paris RTVF, Brussels, Madrid, Cologne, Berlin etc.) and taken part in major festivals in, among other places, New York, Boston, Antwerp, Rome, Amsterdam, Mexico and Athens. They usually appear as duo soloists with well known symphony orchestras such as those of Montreal, Michigan, Cincinnati and Birmingham, as well as teaching seminars and holding Master-classes at universities and academies overseas including The Juilliard School, the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, UCLA, Stony Brook University and Mannes College of Music.

Both Greek and foreign composers have written pieces especially for Evangelos and Liza; at the same time the two musicians have enriched a rather meagre guitar duo repertoire with transcriptions and arrangements for their own. They have produced several records and CDs of works for one or two guitars that are available on the EMI Classics label everywhere.

Also in their creative offer is evaluated the International Guitar Festival of Patras, one of the longest-lived institutions in the world, an institution that has been all these years a source of inspiration, encouragement and training for thousands of students of the instrument.

Finally, in their more than 60 years of teaching, both Lisa Zoi and Evangelos Asimakopoulos have created a school of distinguished guitarists who excel in Greece and abroad.

The breadth of their repertoire, their technical skill and rich interpretations, have earned an enthusiastic reception wherever they have performed, resulting to their wholehearted acceptance by the public as one of the “most exciting husband-and-wife virtuoso duos of today’s musicdom.”

Vojin Kocić

Vojin Kocić was born in 1990 in Smederevo/Serbia where he started playing the guitar at the age of 8. In Zurich he studied at the Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK) and obtained a Master of Arts degree with major in guitar under Prof. Anders Miolin and also a Master of Arts degree in music pedagogy. He received additional specializations from Maestro Oscar Ghiglia at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015 where he received Diploma d'Onore as the only guitarist who ever did it at this important academy.

Vojin Kocić maintains a very musical, expressive and at the same time virtuosic playing and has a repertoire from the Renaissance to the 21st century. Vojin Kocic belongs to the top of the international guitar scene and the critics also call him the "master of soft tones" (according to SRF).

In his career, Vojin Kocić has been awarded with over 50 recognitions to date, which include first places at high-ranking international guitar competitions, special awards, scholarships and certificates. Among others, in 2014 he won first prize at the Prix Credit Suisse Jeunes Solistes, in which soloists of all classical instruments participate, as well as prizes at the following competitions: 'Incontri Chitarristici di Gargnano, 'Ruggero Chiesa', International Guitar Festival and Competition in Heinsberg, Michele Pittaluga Guitar Competition in Alessandria.

Vojin Kocić recorded 2 CD's for NAXOS record label and has performed over 300 solo and chamber music concerts worldwide, including the recitals at renowned festivals such as Lucerne Festival, Verbier Festival, Guitar Virtuosos at Tchaikovsky Hall, Music Olympus in St. Petersburg, etc.

Since the fall semester of 2022 he bacame a guitar professor at the Zurich University of the Arts. He plays on guitar made by Jean Noel Rohe and uses D'Addario strings.

Anton Baranov

As a winner of 2013 Guitar Foundation of America Competition and more than 20 other prestigious contests around the globe, Russian guitarist Anton Baranov bas established himself as one of the leading guitarists of today.

His performances in a number of distinguished halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Mariinsky Concert Hall in St. Petersburg, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Centenario Hall in Beijing have been described by musical critics as "pure magic" (Cleveland Classical), and "manages to paint beautiful sound pictures of rich depth and color with his guitar." (The Guitar). Besides his concert activity Anton Baranov gives master-classes at McGill University in Montreal, South Vietnam Conservatory in Ho Chi Minh City, Estonian Academy Of Music And Theatre in Tallinn and other institutions.

Baranov's recordings include one album for Naxos Classical and a CD for Contrastes Records. Naxos release of Latin American Guitar Sonatas received American Classical Records Guide award as one of the best albums of 2014. His Contrastes Records album consists of Spanish guitar music and it's on the market since August 2014. The most recent recording 'White Nights serenades' released in August of 2019 by 'Fleur de son classics' and distributed worldwide by Naxos of America.

Anton Baranov was born in 1984 and started playing guitar at the age of ten. He completed his musical education at the oldest and most famous Russian school of music, the Saint-Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in 2010 and currently teaches at Mussorgsky music college. Mr. Baranov has been a D' Addario artist since 2013 and plays Max Cuker guitar.

Montenegrin Guitar Duo

The Montenegrin Guitar Duo consists of two eminent classical guitarists from Montenegro – Goran Krivokapić and Danijel Cerović.

The duo is frequently invited to prestigious international venues around the world, such as Saint Petersburg Philharmonia Hall in Russia, Manuel de Falla Hall in Madrid, and Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Presenters including Koblenz Guitar Festival, Festival Internacional de Musica y Danza de Granada, KotorArt Festival, Istanbul Classical Guitar Festival, Ohrid Summer Festival, Guittaras del Mundo (Argentina), Qinling Mountains International Guitar Festival, Shenyang International Guitar Festival and Daejeon International Guitar Festival regularly engage the Montenegrin Guitar Duo to give recitals, deliver lectures and masterclasses, and adjudicate important competitions. They also regularly perform concerti for two guitars, such as J. Rodrigo’s Concierto Madrigal.

The Duo has a large repertoire, comprising transcriptions of ancient music and original compositions written in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, with a special emphasis on contemporary music written for two guitars. Their two principal aims are to broaden the guitar repertoire and to further integrate the guitar into chamber music. Their education work has taken them to Toronto University and Montreal Conservatoire in Canada, Chapman and Metropolitan universities in the USA, Maastrich Conservatoire in the Netherlands and Tianjin University in China.

Their debut CD comprising pieces by C. Domeniconi, A. Piazzolla and D. Bogdanović was published by the Montenegrin Music Centre in 2013. In 2015, ‘Naxos’ released the first of two volumes of J. S. Bach’s English Suites, transcribed by the duo for two guitars.

Completing this unique project to transcribe and record the entire set of English Suites, Volume 2 was released in June 2018. The duo’s performances are always enthusiastically received both by their audiences and the press, and these historically-informed performances of their own two-guitar arrangements of J. S. Bach’s English Suites have received particular praise from the critics.