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Sonora Bach Festival

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Date(s) - 05/15/2022
3:00 pm

The Barn at Hurst Ranch

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The Sonora Bach Festival will be holding their Salon Concert featuring Master Guitarist Larry Ferrara with local guest artists, Sunday, May 15, at 3:00.   The Concert, held at Hurst Ranch in Jamestown, will feature the music of Bach, Brazilian composer Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Italian composer Pernambuco.  Joining Mr. Ferrara for part of the program will be local flutist, Sandra Betti and guitarist, Will Kiel.  At intermission, Chef David Ingram will provide a buffet of “delectable delicacies”.  Tickets are $35 in advance at The Mountain Bookshop, online at or by calling 209 536-6330.  Limited tickets for $45 will also be available at the door.

Master guitarist and San Francisco State University instructor, Larry Ferrara, will be the featured guest at the Sonora Bach Festival’s Salon Concert on May 15. Mr. Ferrara has performed major recitals in San Francisco, Los Angeles and at the Carnegie Recital Hall in New York and has been described by The New York Times as “subtle, intimate and inherently musical”.  Additionally, he has performed with many Bay-area musical ensembles including the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.

“We are so thrilled to have Mr. Ferrara play at our festival,” said Bach Festival board member, John Carter.  “His credentials speak for themselves.  And his program looks fascinating, varied and entertaining.  Tuolumne County is honored to have such a fine player perform here.”

Mr. Ferrara will play an hour-long program consisting of Renaissance and Baroque dances, and transcriptions of Bach’s keyboard and instrumental music for guitar.  He will be performing duets throughout the concert with local flutist, Sandra Betti and local guitarist and instructor, Will Kiel.   Among the works performed will be Larry’s own arrangement of Bach’s Sonata for Flute and Guitar, (BWV 1035), with Ms. Betti.   Mr. Kiel will join Ferrara in a duet by the Brazilian composer, Joao Pernambuco-  the creator of the characteristic and highly popular “choro” style of Brazilian music.  The program will close with Sonatina, OP. 205, by Italian, 20th century composer Mario Castlenuovo-Tedesco featuring Betti and Ferrara.


The Complete Program is as follows:

Renaissance and Baroque Dances by Dowland, Milan and Sanz; Entr’ Acte by Ibert; Sonata for Flute and Guitar, in E major, BWV 1035 by Bach; Sons de Carrilhões “Sounds of Bells” 1930, by Pernambuco;  Sonatina op. 205, 1965, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco; and transcriptions from Bach’s instrumental works for solo guitar.


A first for the Bach festival will be the use of The Barn at Hurst Ranch as the setting for the concert.

“We have been trying for years to coordinate with the Bach Festival to host their event,” said Hurst-Ranch owner, Leslie Hurst. “This is quite a glamorous barn. It’s an event center. With its cement floor and hanging chandelier we think it will be a delightful location for this concert”.

The festival board agrees.

“Surrounded by olive trees and vineyards, this event promises to be a wonderful spring afternoon of fine music in a beautiful setting,” said board member Janet Telford.

At intermission, there will be a light buffet catered by Chef David Ingram.  He describes the buffet as having  “a barn-rustic feel”, but, as he said, “with linen table cloths”.  The event will also feature wine from Hurst Ranch’s own vineyards.

Mr. Ferrara will also be presenting a Master Class for selected guitar students on Saturday, May 14 at 3:00. Co-sponsored with The St. James Concert Series, the event will be held at the Universalists Unitarian Fellowship House, 19632 Mono Way, Sonora.  Admission is $ 5 for observers.


Performers Biographies:

Lawrence Ferrara, Guitar

Equally talented on the stage or in the classroom, Lawrence has dedicated his life to the performance and teaching of the guitar.  He has the distinction of being the first guitarist to receive a master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has taught for many years at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and currently teaches at San Francisco State University, and City College of San Francisco. His teachers have included Julian Bream in master classes and George Sakellariou in studio lessons.

Mr. Ferrara has performed major recitals in San Francisco, Los Angeles and at the Carnegie Recital Hall in New York.  Additionally, he has performed with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, the Bay Chamber Symphony, the Classical Philharmonic and the San Francisco Conservatory’s Chamber Orchestra, and New Music Ensemble.

His playing was described by The New York Times as “subtle, intimate and inherently musical.”  The San Francisco Chronicle commented, “Ferrara has an exceptional style, pure and sweet, rhythmically precise yet supple … playing everything with elegant grace and a notably serious feeling for introspection.”

Mr. Ferrara has served on the Music Advisory Panel to the National Endowment of the Arts.  His online course on Music Appreciation was awarded “Best Online Teaching Website” by the California Virtual Campus (CVC). He is the author of the best selling, Student Repertoire Series for Guitar, Volume 1 and 2, and performs on the accompanying CDs.  The Series is published by Guitar Solo of San Francisco. He is also the author of the popular text “Study Guide for Guitar.” In addition Ferrara has a solo CD under the VGo Recordings label titled American Guitar Music.  The compilation includes works by Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Ned Rorem, Andrew York and Aaron Copland.

Sandra Betti, Flute:

Sandra Betti holds a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance degree from San Francisco State University.  She has studied with Paul Renzi, former principal flute with the San Francisco Symphony, and Leone Buyse, assistant principal flute with the Boston Symphony.  She has performed with the Cal Berkeley Symphony and the Artesian Pops Orchestra in Los Angeles, and toured Europe with classical guitarist Sergio Funes.  Since relocating to Sonora CA, she has become a major figure in local musical circles, including serving as Music Director at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and playing principal flute in the Mother Lode Friends of Music Orchestra.  She’s on the board of the Sonora Bach Festival, serves as Artistic Director for the Mother Lode Friends of Music, and teaches flute to our local young musicians.  She has performed in the St. James Concert Series in Sonora, the Sonora Bach Festival, and for the Mother Lode Friends of Music Chamber Music Series in Sutter Creek.

Will Kiel, Guitar:

After graduating from Columbia College, Will received a scholarship to attend the School of Music at San Francisco State University where he completed a Bachelor’s degree in classical guitar performance.

Over the years, Will has studied with retired Columbia College professor John Carter, and San Francisco Conservatory professor Lawrence Ferrara. Today, he continues to perform in Tuolumne County and beyond while passing on a love of music to private guitar students in his studio. Will’s globally-informed style reflects the diverse nature of the guitar. A grounding in classical technique has allowed him to expand his repertoire beyond traditional guitar works to include a blend of American jazz, gypsy swing, and Brazilian folk styles.

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