El Camino’s Center for the Arts to Present Grammy Winner William Kanengiser

March 30, 2023 Torrance, CA

The El Camino College Center for the Arts will present a performance by Grammy Award-winning classical guitarist William Kanengiser at 7 p.m. April 18 in the Campus Theatre.

Kanengiser’s recital, titled “The Diaspora Project,” will include recently commissioned works that focus on issues of scattered cultures and global migration. Pieces inspired by African, Persian, Tibetan, Irish, Japanese, and other refugee experiences will take the audience on an emotional journey, exploring themes of lost homelands and cultural assimilation. An active proponent of new music, Kanengiser recently received a grant from the Augustine Foundation for the project, which features new pieces by Sergio Assad, Dusan Bogdanovic, and Golfam Khayam, among others.

Kanengiser has forged a career that expands the possibilities of the classical guitar. A prize winner in major competitions, he has toured throughout North America, Asia, and Europe with his innovative programs and expressive musicianship. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Kanengiser has an amazing talent for creating delicately honed, lucid phrases from technically difficult passages.” He recorded four CDs for the GSP label, playing music as diverse as Caribbean, Eastern European, and jazz. Most recently, he performed the U.S. premiere of “Folk Concerto” by Clarice Assad, with fellow Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ) member Scott Tennant, and the Albany Symphony conducted by David Allan Miller.

As a founding member of the LAGQ, Kanengiser has performed hundreds of recitals and concerto appearances around the world and has recorded over a dozen releases. The quartet’s Telarc release “LAGQ’S Guitar Heroes” won a Grammy Award in 2005 as the best classical crossover recording; “LAGQ Latin” was nominated for a Grammy as well. More recently, their recording of the title work on Pat Metheny’s “Road to the Sun” hit No.1 on the Apple Music Classical chart.

A member of the guitar faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music since 1983, Kanengiser has given master classes around the world and produced two instructional videos. An advocate for musicians’ well-being, he serves as chair of the Thornton Musician’s Health and Wellness Committee, curating their Wellness Initiative with health screenings and a lecture series, as well as creating a Musician’s Wellness course.

A prolific arranger, Kanengiser has created dozens of transcriptions for solo guitar and guitar quartet, and composed several works for four guitars. In 2009 he created the stage production “The Illustrious Gentleman Don Quixote” for narrator and guitar quartet, writing the stage script and adapting music from the Spanish Renaissance. It premiered with Monty Python member John Cleese, and extensively toured with Firesign Theater founder Phil Proctor.

The El Camino Community College District encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation, or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the Center for the Arts as soon as possible, but no later than seven days prior to the event.

Tickets are $10-$24 and may be purchased at using the online ticketing system. Campus parking is free for this production; no permit required. El Camino College is located at 16007 Crenshaw Boulevard, Torrance.