Michael began playing guitar at the age of eleven. His musical foundation, which began with instruction from guitarist Ritchie Lengel, was later developed through the combination of classical fingerstyle studies and lessons with jazz artist Sal Salvador. He pursued his education at the Boston Conservatory of Music; in Austria, at Die Hochschule Fuer Music.In an attempt to achieve those same tightly-voiced chords and pedaled legato phrases used by contemporary jazz keyboardists, he created the concept of the 8 string guitar. This original design, which Coppola commissioned from luthier James DeCava, requires inner, rather than extra bass or treble side strings. In 1997 Michael recorded "Virtuoso Too" on his new instrument. In 2000 Michael Coppola expanded his own idea to incorporate a 9th string. This guitar, also built by luthier James DeCava, is known in jazz guitar circles as "The Hydra." Reviews of Coppola's work are filled with descriptions like "unique," "different," "mind-boggling," "magical," "inventive" etc.
David Darling, Composer, Cellist US
"Maverick cellist" is the phrase most often assigned to Grammy Nominated Artist, David Darling, but it hardly captures the richness, diversity, breadth and sense of humor of a man who literally redefines the way the cello is played and the way music is taught. His prolific collection of recordings and innovative performance style represent an eclectic variety of musical genres. His playful and unconventional teaching methods have helped open the world of music and improvisation to thousands of individuals.In the summer of 1970 Darling joined the Grammy Award winning Paul Winter Consort making his home in Nashville, TN. The Consort sound was a rich blend of jazz, classical and world music incorporating, at times, the voices and sounds of nature. As a soloist, composer, and vocalist with the Consort, Darling was exposed at length to ensemble and solo improvisation. He retired from the Paul Winter Consort in 1987 to begin the exploration of a solo performance, teaching and recording career. Darling's self produced CD, "Cello Blue," issued by Hearts of Space and Valley Entertainment in 2001, earned rave reviews, a 2002 Grammy Nomination and also the AFIM Indie Award from the Association for Independent Music. In 1986 David Darling co-founded "Music for People," an internationally recognized non-profit educational network dedicated to teaching and fostering music improvisation as a means of creative self expression.
Anders Førisdal 10-string guitar Norway
Anders plays a wide range of guitar instruments. He studied at The Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo with Professor Sven Lundestad and Professor Erik Stenstadvold, and privately with Magnus Andersson and Professor Ivar Frounberg (analysis), and takes special interest in post-war avant-garde music. He did his MA specializing on the music of Aldo Clementi, and has written articles on Clementi, Brian Ferneyhough and Roger Redgate for Norwegian journals Parergon and ballade.no. Førisdal also performs regularly with Norwegian orchestras and ensembles. Forthcoming projects include concerts in Norway and abroad, a collaboration with Christina Kubisch on an installation in Oslo, and premieres of new works by Brian Ferneyhough, Lars Petter Hagen and Wieland Hoban, and a 10-string concerto by Chris Dench. Janet Marlow 10-string guitar US/UK
Janet takes center stage with her mastery on the 10-string guitar. She is one of the few artists in the world whose performances and recordings are acclaimed as one of the leading players, composers and arrangers on this innovative instrument. At home in classical and jazz, her performances have taken her around the world. Audiences enjoy her fresh personal style. She has composed for television documentaries, stage premieres in Hong Kong and Europe and performs on screen in Woody Allen's Celebrity. Her playing on the ten-string is featured in the award winning film "Swimmers" directed by Doug Sadler, music by Paul Cantelon and David Darling. Janet Marlow is the Founder and director of The International Ten-String Guitar Society. Born in London, Janet Marlow is the fifth generation of noted Russian musicians. Classically trained as a violinist and pianist, she studied classical guitar in classes with Maestro Andres Segovia, Julian Bream, Abel Carlevaro and Leo Brouwer. Marlow then became the protégé of Maestro Narciso Yepes, the innovator of the modern ten-string guitar. Moving from performances to include original composition was a natural process for Janet Marlow. This evolution began in New York where she was personally influenced by jazz legends Bill Evans and Joe Pass. Spending time with these jazz greats led her to create original compositions and arrangements for guitar and ensemble. Her nine recordings bring her classical and jazz worlds together in solo and ensemble composition.
Marcos Puña, 10-string guitar Bolivia
A winner of several competitions, Marcos Puna, born in Oruro, Bolivia in 1977, graduated from the Montevideo Municipal Conservatory in Uruguay, where he studied with Maestro Mario Payssé. He was also a student of eminent performer Eduardo Fernandez and legendary educator Abel Carlevaro who said: "Marcos Puña has excellent sound and musical expression". After giving his first concert at the age of sixteen, he performed in more than 30 cities in Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and U.S.A. After his first recording "Marcos Puña, Guitarra" released in 1995 he recorded three CDs: Concierto Español (Spanish Concert-1998), Paseo Sudamericano (South American Journey-2004) and most recently En Vivo (Live) recorded in a successful concert en Montevideo at the end of 2004. In 2005 Marcos Puña adopted the ten-string guitar. In Bolivia, Marcos Puña created and directed radio and TV programs dedicated to the classical guitar in Cochabamba's Mozart F.M. and Canal 11 T.V.U channel. Now he resides in La Paz, where he is on the guitar faculty of the National Conservatory of Music as a guitar instructor and the conductor of the guitar orchestra.
Gabriel Tapia 10-string guitar Panama
Gabriel was born in Panama. He has studied at the National Conservatory and in the Conservatorio Superior Municipal de Barcelona, Spain. He has attended seminars in France, Puerto Rico and Panama with guitar masters Abel Carlevaro, Alirio Díaz, Alfonso Moreno and Angel Gil Ordóñez. As soloist, he has given recitals throughout Panama and has performed in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, Equador, Spain and England. With the Panama National Symphony Orchestra he was the soloist on five occasions and in Panama he recorded his first LP in 1979. He is a professor at the INAC since 1976. In the summer of 1978 he finished his thesis in guitar, at the University of Panama. Gabriel Tapia was a participant at the 1st International Ten-String Guitar Festival.