Ferenc Snétberger–Michel Godard (DE–FR)
Born in 1957 in northern Hungary, guitarist/composer Ferenc Snétberger was the youngest son of a family of musicians. Early on his father, a guitar player also, became his role model. Snétberger studied classical music and jazz guitar. Today he is best known for his art of improvising and his crossing of stylistic borders. His music is inspired by the Roma tradition of his home country, Brazilian music and flamenco as well as classical guitar playing and jazz. He made numerous albums as a leader, co-leader and sideman and has toured all over Europe as well as Japan, Korea, India and the United States.
In 1995 he composed his Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, "In Memory of My People", on the occasion the fiftieth year following the end of the holocaust. Inspired by melodies of the gypsy tradition, the concerto is a powerful statement against human suffering. It has been performed by the composer himself with chamber orchestras in Hungary, Italy and Germany and also at the New York UN headquarters (International Holocaust Memorial Day, 2007).
Ferenc Snétberger performed Luciano Berios Sequenza XI (for solo guitar) as well as concertos with orchestra by Vivaldi, Rodrigo, and John McLaughlin. He also wrote music for film and theater. In 2002 Snétberger was appointed freeman of his birth town and two years later received the Hungarian Order of Merit. In 2005 he was awarded the Liszt Ferenc Prize in Budapest, 2013 the Prima Díj, 2014 the Kossuth Díj.
In 2004 Snétberger founded his new trio with legendary Norwegian bass player Arild Andersen and Norway-based Italian drummer/percussionist Paolo Vinaccia. With natural ease and on the highest level the three of them bring together choice compositions, technical skills, improvisational drive and musical fantasy. Released in fall 2005, their debut album "Nomad" was greeted with enthusiasm by critics and listeners.
Snétbergers cooperation with Markus Stockhausen started in 1999 with "Landscapes", a duo suite recorded for Snétbergers album "For My People". In three movements the musicians immediately create a language of their own showing their talents in an amazing way. "They come along lightly and yet filled with melancholy - and they give the impression that one day they simply had to meet in order to make this music happen. You cant help but hope this cooperation will be continued soon," Ralf v.d. Kellen wrote in Intro magazine. Eight years later during which Snétberger and Stockhausen have further been stimulating each other artistically, their duo album "Streams" finally proves their development.
In 2011, Snétberger founded the Snétberger Musical Talent Center (www.snetbergercenter.org), for the musical education of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
2016 will be the release of Snétbergers new solo ablum IN CONCERT at the german label ecm records (www.ecmrecords.com )
Godard was admitted at the age of 18 to the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio-France. His ability to produce overtones ("multiphonics") and musicality leaves the listener surprised at how light a seemingly cumbersome tuba can sound. In 1979 he picked up also the ancestor of the tuba, the serpent.
On the classical side, Michel Godard played since 1988 with the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, the French National Orchestra, the Ensemble Musique Vivante, and, recently, the ancient music Ensemble La Venice and "XVIII-21Musique de Lumieres". He was also a member of the "Arban Chamber Brass" quintet (notably touring Japan, the U.S., Africa) and interprets works from the solo repertory, too. He gives international master classes.
On the jazz side he was a member of the French National Jazz Orchestra from 1989 to 1991. Since then Godard has been involved in numerous creative projects with Michel Portal, Louis Sclavis, Enrico Rava, Michael Riessler, Horace Tapscott, Christof Lauer, Kenny Wheeler, Ray Anderson, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Sylvie Courvoisier, Simon Nabatov, Linda Sharrock, Pierre Favre, Misha Mengelberg, Gianluigi Trovesi, Willem Breuker, Gabriele Mirabassi, the ARTE Quartett and more recently in a quartet with co-tubist Dave Bargeron. The album Three Seasons "(HGBS 2014 with Günter "Baby" Sommer and Patrick Bebelaar) was awarded " Album of the Year 2014 " by The New York City Jazz Record. The CD 'Stupor Mundi' (dml-records in 2015. Patrick Bebelaar, Vincent Klink, Gavino Murgia and Carlo Rizzo) was awarded the The German Record Critics' Award, an annual German prize presented for achievement in recorded music.
As a composer, Michel Godard was commissioned by Radio France, Donaueschingen Music Festival and French Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
Michel Godard also played and recorded with the pipeband of the Brittany town Quimper, with reggae star Alpha Blondy and with Canterbury rock musicians John Greaves and Pip Pyle.