Olavur Jakobsen (left) and Monika Stauss Joensen
Olavur Jakobsen (left) and Monika Stauss Joensen

The Faroe Islands are an archipelago of small islands between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean whose inhabitants share cultural and linguistic ties to Ireland, Scotland, Norway and Denmark.

Two musicians are making their way from the Faroe Islands to Tucson and will present a concert at the Arizona Senior Academy at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday (April 19).  Violinist Monika Stauss Joensen and classical guitarist Olavur Jakobsen are being brought to the U.S. by longtime friend and mentor Frederic Balazs, the Hungarian-born violinist, composer, and former conductor of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

Their unusual program features two pieces specifically scored for violin and guitar:  Paganini’s “Cantabile” and Giuliani’s “Duo Concertant.”  Also on the program are violin/guitar arrangements by Jakobsen including Scandinavian folk-inspired music, Hungarian Czardas, American banjo/fiddle music, and a piece by Beethoven originally scored for mandolin and harpsichord. Two solo selections include a violin piece by Balazs, originally written for Stauss Joensen, and a South American-inspired guitar piece by Leo Brouwer.

Swiss-born Monika Stauss Joensen is currently on the faculty of the Faroese School of Music.  She first performed with Frederic Balazs in 1998 at the annual Faroese summer festival of contemporary and classical music.  Balazs has since dedicated several compositions to her.

In his early years, Faroese guitarist Olavur Jakobsen was influenced by the likes of Chet Atkins, Django Reinhardt and Jimi Hendrix.  But after hearing Andres Segovia, he took up serious study of classical guitar at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. He now divides his time between performing, teaching and promoting Faroese music.

Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer

More Info on attending an event
Academy Village is an active-adult community located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East. Its residents support the Arizona Senior Academy, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission includes offering free concerts and lectures to the public.

These events are held in the Great Room of The ASA Building adjacent to the Academy Village Community Center. Due to the popularity of cultural events, non-residents who wish to ensure priority seating are advised to make reservations by email at info@arizonasenioracademy.org or by phone at (520) 647-0980. To learn more about the Academy, go to www.asa-tucson.org.

Parking for visitors is in the lot behind the Community Center. All parking spaces in front of the Academy building are reserved.

Faroe Islands Duo Mix Violin, Guitar: April 2016
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