Carl Straussner and Elinor Speirs

Thu May 19, 20:00 - Thu May 19, 21:30
The Commons


Carl Straussner presents music for an array of stringed and plucked instruments, arranged for solo guitar and guitar/violin. Joined by virtuoso violinist Elinor Speirs, This concert will feature works for Rennaissance Lute, Baroque guitar, and the modern guitar in an eclectic mix of classical and improvised music, ending with a a few pieces from guitar heavy folk traditions, including Brazilian, Irish folk, West African desert blues and north american music from the Mississippi delta. 

Elinor Speirs:

Classically trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and jazz and free music trained at New York University and New England Conservatory, Elinor is an experienced orchestral and chamber music performer with a burgeoning career in jazz, world music fusion, free music, new music and interdisciplinary arts. Based primarily in New York and Boston but active internationally,  Elinor has performed, composed and recorded in a multiplicity of styles including Klezmer, Yiddish, Balkan, Flamenco, Brazilian, Afro-Peruvian, Bulgarian, Korean, Scottish and Swedish. Some career highlights include performing solo at Schøn Conference Augsburg, duo at the Boiler House Jazz Series, recording Instantiation:Paradoxical with the Joe Morris Ensemble, interdisciplinary arts with Masary Studios at the Museum of Fine Arts and as contemporary improvising soloist with the NEC Symphony at Jordan Hall.

At heart Elinor is an innovator, pulling together some of the finest women in jazz for her doctoral recital in 2017. Touchstone performed a program of original music, an unorthodox combination of contemporary classical, jazz and free music for violin-led jazz quintet, string quartet, vocalist and improvising dancer. In 2018 Elinor began an open-ended series 100 Painting Interpretations where she spontaneously improvises in response to artworks at international shows and exhibitions and uploads these new works to social media. 2019 marked a year of return to New York and involvement with the highly creative free music scene there; currently Elinor is engaged in exploring improvised extended techniques, noise music, classical improvisation, Brazilian-South African jazz hybrids and new composition-improvisation structures.   

Carl Straussner:

Carl Straussner is a Classical Guitarist, Composer, and Audio Engineer hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa. Now residing in Boston, where he completed his master’s degree in Classical guitar Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music under virtuoso guitarist, Eliot Fisk. In addition to maintaining an active concert schedule as a soloist, performing in premiere venues in the United States and South Africa, He also performs in two classical duos – one with Classical guitarist Raley Beggs (USA), and the other with classical/jazz violinist Elinor Speirs (SA), where you are likely to hear lively arrangements of classical and jazz music from the guitar canon, as well as interesting pieces from around the world including South America, Europe, United States of America Africa (namely Mali, Nigeria and South Africa) in thrilling live concerts.

Carl also thrives as a recording artist and mixing engineer, and has worked on an extensive array of multimedia projects including: Film Composition and sound design for Singapore based multimedia studio, Hei Studios, where he composed music for various scenes of the film: How to Break A window (2019), and was the lead sound Designer for the Substation’s Septfest (2020) performance series promotion videos. Carl has two albums under his belt as a producer/mixing engineer – and has worked on albums for US based Cello/piano duo, Duo Amie (Music and the Mind 2020) as well as American Classical guitarist Adam Levin, who’s 2021 album – 21st Century Spanish Guitar: Vol.IV, reached number one on the contemporary classical billboard and received a Silver medal in the instrumental category of the Global Music Awards.

Additional information

Refund policy No refunds


Carl Straussner and Elinor Speirs
The Commons
56 Beach Rd, Muizenberg, Cape Town, 7950
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