Scott Kritzer has performed in Carnegie Hall, Japan and Europe

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Scott Kritzer is an internationally acclaimed classical guitarist who will perform at St. Aidan Episcopal Church in Gresham Sept. 16.You could say Scott Kritzer is two degrees of separation from the famed musician Andrés Segovia, who popularized the classical guitar.

One of the Spaniard’s favorite pupils was Michael Lorimer, who is considered one of the world’s best Baroque guitarists, if not the best.

So who taught Kritzer? Lorimer, Kritzer notes.

“Michael Lorimer became the single most influential teacher in my career,” the Portland resident says. “His teaching and performing reflected the beauty of his teacher, Segovia.”

Kritzer is coming to St. Aidan Episcopal Church this Sunday, Sept. 16, and brings a storied résumé with his guitar. Kritzer will perform some of the best-loved works for classical guitar in his program called “Romance,” featuring a popular repertoire.

“This program, ‘Romance,’ is about those ‘first love’ pieces created by Segovia that first caught my ear and also that reflect my early years working with Lorimer,” Kritzer says.

The guitarist started his career as a rocker in the 1960s but shifted to classical in his late teens when he heard a recording by guitarist John Williams.

“I found classical guitar to be extraordinarily rewarding,” Kritzer says. “I just loved the fact that I could practice for hours and hours and delve into a serious music repertoire that I had not been exposed to previously.”

King of the road

Kritzer has been touring for the past three decades across three continents, and has performed in virtually every major American city, putting on critically acclaimed performances in New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall and Lutheran Hall in Sapporo, Japan, as well as halls in Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

He also has performed at the California Center for the Performing Arts in Escondido and has been featured in Japan’s leading classical guitar magazine, Gendai Guitar, as well as the London magazines Classical Guitar and Guitar International and in America’s Soundboard and Guitar Player periodicals.

Kritzer was chosen to represent Oregon in a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in 1996.

“It was really exciting,” he says. “I took a break from the sound check and sat outside looking at the Potomac and then back at the center. It was one of those moments when you kind of take stock of all your hard work and realize where it brought you.”

Kritzer is a teacher as well, and his online “E-Learning Program” has drawn students from around the world. Meanwhile, his Classical Guitar Immersion showcases have become an annual event in Portland and generally feature Kritzer performing with seven amateur players.

“They come from all walks of life,” he says. “We put a program together in a week. It’s an exciting and joyous and tension-filled week,” he adds with a chuckle.

Kritzer says “Romance” is based on the early Segovia repertoire with a salting of later 20th-century Romantic works. Kritzer also will play works by Manuel de Falla, Fernando Sor and Heitor Villa-Lobos.

“I will talk about the music a little bit and bring some of the personality out with some stories of the music,” Kritzer says. “I’m kind of a chatty personality anyway, and it’s a great program for the person who’s never heard classical guitar before.”

Upcoming concerts

In addition to Kritzer, St. Aidan will host these upcoming shows as part of its “Sundays at 3” series:

n Dec. 30: The 13-member Oregon Renaissance Band will bring its recorders, sackbutts, krumhorns, racketts and other Renaissance instruments to perform a concert of Christmas and New Years music by 16th- and 17th-century composers.

n March 3: The Augustana Quartet, featuring vocalist Marylin Keller, will perform gospel, jazz, blues, pop and other musical genres. Portland drummer Ron Steen is also on the bill.

n April 28: Portland’s own Wildwood Consort will present a concert of music by Baroque musician Dieterich Buxtehude who wrote for organ, voice and chamber ensemble. The ensemble will include violin, gamba, theorbo (a big lute), harpsichord, organ and voice. St. Aidan’s own Leslie Hirsch and Mark Jones are members of the group.

If you go

WHO: Scott Kritzer

WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16

WHERE: St. Aidan Episcopal Church, 17405 N.E. Glisan St.

COST: $18 general admission, $15 for students (with school identification) and adults 60 and older.

INFO: Mark Jones at 503.866.5572,,

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