Classical Guitar Immersion June 26-July 2, 2023

CGI ‘23 – Mt Angel Abbey, Mt Angel, Oregon – Scott Kritzer with Mario Diaz

Classical Guitar Immersion’s 17th year marks another major transition. Over the decades I’ve created an ‘immersion’ experience that reflects the one-week masterclass experiences that were so prevalent in the 70’s, when I began my studies. CGI offers that experience for both the amateur and professional guitarist.

CGI has moved from a private home in 2006, to Lewis & Clark College, then to the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center and now, its most ideal setting, the Mt. Angel Abbey located in Mt. Angel, Oregon. This ideal location provides private and modern accommodations, modern classrooms and dining facilities, all located in the Guesthouse, and an auditorium for our formal performances located in the renowned Aalto library. 

In addition there is a coffee shop, bakery, and brewery, all located on the meditative grounds of the Abbey which features a 360 degree view of the Willamette Valley. Students can also treat themselves to morning sunrises and evening sunsets from the many rooftop patios. The setting at the Mt Angel Abbey promotes and facilitates the focus and reflection that deepens the learning experience of CGI.

More Than a Week in June

While CGI is scheduled for a week in June, our work begins in the previous September. Beginning in September I’ll lead a monthly workshop to help better prepare the students. This September I’ll teach my Fretboard Theory course. Beginning in January, with our pieces chosen and learned, we’ll work on practice techniques and performance preparation. When the student arrives at CGI we implement simple aspects of performance development that adds the finishing touches. In addition, in the fall, Mario will begin working quarterly with players on the CGI Ensemble repertoire.

Classical Guitar Immersion (CGI) has focused on the development of performance skills, with a different emphasis each year. This is achieved by focus on technical excellence, practice development, musicianship and performance skills.

Master Classes, Ensemble Rehearsal and Student Lectures

CGI ‘22 focused on Advanced Technique, a 12-week course that introduced left and right hand relaxation techniques into already learned technical skills. The result in this year’s performances were fewer errors and better musicianship.

CGI ‘23’s theme will be “Breaking the Musical Code” where we will develop the musical expression tools of timbre, dynamics and rhythm along with musical analysis, Fretboard Theory, and finally, the introduction of the Musicianship Practice Directives. Breaking the Musical Code will lead to more refined and musically satisfying performance skills.

In addition to our new location I’ve invited guitarist Mario Diaz to assist again this year. Last year he lead the CGI Ensemble and assisted in teaching some of the workshops. With his addition we will expand CGI to accommodate more players into the immersion experience. 

Also, we are looking forward to continuing our opening day festivities of a luthier exhibit and presentation with Jeffrey Elliott, Cindy Burton and Gregory Miller as well as an opening night performance by Mario and myself.

CGI ’23

CGI participants will work with Mario and myself in master classes and ensemble rehearsals in preparation for our final performance. 

Performers will form two groups; Groups A & B. Group A performers will work with me in the morning master class and Group B performers will work with Mario Diaz in the afternoon masterclass. Each group should plan on auditing the other group’s class. Practice and free time is built into the CGI Schedule (below)

The final day of CGI will consist of three performances. Group B will perform for all members of CGI as well as monks from the Abbey. This morning performance will take place in Westminster Classroom. 

In the afternoon Groups A & B will join forces for the CGI Ensemble concert. Following a dinner break Group A will then play a formal recital. Both the Ensemble and Performer Group A recitals are open to the public and take place in the Aalto Auditorium.

Below you’ll find an example of the CGI schedule.

CGI Daily Schedule

The following schedule is subject to change.

  • 7:00-7:30 Breakfast
  • 7:30-9:00 Practice/Free Time
  • 9:00-12:00 Master Class Group A (Westminster Meeting Room)
  • 12:15-12:45 Lunch (Dining Room, Abbey Guesthouse)
  • 1:00-3:30 Master Class Group B (Westminster Meeting Room)
  • 3:30-6:00 Practice/Free Time
  • 6:00-6:30 Dinner (Abbey Retreat Dining Hall)
  • 7:00-8:00 Ensemble Rehearsal (Westminster Meeting Room)

Cost

The cost for CGI is $2495. This includes meals, lodging, attendance for all masterclasses, workshops, rehearsals and performances. The fee also includes eight workshops that I’ll be holding from the fall through the spring. 

Deposit

Participants need to send a non-refundable deposit of $495 to be admitted. This deposit will hold your spot or keep you on a waiting list. This deposit also allows you access to the monthly workshops.

Requirements

All participants should be able to play up to 3 works from memory and all skill levels are welcome. Participants will need to also attend the monthly workshops. If you’re not currently a student of Mario Diaz or myself, a meeting either in person or via Zoom will be required.

Important Dates

  • August 13 – Potential New Attendees Zoom Meeting*
  • August 15, 2022 – 2022 CGI Participants Deposits Due
  • August 16 – Open Enrollment Begins
  • August 28 – CGI 2023 Participants Zoom Meeting
  • September 24 – May 27 (fourth Saturday of each month, except for a December break) Breaking the Musical Code: Fretboard Theory; Practice, and Performance Development Workshops
  • March 31, 2023 Final Deposit Due
  • June 26-July 2 – 2023 CGI Mt Angel Abbey

*All ZOOM meetings begin at 1:00 pm, PDT and are recorded. 

CGI often sells out but with the expansion of our openings we can offer a rare chance to not only get in to CGI this year but future year’s as well.

Mario and I will be holding an Introduction to CGI on Saturday, August 20 at 1:00 pm PDT via Zoom. Here we can answer your questions regarding CGI. If you’re interested in attending CGI you should attend the meeting. Just contact me via email and I will send you the login information for the meeting.

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Fantasy on E Lucevan by Glenn Morley

This work was written for and performed by the Chvatal/Kritzer Duo and is inspired by the 2nd movement from Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” and Puccini’s “E Lucevan le stelle” from Tosca. Available today on all digital platforms!

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Valentine’s Treat

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Nessun Dorma (updated) TAB

Updated Arrangement of Nessun Dorma (TAB option)

In honor of Valentine’s Day I have made an updated arrangement of Nessun Dorma which is now available in both guitar and guitar and TAB notation.  Go to Store to purchase

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Stories from the Stage: the Concierto de Aranjuez

Oregon Symphony program from September, 1991

I found a scrap book that my mother kept which contained this Oregon Symphony program of my performance of the Concierto de Aranjuez in September of 1991. This was the first of three performances of this masterpiece that I performed with the Oregon Symphony Pops, conducted by Norman Leyden. In this first performance I mostly remember being terrified.

Continue reading
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Classical Guitar Christmas II

Classical Guitar Christmas II is now available on all streaming platforms. (iTunes, Rhapsody, Tidal, etc). You can preview the tracks on Spotify below.

The recording features my updated arrangements from my original recording in 1995 as well as a bonus track with soprano, Janet Chvatal performing I Wonder as I Wander.

Classical Guitar Christmas II was recorded by Bob Stark at Bob Stark Studios in Portland, Oregon. Guitar by Jeffrey Elliott.

All solo guitar arrangements will be available in a few days for both standard and TAB notation. (Subscribe to get updates).

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Classical Guitar Immersion – Performance June 20-26, 2022

Classical Guitar Immersion – Performance Development – June 20-26, 2022 Mt. Angel Abbey, Mt Angel, Oregon. Maximum: 8

CGI is an immersion experience where a handful of guitarists participate in a week of performance preparation at the historic Mt. Angel Abbey, in Mt. Angel, Oregon. Students will be featured in a public performance for the Mt. Angel community. Also, new this year is an opening concert featuring myself and Mario Diaz in a tribute to Luthier Jeffrey Elliott

UPDATE: We are adding a space this year. Usually CGI is sold out before the open registration date of September 1st! Cancellations do happen so those who would like to be put on a waiting list can send a deposit of $495. You’ll be notified by the date when final payment is due, (April 5th) if there is a spot available. If there are no spots available for you you’ll be refunded your deposit by April 10th. The good news is that with your deposit you’ll get the preparation benefits of my online workshops in preparation for CGI.

In this close and intimate setting students get personal attention through daily masterclasses where technique, practice concepts, and performance skills — including the tools to help eliminate the effects of performance anxiety.

In addition to our daily masterclasses students will participate in a nightly ensemble rehearsal led by former Oregon Guitar Quartet member, Mario Diaz.

Monthly Classes on Performance and Theory

CGI is more than just a week-long workshop but rather the culmination of months of direction to help in your preparation. Beginning in September Mario and I will begin working with students on preparation of the works to be performed at CGI. I’ll be working with students on practice concepts and Mario will be working with students on Music and Fretboard Theory.

Mt. Angel Abbey in Mt. Angel, Oregon

Participants can enjoy the grounds of the historic Mt. Angel Abbey including panoramic views of the Willamette Valley, the library which contains historical documents, a natural history museum, coffee shop with pastries and even the Benedictine Brewery where the monks make some of the finest beers around. Their motto: “Drink and Believe”

Your Day at CGI

The daily schedule includes two master classes, ensemble rehearsal as well as technical and performance coaching. Spend your free time reviewing the video of your lesson, practice, compare notes, but also leave time to enjoy the grounds. It’s easy to find a few friends to walk the trails or grab an afternoon coffee.

Dining and Accomodations

A fantastic selection of food is available for our meals, served in buffet style, (and don’t forget the coffee shop pastries!)

In addition to a private room and bathroom three meals a day will be provided.

Repertoire

All levels are accepted at CGI. Strong preference will go to students familiar with my method. The only other requirement is that each student must be enrolled in lessons with either myself or Mario Diaz. Participants should arrive with at least two memorized and performable works as well as be prepared to release and perform the chosen ensemble work(s).

Feed and Deadlines

  • CGI cost is $2195.00 and includes all housing, meals and classes, concerts as well as monthly workshops prior to CGI.
  • A non-refundable deposit of $495.00 secures a spot. Registration to past participants opens immediately after the previous CGI and extends until September 1st.
  • Open Registration begins August 9th (earlier deposits will be taken for open registration and any spots that open on that date will be given on a first-come-first-served basis).
  • Final Fee for CGI Performance Due: March 1st
  • Final Repertoire List Due April 1st.
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Schedule

Monday, June 20th
1:00-3:00 Check-in
4:00-5:00 Student Performance Dress Rehearsal
5:00-6:00 Instrument Display (Jeffrey Elliott and Gregory Miller
6:30-7:30 Dinner 8:00 PM Scott Kritzer and Mario Diaz perform a tribute concert to luthier Jeffrey Elliott

Tuesday, June 21
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-5:30 Master Class
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:00-8:30 Ensemble Rehearsal

Wednesday, June 22
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-5:30 Master Class
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:00-8:30 Ensemble Rehearsal

Thursday, June 23
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-5:30 Master Class
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:00-8:30 Ensemble Rehearsal

Friday, June 24
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-5:30 Master Class
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:00-8:30 Ensemble Rehearsal

Saturday, June 25
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Ensemble Rehearsal and Performance Staging
1:00-5:00 Open
5:00-6:00 Dinner
6:00-6:30 Performance Warm-up 7:00-8:30 Performance7:00-8:30 Performance

Sunday, June 26
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Performance Review & Goals Set for 2023
12:00-1:00 Check-out

Schedule subject to change

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Three Monthly Online Workshop

TechTalk for the Classical Guitarist

Tech Talk with Scott will explore the foundation for a solid technique for the classical guitarist. Subjects will focus around proper positioning, efficient movements and technical exercises that can aid in a more relaxed, more efficient way of playing resulting in better accuracy and faster playing.  

Performers will bring their guitars and questions. Auditors can watch and participate in the Q & A at the end of each session.

TechTalk Registration

  • WHEN: 1st Saturday of the Month
  • TIME: 1 pm PDT

Ask to join the Tech Talk with Scott Kritzer Facebook Group.

Perfect Practice for the Classical Guitarist

Perfect Practice

All the information on the internet won’t make you a better guitar player without practice. But even players who practice consistently often show few results for their efforts and with good reason; a practice that feels good is one that produces short term results. Conversely a perfect practice actually feels like anything but.

The benefits of good practice often don’t manifest themselves for weeks so players often chase a variety of concepts only to come up short. A consistent practice, based on newly discovered information on how we learn, will reward the player with a more effective practice and positive results, with less time spent in the practice room.

I have spent decades developing practice guidelines and tools that will keep your practice effective and fresh. In addition you’ll learn how to use the Kritzer Studio Practice Plan.

Perfect Practice Registration

  • WHEN: 2nd Saturday of the Month
  • TIME: 1 pm PDT

Ask to join the Perfect Practice with Scott Kritzer Facebook Group.

Performance Anxiety Rehab

Performance Anxiety Rehab

Performance anxiety robs us of our potential and neutralizes our hard work in the practice room. While some nervousness is natural and even beneficial prior to a performance, its important to eliminate the needless and even damaging effects of performance anxiety that undermine your hard work and potential developed in the practice room.

Join me for these series of workshops where we’ll learn how to manage performance anxiety through effective practice tools resulting in a more satisfying performance experience.

In addition, we’ll form a community of players who will meet for PAR PODS; a safe environment to try out your newly learned performing skills!

Performance Anxiety Rehab Registration

  • WHEN: 3rd Saturday of the Month
  • TIME: 1 pm PDT

Ask to join the Performance Anxiety Rehab Facebook Group.

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Performance Anxiety Rehab Monthly Webinars

Performance Anxiety is one of the most debilitating factors a performing musician must face. Most performers suffer from some form of pre concert jitters. Some experience performances interrupted by mistakes, memory slips or by negative self talk. Those who suffer from the effects of performance anxiety also experience the frustrating realization that so much potential was left in the practice room.

(Click here to register for my upcoming webinar Performance Anxiety Rehab – Memory webinar). Space is limited.

Performance Anxiety Rehab incorporates over 40 years of performing and teaching experience.  In these monthly webinars I’ll share the steps to gaining a greater performance experience.

Performance Anxiety Rehab Online Webinars

I’ll be offering a monthly 1 hour webinar of the subject of Performance Anxiety (PA). The format will be in Part 1 to introduce that workshop’s subject and its application to repertoire.

Registrants will get a study packet of material prior to each webinar and everyone will get an assignment from that material for the next webinar. Next I’ll work with a few players and on implementing some PA practice concepts – it’s a safe environment to try things out!

Part 3 will be devoted to your questions about PA.

The webinars will consist of Participants who can be seen and heard and Attendees, who won’t be, but who can still ask questions. Let me know if you’d like to perform. (Space is limited)

Performance Anxiety Rehab – Memory and Encoding – Online Workshop

Saturday, April 18, 2:00 PM PDT

Memory is a big issue in PA and dealing with it effectively is best done from when you first begin learning a new piece. We’ll talk about the three types of memory (all important) and begin working on the first; encoding. Encoding is best done as we start a new piece.  The more relevant information we gather at the beginning the more we insure proper the encoding. This allows us to draw on this material in even the most pressurized settings.

We’ll be using Fernando Sor’s, Study in Bm, Opus 35, No 22 as a template. Over the next few months we’ll take this piece through the PAR steps enabling you to fully experience the benefits of applying PAR techniques to your repertoire, and readying the piece for performance.

Beginners to advanced players welcome!

Performance Anxiety Rehab – Memory Webinar Registration (Space is limited)

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Online Workshops – FREE

I decided to bump up the dates of these 1 hour workshops on technique, practice and performance anxiety, and make them FREE due to the COVID19 virus and its ramifications.

Tech Talk, Perfect Practice and Performance Anxiety Rehab (PAR) will regular workshops for Premium Members on my upcoming new website. Check them out – at no charge.

Each workshop will be comprised of Performers and Auditors. I’ll interact with Performers directly while Auditors observe. Both groups can ask questions.

All participants will need to become a Subscriber. If you’re not already a Subscriber become one by going to the Subscribe button on the left hand panel of this page.

Performers will play or demonstrate (depending on the workshop) while Auditors can watch and participate in the Q & A at the end of each session.

All three workshops will be broadcast over ZOOM. Space is limited so register soon. Once you’ve subscribed contact me (Contact Scott) and let me know which workshop you’d like to attend (you can attend all three). Also let me know if you’d like to act as a Presenter or Attendee. You’ll get a confirmation of your registration and the ZOOM workshop link.

Tech Talk for the Classical Guitarist

Saturday, March 28 @ 2:00 PM PDT

Scott’s Tech Talk for the Classical Guitarist will explore the foundation for a solid technique for the classical guitarist. Subjects will focus around proper positioning, efficient movements and technical exercises that can aid in a more relaxed, more efficient way of playing resulting in better accuracy and faster playing.

Performers can demonstrate their technique questions on the guitar.

Perfect Practice

Saturday, April 4 @ 2:00 PM PDT

All the information on the internet won’t make you a better guitar player without practice. But even players who practice consistently often show few results for their efforts and with good reason; a practice that feels good is one that produces short term results. Conversely a perfect practice actually feels like anything but. Since the benefits of good practice often don’t manifest themselves for weeks, players often chase a variety of concepts only to come up short. A consistent practice, based on newly discovered information on how we learn, will reward the player with a more effective practice and positive results, with less time spent in the practice room.

I have spent decades developing practice guidelines and tools that will keep your practice effective and fresh. In addition you’ll learn how to use the Kritzer Studio Practice Plan.

Performers will get feedback on their current practice regime and practice techniques.

Performance Anxiety Rehab

Saturday, April 18 @ 2:00 PM PDT

Performance anxiety robs us of our potential and neutralizes our hard work in the practice room. While some nervousness is natural and even beneficial prior to a performance, its important to eliminate the needless and even damaging effects of performance anxiety that undermine your hard work and potential developed in the practice room.

Join me for this workshop where we’ll begin to learn how to manage performance anxiety through effective practice tools resulting in a more satisfying performance experience.

Performers will get immediate feedback on how to develop performance skills guided by intuition instead of that destructive voice.

In addition, over time we’ll form a community of players who will meet for PAR PODS; a safe environment to try out your newly learned performing skills!

ABOUT Scott

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