Kithara Duo (Olga Amelkina-Vera and Fernand Vera) was formed in 2002, when they were graduate students at the University of North Texas. Since then, they have performed nationally as well as in Europe and South America. Kithara Duo’s critically acclaimed debut CD, Beings, was released by Soundset Recordings in 2011. The duo is home to an international award-winning composer (Olga), and their first album is a world premiere recording of her music for guitar duo. In addition to Olga’s original compositions, Fernand and Olga regularly contribute to guitar duo repertoire through arrangements and transcriptions of music by such composers as Albeniz, Ferrabosco, Soler, and Vivaldi. Their second CD, Lingua Franca (2015), features their new arrangements of music from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Kithara Duo are faculty at Collin College in Plano, Texas, where Fernand directs the award-winning Guitar Studies program, and Olga teaches in the guitar, theory, history, and composition areas. They organize the Collin College Guitar Festival, held each spring semester, and Collin College Guitar Competition, held each fall. For the most up-to-date information, please follow www.facebook.com/kitharaduo.
Their work is outstanding. They have a beautiful sound, a wide range of tone, a subtle and broad control of dynamics, perfect ensemble, and a subtle and expressive phrasing. This is some of the finest guitar duo work I’ve heard since the Assads, and I look forward to hearing more from this pair.
American Record Guide
A delightfully diverse program of music…shared with an admirably seamless level of musicality and technique. The real discovery of the evening were three original compositions by Olga Amelkina-Vera who gently stretched the expectations sharing her delightful musical imagination.
The duo impressed with touching musicality, elegant presentation, and seamless coordination.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The program was an excellent combination of lively and melodious pieces, played with wonderful coordination and sensitivity by the duo.
Guitar Foundation of America 2015 Convention Blog
[the duo] wove a dreamy spell in Astor Piazzolla’s Lo Que Vendrá.
Dallas Morning News
Classical Guitar Blog