In 1996, Fred and George performed in San Diego's Old Globe production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Under the direction of Tony Award-winning director Jack O'Brien, they wrote, arranged and performed the music for this successful play. The duo's compact discs, Scirocco-Desert Wind and Zephyr, on the SBE label, are a fascinating blend of music with Slavic, Latin, Indian and Middle Eastern influences. Their recent CD's, Flamenco Dreams, and Spanish Gardens are produced by Domo Records in the Flamenco Nouveau style. The duo has been performing regularly in the United States, and Mexico and has had successful European tours which included performances in England, Germany and the Czech Republic.
Fred Benedetti was born in Sasebo, Japan and began playing the guitar at age 9. In 1986 he was one of 12 guitarists chosen worldwide to perform in the Master Class of Andrés Segovia at USC where Guitarra Magazine wrote, "...Fred Benedetti amazed the audience with his performance of the (Bach) Chaconne..." He has also been a performer for the master classes of Pepe Romero, Christopher Parkening, Federico Moreno-Torroba, George Sakellariou, and David Grimes. Fred has performed in the United States, England, Germany, the Czech Republic, Taiwan, Canada, and Mexico and locally with the San Diego Symphony, the San Diego Opera, the Starlight Opera, the American Ballet Company, the Old Globe Theatre, Luciano Pavarotti, and jazz artist Dave Brubeck.
Presently he is a full-time professor of music at Grossmont College where he is chair of guitar studies, and is a member of the guitar faculty at San Diego State University with George Svoboda, Robert Wetzel and Celin Romero. Fred is listed in the prestigious "Who's Who Among America's Teachers-2002" and received an "Outstanding Faculty Award" in 2001 from SDSU, the "NISOD" Excellence in Teaching award from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992 and an "Outstanding Chair" award in 1990 from Grossmont College.
Equally at home playing classical music or contemporary music, he records on the SBE label and DOMO records with four noted ensembles: Keltik Kharma (a celtic band), The Odeum Guitar Duo, recently given the honor by the magazine, Acoustic Guitar, as being one of the ten best independently produced guitar CDs for the year 2000, "Blurring the Edges" a recipient of the 1994 San Diego Music Awards "Best Pop-Jazz" album of the year featuring jazz musicians Peter and Tripp Sprague, and the Benedetti/Svoboda Guitar Duo.
As a BMI affiliated composer, Fred has written numerous contemporary pieces for the international CD library company Network Productions and as a studio musician for 20 years his playing is featured on over 60 CD's, numerous movie soundtracks, and TV commercials. He has shared the stage with Art Garfunkel, Basia, Michael Franks, Mark O'Connor, Michael Hedges, and Ottmar Liebert, and has recorded with Willie Nelson, Juice Newton, Paul Overstreet, Patty Loveless, Tom Barabas, Big Mountain, Matthew Lien, Ronny Robbins and William Lee Golden. He has performed for dignitaries such as the King & Queen of Malaysia, Ravi Shankar, and Mikhail Gorbachev.
Fred performs on guitars built by Miguel Rodriguez, Jose Ramirez, Simon Marty, James Goodall, and Bob Taylor.
George Svoboda was praised by San Diego Tribune staff writer Bob Corbett as, "a first-class musician, top-drawer stuff...his fingers seem to fly effortlessly across the guitar strings. The music that results is full of life. It's happy.'' George has been heard in recital in his native Czechoslovakia, England, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Austria, Mexico and the United States
He has gained recognition not only as an immaculate and entertaining performer, but also as a composer and arranger of music for solo guitar, small ensembles and large orchestras. His music is rooted in the folk traditions of Eastern Europe and his transcriptions have won him consistent praise from musicians and critics alike. As a member of the well-known Second Avenue Klezmer Ensemble, he has performed throughout California, Arizona and Mexico. George has performed for President and Mrs. Clinton at the world-renowned Hotel Del Coronado.
George has been performing, recording and teaching for nearly twenty-five years. In his native Czechoslovakia he taught guitar and music theory in Public Schools of Art and since arriving in the U.S., he has been teaching at San Diego City Schools as an Artist in Residence, guitar instructor at Mesa College, Grossmont College and is a faculty member at CSU San Marcos and San Diego State University. He has also published successful instructional books on classical guitar technique.
Born in Cheb, Czech Republic and now residing in San Diego, California, George studied guitar and history of music at the State Conservatory of Music in Pilsen, Czech Republic. He received his Bachelor Degree in Music at San Diego State University in 1996 and his Masters Degree in Music in 1998.
George performs on guitars built by Miguel Rodriguez, Archangel Fernandez and Jose Ramirez.