In 2009‐10, the LAGQ undertook their first tour of the ‘Don Quixote Project’ with Firesign Theatre veteran and voiceover actor Phil Proctor. This special dramatic adaptation of the timeless classic by Miguel de Cervantes, accompanied by new arrangements of music from Medieval and Renaissance Spain, debuted at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. Proctor plays the Narrator, The Ingenious Knight of La Mancha, the comical squire Sancho Panza, and a host of other characters. Capturing the humor, poetry and pathos of this most modern of 17th century novels, this unique performance showcases Cervantes’ rich language (based on Edith’s Grossman’s lauded new translation), projected images and vibrant music of the day, including works by Narvaez, Encina, Pisador, Milan, and Martin y Coll. Subsequent performances included The Modlin Center in Richmond,VA, the Tisch Center at the 92nd Street Y in New York and for the Guitar Foundation of America conference in Austin, TX. The 10‐11 season marked the project’s Canadian debut and a tour of Hawaii. Along with performances in Los Angeles and St Louis, a live DVD was recorded and released on MelBay in 2011‐12.
For more than 42 years, Phil Proctor has been a member the Firesign Theatre, a four‐man satirical comedy group often referred to as “America’s Monty Python” and listed as one of the Thirty Greatest Acts of All Time by Entertainment Magazine. Proctor’s prodigious musical and linguistic talents (including fluency in seven languages) have made him one of today’s most sought‐after voice artists. Among his many credits, he has been the voice of Big Brother for three seasons and was heard as Howard in Rugrats, the seahorse Bob in Finding Nemo, Charlie in Monsters, Inc., and the drunken French monkey in Eddie Murphy’s Dr. Dolittle series. As an actor, Proctor’s Broadway credits include The Sound of Music and A Time for Singing. He has appeared on television in Arrested Development and Jimmy Kimmel Live, among others. He has won a Theatre World award, was cited as Best Actor by the LA Free Press and has received three Grammy nominations with the Firesign Theatre, three daytime Emmys for Rugrats, several L.A. Weekly and L.A. Drama Critics’ awards.
"SHIKI" with SHINGO FUJII
For guitar orchestras, LAGQ offers "Shiki: Seasons of Japan", a work by Shingo Fujii commissioned for the Quartet with guitar orchestra. This work may be easily incorporated into an LAGQ concert, offering students the unique opportunity to perform onstage with the Quartet.
The name Shingo Fujii has come to be known not only as one of leading classical guitarists of Japan but also as a musical composer just after publication of “Passacaglia (concertino for solo violin and solo guitar with guitar ensemble)” in 2005. It was performed in Salzburg, Paris, Shanghai and, of course, in many cities of Japan in a year. “Concierto de los Angeles”, composed for William Kanengiser in July 2006, was played in many cities and festivals in Japan, Los Angeles, New York, Beijing, and Taipei. “Danse d’Azur” is now part of the standard repertoire for two guitars.
Shingo Fujii’s activity started both as a classical guitarist and a lute player of “DACERIES”, an early music group of Japan (1979 - 1994). Shingo now gives numerous concerts throughout Japan, including his concert series in Kyoto, which was held more than 50 times till 2011. His recital “Toru Takemitsu and his music for guitar” with Kiyoshi Shomura in Kyoto 2005 was highly praised for their performance and Shingo’s successful arrangements for guitar duo from Takmitsu’ Mixed Chorus music.