THE MINNEAPOLIS GUITAR QUARTET

Photo by Leslie Shank

Maja

Radovanlija

Benjamin

Kunkel

Wade

Oden

Joseph

Hagedorn

Born in Mankato, Minnesota, Benjamin Kunkel has the distinction of being the newest member— and the first native Minnesotan—of the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet. Benjamin is an active solo and chamber musician, appearing in concert across the United States, frequently collaborating with the acclaimed Minneapolis-based choral group, The Mirandola Ensemble. Recently, he has been featured with the Minnesota Guitar Society, Cleveland Classical Guitar Society, Cleveland Composers Guild, Greater Cleveland Flute Society, Heights Arts, and Chamber Music Midwest. Benjamin is a passionate advocate of new music and works closely with composers to premiere their works and expand the classical guitar’s repertoire. Benjamin earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota and his Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with renowned guitarists Jeffrey Van and Jason Vieaux, respectively. At CIM, he twice was awarded the Rosalia Ablan Memorial Prize in Guitar.  A dedicated teacher, he is currently on the faculty of Century College and St. Joseph's School of Music.

A passionate performer, composer, arranger, and teacher, Wade Oden was born in Lubbock, Texas and grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has performed widely as part of the Voce y Cuerdas duo in varied repertoire including music of Brazil, Hawaii, Spain, and Italy, as well as in new works by composers Chris Gable, Libby Larsen, Carol Barnett and Todd Harper. In 2008, Wade toured with The Rose Ensemble vocal group—performing sacred and secular music—to the Festival d’Ile de France. This performance was recorded and broadcast on Radio France. Wade’s composition Aquam Effunde for piano, bass clarinet and marimba won First Prize in the 2005 Eric Stokes Song Contest. In 2003 and 2006, as director of the Space Station Alpha experimental pop ensemble, he released Love Songs for Andromeda and fLora. Wade is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Guitar Performance at the University of Minnesota, where he also received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Wade’s guitar teachers include O. Nicholas Raths, James McGuire and Jeffrey Van. He currently directs the guitar program at Normandale Community College where he has premiered many arrangements and original compositions for the Normandale Guitar Ensemble.

As one of the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet’s founding members, Joseph Hagedorn has largely been responsible for the growth and development of this ensemble since its inception in 1986. His gift for arranging has produced dozens of musical opportunities for the MGQ, from the sought-after Windy by Piazzolla and Danzas Argentinas by Ginastera to the recent arrangements of jazz and pop music by Hiromi and Prince. He also performs on all of the group’s five recordings. Joseph’s solo and concerto appearances have taken him to more than 25 American cities and to Canada. He has been heard twice on the nationally broadcast radio program Saint Paul Sunday, once with the MGQ and again with violinist Leslie Shank. In 1990, Joseph was the winner of the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America solo competition, resulting in a national concert tour. This native Iowan received his Bachelor of Music degree from Cornell College and his Master of Music degree from the University of Minnesota. Joseph was a student of Richard Stratton, Christopher Carrington, Nelson Amos, and Jeffrey Van. He has been on the music faculty of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls since 1988.

hagedornguitar@gmail.com