Robert and Diana Sharpe to debut as chamber music duo

Robert and Diana Sharpe

Robert and Diana Sharpe

ALBANY, Ga. -- Native Albanian Robert Sharpe and his wife, Diana, will perform the third concert of a new chamber series at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Albany Museum of Art.

The concert will be their professional debut as a guitar and percussion duo.

After spending two years studying with the top instructors of their respective fields, the Sharpes have returned to Georgia to serve as faculty members at the Schwob School of Music of Columbus State University. Both musicians have accomplished careers as solo and chamber performers.

The Jane and Harry Willson Chamber Music Series is a collaboration of the Albany Symphony Orchestra and the art museum honoring Mrs. Willson and her late husband for their longtime support of the arts in Southwest Georgia.

The couple will play pieces by Bach, Bartok, Albeniz and more.

Claire Fox Hillard, music director for Symphony at the Museum, has known Robert Sharpe since he was a student at Westover High School. "I am proud of the wonderful work Robert has done and am very impressed with the distinguished artist he has become," Hillard said.

Robert Sharpe began his formal study of the classical guitar with Andrew Zohn in 2000. Since his national radio debut on NPR's "From the Top," Sharpe has received many awards and honors including the first prize in the 2006 East Carolina University Guitar Competition, second prize in the 2006 Music Academy of North Carolina Guitar Competition, third prize in the 2006 St. Joseph International Guitar Competition and fourth prize in the 2006 National Guitar Workshop Competition.

Robert Sharpe has performed as a soloist in the United States, Italy, Canada and Slovenia. International performances include concerts at the Guitar Festival on the Mediterranean in Italy and the Guitar Festival of Lipica in Slovenia. He was graduated with a bachelor's degree in music/music performance from Columbus State University in 2008 where he was the recipient of the Woodruff Award and the Presser Foundation Music Scholarship. He earned his master's degree in music from Yale University and is currently studying with Jason Vieaux and pursuing a doctorate degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He teaches music theory at Columbus State.

Diana Sharpe, a native of Romania, began her formal study of classical percussion with Ciprian Stoica at the Colegiul National de Arte "Octav Bancila" where she received numerous prizes in regional and national competitions in Romania. She continued her musical studies at the Universitatea de Arte "George Enescu" with Florian Simion and performed frequently in concerts and on national television. In the fall of 2006 she accepted the Woodruff Award Scholarship to attend Columbus State and study with Paul Vaillancourt.

She graduated with honors in 2010 and went on to earn a master of music degree at Cleveland State University. During this time, she performed in solo, chamber and orchestral recitals in Georgia and Ohio. She currently serves on the music theory faculty of Columbus State and teaches musicianship and secondary percussion.

Following the concert, there will be a reception and an opportunity to meet the musicians. Tickets for each individual concert are available for online purchase or at the door and are priced at $20 each with $10 tickets available for students with ID. For additional information, visit www.albanysymphony.org or www.albanymuseum.com.

The final concert of the current series will be held on April 7, featuring the Sima Piano Trio (piano, violin, and 'cello).