Vitalij Kuprij biography
Vitalij Kuprij, born 1974 in Volodarka, Kiev, Ukraine, has been the recipient of numerous awards and prizes. He won the prestigious First Prize as the youngest person to compete in the All-Union Chopin Competition held in the Republic of Kazan, Soviet Union; the Gold Medal in the Kiev Conservatoire Competition; and the Poltawa, Ukraine Mykola Lyssenko Competition. In addition, he received First Prize in the Geneva Duo Competition for Violin and Piano and the First Prize in the Piano 80 and Swiss Youth Competition, after he had left Ukraine at the age of 16. It was also in Switzerland where he met incredible guitarist Roger Staffelbach, who he formed his first band with in 1993 - "Atlantis Rising".
Vitalij's appearance on Ukrainian radio and television brought him critical acclaim for his performance of concertos by Beethoven and Chopin. internationally renowned flutist James Galway chose Vitalij as his accompanist for the 1995 International Flute Seminar Master Classes held in Weggis, Switzerland. Vitalij has been much in demand as a soloist, recitalist and as a chamber musician throughout the United States and abroad, including France, Poland, Switzerland, U.K. and Luxembourg. On March 7th 1999, he even performed with the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall. In addition, as a composer, he often performs his own works in concert.
Vitalij has studied piano with Professor Nina Najditsch at Kiev's Mykola Lyssenko Music Academy for Highly Talented Students. Prior to coming to the United States, he was a student of Vienna's Professor Rudolph Buchbinder, at the Basel Conservatoire, Switzerland. In 1995, Vitalij moved to the United States in order to begin his musical studies with Gary Graffman, President and Director of the prestigious Curtis Institute Of Music, where he graduated in May 2000.
There is yet another side to this multi-talented performer, composer and keyboardist - neo-classical alternative rock. Vitalij and his old friend and guitarist Roger Staffelbach are the founding members of neo-classical progressive rock/metal band "Artension". Vitalij has released several CDs - five with the band Artension, three solo instrumental albums, "High Definition", "Extreme Measures" and "VK3", and a couple of others.
In 1999, after recording Artension's 4th album, Vitalij married the love of his life, beautiful violinist MuNa, in San Francisco.
Currently, Vitalij is still busy performing classical concerts and planning his next releases, while every now and then he still takes the time to participate in other musical projects. Despite of his successful career as a rock musician, Vitalij is still deeply involved with classical music as he thinks it is the highest form of art in the world. Vitalij considers both of his careers as a main journey of his life, and says he will never give up any chance or opportunity to do anything that is related to music. music critics have said that "...Kuprij fascinated as an astonishing, powerful and confident virtuoso..." and that Vitalij Kuprij performs "wonders on the keyboard... his performances are truly artistic achievements."
Javier Leal biography
Born on March 21, 1975. Javier lived most of his childhood in England and later came back to his native land Monterrey, Mexico. Javierīs involvement with the electric guitar started in his early teens. Playing 80īs rock music and heavy metal were his passion in the first few years and very soon he became interested in the styles of Yngwie Malmsteen, Jason Becker, Tony Macalpine and Greg Howe.
After 5 or 6 years of heavy practice and study Javier started incorportating new influences into his playing such as that of Allan Holdsworth, Scott Henderson and AlDimeola, he became more aware of many musical concepts that were beyond the scope of technical skill. In the summer of 1996 Javier met Marco Ferrigno with whom he would devolop a great working relation as well as friendship. At this time Javier was heading in a diferent direction and was studying Jazz composition and improvisation but also decided to stay true to his roots and kept on shredding. So aside from listening to jazz , he was also listening to new guitarists like George Bellas. Although Javier does not consider himself a keyboard player, he participated throughout Marco Ferrignoīs "The Quest" which was recorded in 1999. For Javier,keyboards, and more recently drums, are very useful tools for composing, they let him write music from a different perspective. Originality and a new freshness in music are his main goals while composing.
Javierīs most recent work is called "Promised Land", it is a project that was thought out about a year ago between him and Marco. Vitalij Kuprij was asked to join the band along with Jon Doman, who had already recorded drums with them. "Promised Land" is Javierīs most complete work to date. He is currently working on a new solo project which will hopefully be relased in the summer of 2003.
Marco Ferrigno biography
Am twenty eight years old, I started to play the guitar 13 years ago influenced by a brother that played clasical guitar. For many years I was playing the mainstream instrumental rock, in the begining I listen to much to Alex Skolnick, Yngwie and the early MacAlpine and then in 1996 I met Paul Hanson, he was my teacher and he made me a shredder, then I met Ernesto Homeyer,a very agressive player, he sounds like a mixture between Michael Harris and George Bellas, he sometimes was ask by Paul Hanson to perform some solos when some shredders challenged him musicaly, Ernesto made me sometimes throw the towell because he is very intense and mean as a shredder, but eventualy that formed my style as a guitar player,later Ernest put me to practice the sweeping techniques, at that time George Bellas havent appeared in the music scene and I really thought that in some ways Ernest was leading the way in G.I.T. then I started to get influenced by Tony MacAlpine.
Jason Becker was always mention by my teacher Paul Hanson who tought me his techniques.
During the recording of my demo "The Quest" the fatigue that I had in my left hand really affected the speed of my playing in general so I have to took brakes from time to time.
After The "Promised Land Experience Im still looking for my identity as a Guitar Player and hopefully some day I will find it.