The Great Necks Guitar Trio has enchanted audiences across the US with its whimsical, interactive, and daring performances. Founded by guitarists Scott Borg, Adam Levin, and Matthew Rohde, the trio, through its original madcap arrangements, stretches at the conventions — and at times, the physical limits — of the guitar. “These guys aren’t afraid to shake things up and take chances,” writes Classical Guitar Magazine.
The trio’s debut album, Original Arrangements for Three Guitars, released in November 2018 on the Frameworks/Sony label, reached the top 10 in the Traditional Classical Billboard charts. Praised as “supremely satisfying and original” (Classical Guitar Magazine), the album is an exuberant romp through several centuries of orchestral and keyboard repertoire. In Borg’s “audacious” (Boston Music Intelligencer) arrangement of Sibelius’ Finlandia and Rohde’s “engrossing” (The Whole Note) arrangement of Márquez’ Danzón no. 2, the trio telescopes the panoply of timbres, colors, and sounds heard in the orchestra through the keyhole of the guitar — that instrument once famously described by the late Andrés Segovia as “an orchestra in miniature.” In Scriabin’s Preludes, op. 11; Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy, Toccata “Dorian,” and Nun Komm, Der Heiden Heiland, and Villa-Lobos’ Alma Brasileira, the trio splashes new colors and carves new contours into works until now typically only known on the keyboard. In Albéniz’ Asturias, trio pays homage to — and “exploits every guitar trick” (BMI) to reinvent — one of the most familiar mainstays of the classical guitar repertoire.
Recent and upcoming concert appearances by The Great Necks include The Boston Classical Guitar Society, the New Mexico Guitar Festival, the Troy University Guitar Festival, “Sunday Chatter”, The Austonian, Colorado State University, Mid-Maryland Guitar Festival, University of Rhode Island Guitar Festival, Trinity-By-The-Cove, and the Aguado Guitar Series.
As soloists, educators, and composers, Scott Borg, Adam Levin, and Matthew Rohde have distinguished careers of their own, marked by regular festival and concert appearances across five continents and a growing solo discography on the Naxos and Odradek labels. Adam Levin has been praised by the Washington Post for his “visceral and imaginative performances.” Of Scott Borg’s Carnegie Hall debut, New York Concert Review wrote: “each note was purposeful and focused.” A composer, Matthew Rohde recently completed the score to the “beautifully executed” (L.A. Times) 2018 HBO documentary It Will Be Chaos.
Together, Borg, Levin, and Rohde also co-founded Kithara Project, Inc., a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote widespread and equitable access to the classical guitar worldwide, particularly in the US and Latin America. The organization actively oversees classical guitar programs for at-risk youth in Boston, Albuquerque, and Mexico City.