Biography

A Full Life of Music

Greg  is the child of musical parents (his mom was a pianist and his father a  cellist with the New York Philharmonic).  In addition to  Dalcroze/Eurythmy training as a child he studied the piano until his  early teens (with Katerina Rado, Edgar Roberts and Jacqueline Marcault),  and credits those early experiences for much of his strong  musicianship.


Greg  began to play guitar as a youngster,
like so many others of his  generation,
inspired by The Beatles and others rock performers (though he began with a

Joan Baez folk music songbook).

He formed his first  band in 7th grade

[see Rock Band photos] and played in it throughout much of high  school.


In  9th grade Greg became interested in the classical guitar, and began his study of it with the area's leading teacher, Luis Garcia-Renart (also a prize-winning cellist & conductor).
Greg studied with Garcia-Renart for 4 years
and then went to Boston's New England Conservatory of Music, from which he received his Bachelors of Music degree with honors in 1980.  At  NEC he studied with Robert Paul Sullivan and Frank Wallace, formed the Parnassus Guitar Duo, and gave the school's first all-solo  graduating guitar recital.
At the start of his career in the 1980s Greg played in  masterclasses of several of the world's leading classical guitarists:
Manuel Barrueco [photo at bottom], 

Eliot Fisk, Frederic Hand, Sharon Isbin and  Christopher Parkening [photo at top].


After returning to Woodstock, N.Y., where he grew up, Greg began teaching the  guitar,
and soon was teaching various guitar styles several days a week  at Allegro Music in Kingston.  In the 1980s he also became the  classical guitar instructor at SUNY New Paltz and Bard College and began  teaching guitar & other music subjects (music theory & history) at Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge (now called SUNY  Ulster).  In the 1990s he began teaching the Classical Guitar Seminar at  Bard and Greg is still the classical guitar instructor for their Music Dept.  Greg also plays each year in the Faculty Showcase concerts and often presents recitals at these schools [see review, at bottom center]


At present Greg teaches private lessons primarily at his home music studio in  Woodstock, N.Y.,  and is also affiliated with Barcone's Music, in Kingston, NY.


Greg  has been involved with a large variety of music groups throughout his career, from chamber music ensembles to rock bands
to orchestras.  In the 1980s he played in a heavy-metal  group called "Uncle Sam"
[Rock Band Photos] as well as in the
blues &  originals "Ben Prevo Band."
In the 1990s he played Beatles & Eagles
songs in "The Beagles" and a variety of
guitars in a  folk-pop-oldies group called "TimePieces" [Ensembles 2 Photos].
Currently Greg plays guitar & sings in the
"West Saugerties Boys" a classic rock band,
and is guitarist for "Fishbowl"
[Rock Band photos] a disco-party band.

In  the course of his performing career Greg has played electric guitar,  steel-string & nylon-string guitars, banjo and mandolin
in a number of musical theater productions including "The  Three-Penny Opera"
"Tommy" "Little Shop of Horrors"
[pit-orchestra photo above]
"Footloose" "The Sound of Music" "The Marvelous Wonderettes" "Evita"
"8-Track:  The Sounds of the 70s" 

and "Honky Tonk Laundry."


As  a classical guitarist Greg has been a
member of several chamber music ensembles, including the Arabesque Trio (flute, guitar &  bassoon; formerly: Trio Con Brio), the Catskill Mountain Renaissance  Consort (recorders,
viola da gamba, guitar & hand percussion),
Cantilena (flute & guitar; formerly: Interlude), and the SAGAD Trio (viola, guitar & cello).

Greg's talents as an arranger -- taking music  originally intended for one instrument or ensemble and creatively recasting it in a new setting -- have produced most of the repertoire of  these groups.  [see Ensembles 1 & 2 photos]


Years ago he published through Music Arts Graphics [see edition, below center]; now his GDG Editions -- music for solo guitar & guitar in ensemble -- are available through this website.


With the Arabesque Trio he has recorded
a CD of music by Debussy, Bach, Faure,
Mozart, Granados, Handel, Joplin, Ligeti,
de Falla, Bartok & Lennon/McCartney
titled "Reverie." Available from this website.


For further information on all these ensembles & bands see the Repertoire, Programs, Wedding Music, Editions and Photos sections of this website


And many people in the Hudson Valley fondly remember his 15+ years providing live
classical guitar music on weekends at
Joshua's Cafe in Woodstock.


Greg  has played over the years with many of the best instrumentalists and singers in the Hudson Valley:  violinists Carole Cowan
and Akiko Kamigawara, cellists Susan
Seligman & Ling  Kwan, violist Anastasia Solberg, flutists Marcia Gates, Pauline
Mancuso, Lynn Peck, Sarah Plant, Melissa
Sweet and Marisa Trees, oboist Joel Evans,
clarinetists Tony Penz and Kay Sutka,
classical guitarists Terry Champlin & Helen Avakian and David Temple, the fiddle
& guitar duo of Jay Ungar & Molly Mason,
and singers Kimberly  Kahan, Cecelia Keehn, Jonell Mosser, Anita Shamansky,
and Danielle  Woerner, among others.


In the 1990s Greg was a member of the
early music acapella group Woodstock Renaissance, and he has sung (bass)
with Ars Choralis since the late-1990s
[With Chorus photos].  He frequently accompanies them in music that involves various types of guitars, and has arranged a number of  songs for them: several Beatles songs, The Beach Boys' "Good  Vibrations,"
and an ambitious setting of "Where Have All The Flowers  Gone" (premiered in 2014).


Greg also did the instrumental music arrangements for Ars Choralis' "Music in Desperate Times" program with which they toured in Germany  [see with Chorus photos].

Greg's also been the curator of
Ars Choralis' "Artist Within" series of
concerts at the Sheeley House in
High Falls, NY, including  Valentine's
Day-themed shows [other Shows photos],
a folk "jambouree," the "Just For The
Fun Of It!" show [other Shows photos]
several classical recitals, a Kung Fu
martial arts (Greg's hobby for 35 years)
demonstration [photo above], and
2017's "A Night In Argentina."

Interested in learning Kung Fu?

Greg teaches the Fu Jow Pai style at Woodstock's Mountainview Studio

on Monday evenings [see Real Life photos].


Greg also programmed & hosted WDST radio's innovative classical music  show "Sunrise Concert" for over 25 years starting in the mid-1980s (and winning Hudson Valley Magazine's Best Classical Music show award for 1996); and  for a number of years he reviewed classical CD releases for the Kingston  Daily Freeman's "Preview" magazine.

More recently Greg helped form the
Mid-Hudson Classical Guitar Society,
presenting their first concert at  the Morton Library in Rhinecliff in 2010, and closing
their 8th season  in May 2017.

Greg  directs & arranges music for SUNY Ulster's Guitar [see Ensembles 1 photos]
& Mixed  Instrument Ensembles,
producing new arrangements of music
ranging from Renaissance pavanes to Haydn piano sonatas, solo guitar pieces expanded,
and a variety of famous songs including:
"Tico Tico,"  "Miserlou," "Fever," "Someone To Watch Over Me," "Shenandoah,"
"Down  On The Corner,"
"Billie Jean," "Everybody  Wants To
Rule The World," several Beatles
medleys, and an original minimalist piece:
"Blip, Blop, Plink, Plunk, Ting & Bong."

Greg  became involved with the

Woodstock Chamber Orchestra soon after  graduating from NEC and returning to Woodstock (when that orchestra was forming); he played the popular Vivaldi Concerto in D major with them in 1980.  Since then he has

performed works for  guitar & orchestra

with them several times: 
Herbert Haufrecht's  "Divertimento" in 1985, Heitor Villa-Lobos' Guitar Concerto in 1993,
the  "Fantasia para  un Gentilhombre" by Joaquin Rodrigo in 1999 [poster at bottom],
and his famed "Concierto de Aranjuez" in 2004 and again in January of 2018.. 

Greg has served as president of the WCO 

since 1995, seeing the orchestra through several Conductor Searches, and he's organized & played in  numerous fundraising concerts for the WCO over the years.

Greg also played with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic in their "New Wave"  concerts in the 1990s, backing Sterling Morrison of The Velvet Underground, and  providing support for singer Natalie Merchant.  One of his toughest  musical challenges was negotiating the guitar part for Frank Zappa's  "Alien Orifice" with the HVP when no other guitarist around could do  it!  Greg also played solo guitar as the

"opening act" for that  concert.  He's also opened for Leon Redbone and "3" (Emerson, Palmer & Berry) at The Chance in Poughkeepsie. 

Greg has also played with other top
Hudson Valley music organizations
including Cappella Festiva,
the Mendelssohn Club,
the  Gilbert & Sullivan Musical Theater

Company, the Pone Ensemble

and the Hudson Valley Recital Project.

at a masterclass with Manuel Barrueco

(seated lower right) in 1983 at the Hartt

School of Music

one of several guitar transcriptions
Greg published in the 1990s
through Music Arts Graphics

promotional poster for performing
Rodrigo's "Fantasia para un Gentilhombre"
with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra in 1999

Testimonials

a note of appreciation from SUNY New Paltz president Alice Chandler (1993)

a grateful student's note of thanks

as she heads off to college

appreciative clients of a wedding event

professional credits

A list of professional musicians I am proud to have played with:

Mike Aiese:  bass guitar

Russ Austin:  guitar

Helen Avakian:  guitar

Stephanie Backofen:  voice

Ed Baxter:  mandolin

Denis Bisoglio:  drums

Harvey Boyer: keyboards

*Melissa Brown:  bassoon

Richard Carr:  violin

Terry Champlin:  guitar

Tina Ciarlante:  voice

Tom Conroy:  keyboard, music director

Carole Cowan:  violin

Lynne Cunningham:  flute

Donald Dales:  piano

Stan Davis:  recorder

Mary Dietrich:  voice

Carlo DiRosa:  double bass

Paul Duffy:  keyboard

Chris Eberle:  bassoon

John Esposito:  jazz piano

Joel Evans:  oboe

Diane Fedora:  bassoon

Harvey Feldman:  bassoon

Luis Garcia-Renart:  cello, music director                 

John Gullo:  voice & guitar

Philip Hale:  keyboard,  music director

Ryan Hall:  viola

Sheila Hamilton:  flute                         

Mike Harelick:  voice & guitar

Kelvin Hill:  bassoon

Barbara Hardgrave:  voice

Maggie Hollenbeck:  keyboard, music director 

Michael Holober:  jazz piano

Melody Huffer:  bassoon                    

Bruce Jackson:  double bass          

Dennis Jones:  drums                           

Kimberly Kahan:  voice

Akiko Kamigawara:  violin

Cecelia Keehn:  voice

Tom Keehn:  voice, trombone

John Knight:  bassoon

Nanette Koch:  cello

Ling Kwan:  cello

David Kwiecinski:  guitar

Briana Lehman:  bassoon

Mary Leonard:  recorder

Karen Levine:  percussion

Nicole Levine:  clarinet

Randy Loder:  keyboard, music director

Savia London:  voice

Cornelia MacGyver:  bassoon

Bryce Mainieri:  voice & guitar

Laura Majestic:  harp

Pauline Mancuso:  flute

Molly Mason:  guitar

Francis Mejia:  bass guitar

Sevan Melikyan:  drums

Nicole Minielli:  voice

Kitty Montgomery:  voice

Jonell Mosser:  voice

Rob Murphy:  violin

Jack Nelson:  voice

Phil Nestor:  drums

Jim Noecker:  voice & keyboards

Yameil Nunez: vocals

Dewi Pangaribuan:  voice

Randi Parker:  trumpet

Lynn Peck:  flute

*Tony Penz:  clarinet

Barbara Pickhardt:  piano, conductor

Erica Pickhardt:  cello

Sue Pilla:  flute

Mike Ralff:  bass guitar

Sarah Restifo:  flute

Charlie Robitaille:  guitar

Elisabeth Romano:  bassoon

Eric Roth: guitar

Barbara Rizek-McGuckin:  flute

*Allison Rubin:  oboe

Karen Sahulka:  viola da gamba

Anita Shamansky:  voice

Andrea Shaut:  piano

Bob Shaut:  saxophone

Susan Seligman:  cello

Wayne Simpson:  bass guitar

Anastasia Solberg:  viola

Cush Solberg:  cello

David Spring:  keyboard, sax & music director

Eliott Steele:  keyboard

Chuck Stevens:  drums

Susan Parkyn Strauser:  voice

James Sullivan: banjo

Kay Sutka:  clarinet

Melissa Sweet:  flute

David Temple:  guitar

*Marisa Trees:  flute

Rob Turner:  cello, voice & guitar

Kristen Tuttman:  piano

Jay Ungar:  fiddle

Richard Udell:  guitar

Matt Ulrich:  voice

Craig Vandewater:  bassoon

John Vette:  double bass

Jean Vilkelis:  cello

Niels Waller:  guitar

Fred Waring:  drums

Glenn West:  bassoon

Jim Wezgryn:  bass guitar

Lori Willoughby:  bassoon

Danielle Woerner:  voice

Liam Wood:  guitar

T. Xiques:  drums

* pictured at a Woodstock Chamber Orchestra benefit chamber music concert at Manor Lake (2010)

Institutions where I have taught:

Allegro Music, Kingston, NY

Barcone's Music Center, Kingston, NY

Music Dept. & Credit-Free Continuing Education Dept. at  SUNY Ulster

(aka Ulster County Community College), Stone Ridge, NY

Walkill, Shawangunk & Eastern Correctional Facilities (through U.C.C.C.)

Music Dept. at SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz, NY

Bard College, Annandale, NY

Ellenville High School (Performing Arts Academy), Ellenville, NY

Recording credits:

NRS studios, Catskill, NY -- with Arabesque Trio (2001-2003)

The Clubhouse, Rhinebeck, NY -- with Ars Choralis (2009)

Utopia studios, Bearsville, NY -- with Ars Choralis (1999)

Photography credits:

Daphne Weld Nichols/Synergism (GD & Parnassus Duo), Dion Ogust (GD), Dan Chidester, Bob Haines

for Daily Freeman (GD), Michael Gold (GD), Howard Herman (GD & Akiko Kamigawara), Phil Book,

Tania Barriklo (Ars Choralis), Santino Rovereto, Cynthia del Ponte (Cantilena), Chris Johnston (Arabesque Trio), Ed Surowitz (TimePieces)

Publications:

articles:

live music reviews -- Woodstock Times

CD reviews -- "Instant Classics" column for Kingston Daily Freeman's "Preview" Magazine (1991-1994)

Segovia reissued LP review -- Journal of the Association For Recorded Sound Collections (1978)

articles on guitar/lute -- "The Essential Listening Companion to Classical Music" (Third Ear - 2003)

music:

"Theme, Variations and Fugue" by Herbert Haufrecht, fingering by GD, published by Bourne Co.

"Paduana" by Isaias Reusner, transcribed by GD, published by Music Arts Graphics

"Four Mazurkas, Op. 17" by Frederic Chopin, transcribed by GD, published by Music Arts Graphics

Venues & Organizations:

concert series:

Lunch ’n’ Listen, Poughkeepsie

Pacem In Terris, Warwick

Shawangunk Chamber Music Series, Pine Bush

"Clifftop Concerts" at Lake Minnewaska

Philipstown Concerts, Cold Spring

Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society

Andes Musical Moments, Andes

Mid-Hudson Classical Guitar Society, Rhinebeck

John St. Jam, Saugerties

“Fascinating Rhythms” Series, Kleinert Arts Center, Woodstock

Cami Hall, New York City

Hudson Valley Classical Guitar Society, New Paltz

“Live at the Library,” Woodstock Library

organizations:

The Pone Ensemble

New Paltz Summer Repertory Theatre

Golden Stone Productions

Shadowland Stages Theater

Mid-Hudson Women’s Chorus

New York Conservatory of the Arts Theater Company

Rhinebeck Theatre Society

Gilbert & Sullivan Musical Theater Company

Ars Choralis

Mid-Hudson Classical Guitar Society

Woodstock Chamber Orchestra

Hudson Valley Philharmonic Orchestra

Cappella Festiva

Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society

Hudson Valley Recital Project

Rondout Valley High School

Cairo-Durham High School

libraries:

Ellenville Public Library

Olive Free Library, West Shokan

Woodstock Library 

Morton Library, Rhinecliff

churches:

Holy Cross Church, Kingston

Walkill Reformed Church

Redeemer Lutheran Church, Kingston

St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, West Hurley

Old Dutch Church, Kingston

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Red Hook

Reformed Church of Saugerties

Christ Episcopal Church, Greenville

Overlook Methodist Church, Woodstock

St. John’s Episcopal Church, Ellenville

St. James Church, Hyde Park

Christ Lutheran Church, Woodstock

First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Poughkeepsie

St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church, Woodstock

Gardiner Reformed Church, Gardiner

St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church, Hyde Park

New Paltz Methodist Church, New Paltz

Hyde Park Reformed Church, Hyde Park

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Poughkeepsie

historic sites:

Roosevelt - Vanderbilt National Historic Site, Hyde Park

S. F. B. Morse State Historic Site, Poughkeepsie

Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, Liberty

The Senate House Historic Site, Kingston

schools:

Dutchess County Community College (DCCC), Dutchess Hall, Poughkeepsie

Music Institute of Sullivan & Ulster counties (MISU), Ellenville

Vassar College, Skinner Hall, Poughkeepsie

Bard College: Blum Hall, Bard Hall, Chapel, Olin Hall

SUNY Ulster, Quimby Theater

McCarter Theatre, Princeton, NJ

SUNY New Paltz: Shepard Recital Hall, Studley Hall, McKenna Theatre, Parker Theatre

New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA

Perkins School For the Blind, Worcester, MA

other:

Mohonk Mt. House, New Paltz

Mills Mansion, Staatsburg

Woodstock Artist Association, Woodstock

The Sheeley House B&B, High Falls

Maverick Concert Hall (“Prelude” programs), Woodstock

Pucker-Safrai Gallery, Boston, MA

Kleinert Gallery, Woodstock

The Elmendorff Inn, Red Hook

Byrdcliffe Theatre / Woodstock Guild

The Fountains at Millbrook

Solway House, Saugerties

Katsbaan Art Center, Tivoli

Creative Music Studios, West Hurley

Woodstock-New Paltz Arts & Crafts Fair, New Paltz

Opus 40, Saugerties

Comeau House, Woodstock

The Chance, Poughkeepsie

Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC), Kingston

Arts Society of Kingston (ASK)

The Howland Center, Beacon

Woodstock Playhouse, Woodstock

Unison Arts, New Paltz

Mountainview Studio, Woodstock

“Manor Lake,” Kingston

Hebrew Tabernacle of Washington Heights

Reviews

Solo recitals

“This serious, accomplished artist capped the evening with a superb performance [of Barrios’ La Catedral] that left us satisfied as at the end of a fine meal.  Greg Dinger is a young man with tremendous sensitivity and touch on the classical guitar.  Don’t miss his playing.  You’ll thank yourself for it.”

Allan Duane - Daily Freeman (1981)


“Mr Dinger made the most of [Scarlatti on the guitar], and the performance captured the inventinveness and rhythmic verve of the music very effectively.  Clear textures and sustained momentum brought particular vigor to the fast movements.  The Bach had exciting, demanding tempos … and the pacing of the Chaconne was well-planned.  The Malats encore also received a lively assured performance.”

Lawrence Kramer - Taconic Newspapers (1982)


“…A very effective and worthwhile recital.  Manuel Ponce’s Twelve Preludes are engaging little pieces, covering a wide ranger of styles from quasi-Bach to Mexican folklore.  [Dinger’s] playing ha lovely tone (the guitar sounded particularly good in the church), good rhythmic impulse, and some very beautiful phrasing.  [Albeniz’ Asturias] was exciting and dazzling in its outer sections with good lyrical contrast in the center.  The Bach [Lute Suite No. 3] was respectful of Baroque conventions, yet outgoing and expressive.  Giuliani’s  Variations on a Theme by Handel …was colorful, with a great deal of rapid, accurate playing and hardly a dropped note.   …The music of Leo Brouwer, a Cuban guitarist who writes some of the most advanced music being composed for this instrument … brought out the most assuredly virtuosic playing of the recital.  Elogio  de la Danza and Canticum were played with very strong projection, and then La Espiral Eterna had me on the edge of my seat, although I know the piece well. ”

Leslie Gerber - Woodstock Times (1980)


“GUITAR RENDERS A POETIC TOUCH

…[DINGER] plays with introspection and marked poetic touch.  …his phrasing is sure and he can extract surprisingly effective color contrasts from his instrument.  He tossed [Turina’s Fandanguillo] off with complete confidence.  This reviewer has heard [these Barrios waltzes] performed by artists of international renown and it is a pleasure to report that Dinger’s rendition of these gems did not suffer at all in comparison.”

Nathan Scheib - Daily Freeman (1981)


“In Bach’s 4th Lute Suite the playing was full of character.  …It’s a pleasure to hear Greg play Baroque music with embellished repeats, a most satisfying performance practice rarely observed today.  …[Barrios’] Estudio de Concierto is a virtuoso treat, and it received a virtuoso performance.  Even more exciting is the Dance Maxixe … his playing was almost as dazzling as that of John Williams in a notable recording.  I was impressed with the artistry of this recital and pleased with the performers artistic growth as it continues.”

Leslie Gerber - Woodstock Times (1985)


“Dinger’s musical ability was visibly clear throughout the performance …the passion and emotion he expressed was evident and enchanting.  It truly was something special to watch the dedication and emotion with which he played.”

Jacob Rothberger - The Oracle (1991)


“STRUMMING TO PERFECTION

Gregory Dinger’s acoustic guitar playing kept the packed audience at Studley Theater on Tues. Feb. 26 in awe.  There was no singing and no elaborate light, just Dinger sitting on a stool with his guitar playing every note with style and grace.  His inspiring love for these composers was evident throughout the three-page handout on their history that was given to the audience along with the program as they walked in.  He showcased these composers enduring vision with his own creative style and played each song as if he were telling a story.  The fast intricate pickings were playful and powerful; they invigorated and brought joy to the audience.  The serene slow notes wailing sorrowfully brought a whole wave of hating emotions to everyone.  Dinger sitting with his handmade instrument in hand displayed the effortless beauty that can be created through a guitar.”

Maritza Norr - The Oracle (2002)

Chamber music

 praise for The Arabesque Trio:


"[I celebrate the] musicianship, virtuosity and voicing of each player...in what just might become 

the next traditional ‘classic’ combo. A musically fastidious performance.” 

Kitty Montgomery - Kingston Freeman (1992)  
 

  “...A wide and varied dynamic range, virtuosity and musical expressiveness. ...[Dinger's] arrangements display intelligent, musical decisions... The individuals blend into a single organism. They are three terrific instrumentalists.” 

Howard Vogel - Woodstock Times (1999)  

Concerto

 “…Dinger’s playing was first-rate [in the Villa-Lobos Guitar Concerto].  He fulfilled every technical challenge this piece offered and shaped the music with rhythmic elasticity and dynamic variation.  Conductor [Luis Garcia-Renart], soloist, and orchestra were in tune with each other’s feeling and made of this work, written for Andres Segovia in 1951, a tour de force of expressive playing.”

Howard Vogel - Woodstock Times (1993)


“[In Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez] Dinger’s transparent articulations, evocative without rambling discursive from the ensemble …let profound emotion wake among us as our own, with the orchestra achieving fusions surpassing timed synchronization.”

Kitty Montgomery - Daily Freeman (2004)


“Gregory Dinger cast his own kind of spell in his guitar solo with the orchestra, Fantasia para un Gentilhombre by Joaquin Rodrigo.  Dinger evoked the mood of each of the four parts of the work, 

with the orchestra under Garcia-Renaat also flawless and compelling in their roles.  Whether the 

mood was stately, or flaring in a dance patter, Dinger and the orchestra transported the audience 

to the Spain of everyone’s imagination — and perhaps reality.  This was a perfect match between 

soloist and orchestra.”

Marianne Darrow - Ulster County Townsman (1999)