Cover image: The Mind (detail) by Olga Amelkina-Ver
Ex Tenebris was commissioned by Valerie Hartzell in the spring of 2010 and premiered at the Classical Minds Guitar Festival in June of the same year. The idea for this piece came from the Latin proverb "Ex Tenebris Lux," or "Out of Darkness Comes Light." This composition is an emotional journey from the complexity of sadness to the simplicity of joy.
I would like to thank Frank Koonce for his tireless and exacting work in editing this piece, and Leanne Koonce for her expertise in designing the cover for this publication. I thank Valerie Hartzell for giving me the opportunity to explore writing for solo guitar. A special thanks goes to Sabine Madriguera for graciously proofreading the final draft of the work. Lastly, nothing at all would be possible without the support and encouragement of my wonderful family and my incredible husband, Fernand Vera.
Olga Amelkina-Vera grew up in Belarus and moved to the United States in 1997. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, and then Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of North Texas in Denton. An active performer and composer of works with guitar, she has received commissions for solo guitar and guitar ensemble music, as well as compositions for guitar with other instruments and with voice. She has been invited to teach and perform at numerous festivals such as the Classical Minds Guitar Festival, Fort Worth Guitar Guild Festival, Mesquite Guitar Festival, and others. With her husband, guitarist Fernand Vera, she established the Kithara Duo in 2002, and together they have performed in Europe as well as North and South America.
Olga strives to expand the guitar repertoire through arrangements and new compositions. Her interest in early music has led her to study and arrange, for guitar, the lyra viol music of seventeenth-century England. Her doctoral dissertation on this subject was recently published in Soundboard. Olga's other interests include fine arts, literature, and foreign languages. She currently lives in Denton, Texas. For more information on Olga and Kithara Duo, visit www.kitharaduo.com.