About Duo Symphonious
Duo Symphonious is the classical guitar duo of Michael T Roberts and Zac Selissen, dedicated to creating new works and reimagining orchestral and chamber music for their ensemble.
The duo went on hiatus when Zac relocated from the SF bay area to New York City in 2014, but their work endures through their Portable Nutcracker CD and score, with future bi-coastal collaborations in the mix.
Guitarists Zac Selissen and Michael T Roberts joined forces in 2006 as graduate students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, when they were serendipitously paired in Guitar Ensemble class. They discovered not only a shared history as electric guitar-wielding classic rockers who developed a passion for the classical guitar, but also a common interest in a wide range of music, from jazz to tango to the Baroque.
In 2011, Duo Symphonious launched two new programs: The Maize and the Moon, with music from (and inspired by) Latin American and Spain; and The Portable Nutcracker, featuring original, genre-bending arrangements of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet. The Portable Nutcracker received the Shenson Award from the San Francisco Community Music Center. A Portable Nutcracker recording and score was released in 2012.
In 2013, the duo broke ground on original arrangements of Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, premiering portions of each in their debut appearance with the Trinity Chamber Concert series in Berkeley.
Duo Symphonious was also awarded, by Mayor Gavin Newsom, a Certificate of Honor for their performance at San Francisco City Hall in celebration of the first same-sex marriages performed there.
Thanks to the generosity of San Francisco Performances (who sponsored Mike's classroom teaching at Westlake Middle School), the duo enjoyed a series of coachings with phenomenal guitarists Zoltan and Peter Katona, as well as with the amazing Beijing Duo.
The Portable Nutcracker
Tchaikovsky’s orchestral masterpiece has lost an incredible 13,890 pounds!* Duo Symphonious has captured the soaring grandeur of The Nutcracker in the intimately beautiful voice of two classical guitars. Hear this perennial classic refreshed with new color—and a few twists.
*figure based on the average weight of a modern symphony orchestra