Douglas Hensley

Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Classical Guitar Performance, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Douglas Hensley

Douglas Hensley is an ecclectic and versatile musician who enjoys teaching students of all levels and ages, helping them develop a solid technique which will enable them to play whatever kind of music they choose. Since 2001, he has served with the Victoria Symphony on guitar, lute, mandolin, and banjo, and in 2008 joined Pacific Opera Victoria in Regina. As co-founder and co-director of the Continuum Consort, he explores a repertoire from 12th century Cantigas de Santa Maria to 21st century works written for the ensemble (including commissions funded by the B.C. Arts Council and the Canada Council), on a variety of plucked string instruments. The Continuum Consort was invited to perform in Korea in the fall of 2006 and the summer of 2007, and was the first Canadian ensemble to perform at the Pan Music Festival in Seoul.

He has also worked with ensembles such as Aventa, Ensemble Laude, Victoria Philharmonic Choir, Victoria Children’s Choir, CapriCCio, Anima, Les Violes de Ste Colombe, and the Civic Orchestra of Victoria (as guitar soloist in Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez), and he has appeared in faculty recitals at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and UVic.

In California, he performed with numerous ensembles as well as the Symphony Orchestras of San Francisco, Berkeley and Marin.  He co-founded and co-directed the contemporary music ensemble ISKRA with conductor Kent Nagano, with whom he recorded Frank Martin’s Poèmes de la mort.

Douglas Hensley has significantly enriched the guitar’s repertoire by commissioning and premiering over 50 works by composers from many different countries, including Jean Coulthard and Murray Adaskin (Canada), Henk Badings (Holland), Hans Holewa and Rolf Martinsson (Sweden), Rudolf Kelterborn (Switzerland), Larry Polansky and David Loeb (USA), Byung Dong Paik and Hyo-shin Na (Korea), Reza Vali (Iran), Junko Mori (Japan), György Geszler (Hungary), etc. He has recorded, on several labels, a wide variety of pieces for classical and electric guitars, lutes, viola da pendola, oud, and setâr. He has studied classical Persian music with several Iranian masters in California and Paris, including Mohammad Rezâ Lotfi, Dâriush Talâ’i, Rez Ghâsemi and Mahvash Guerâmi.

Selected recordings: Si je languis, Continuum Consort (CD, 2005); La Rosa Enflorece, Anima Medieval Music Duo (CD, 2003); Pleasure, Pomp and Power, Ensemble Laude (CD, 2001); Yearning for Autumn, various artists (CD, 2001); Waterlilies: Visions of Monet (Ensemble Giverny), (Moonbridge CD, 1998)

Douglas Hensley teaches in English, Persian and French.