Douglas Hensley, instructor of classical and steel-string guitar, renaissance lute, classical mandolin, ukulele, 5-string banjo (Earl Scruggs-style) as well as classical Persian instruments (târ, setâr, santur, oud) and performer on all of the above-mentioned instruments.
Douglas Hensley (Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Classical Guitar Performance, San Francisco Conservatory of Music) 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 and 2008, respectively, he has served with the Victoria Symphony and Pacific Opera Victoria on guitar, lute, theorbo, mandolin, and banjo. 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 performed with ensembles such as the women's choir Ensemble Laude, Victoria Philharmonic Choir, Victoria Children’s Choir, CapriCCio, Aventa, 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. He is also a member of the contemporary group Big Speck, in which he plays electric guitar and electric bass, as well as The Klez, in which he plays guitar and oud. He also plays in 10-string Music with violist Kay Cochran and in the Iskra Violin & Guitar Duo with Tatiana Kostour. In the fall of 2018, he toured with the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, playing guitar and oud.
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 Počmes de la mort (lp, Opus One Records).
Mr. Hensley has significantly enriched the guitar’s repertoire by commissioning and premiering over 70 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, Rezâ Ghâsemi and Mahvash Guerâmi.
Selected recordings: Mädchen Lieder (CD, 2018) and 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)
Mr. Hensley teaches in English, Persian and French. He has taught music since 1976.