Liona Boyd
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Liona Boyd

Los Angeles, California, United States | MAJOR

Los Angeles, California, United States | MAJOR
Band Classical New Age

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Music

Press


"Liona Boyd shares tea with Ozzy Osbourne"

LOS ANGELES — Liona Boyd and Ozzy Osbourne finally sat down for a tete-a-tete.

The former goth rock musician and Canada's internationally acclaimed classical guitarist live across the street from each other in Beverly Hills.

She made headlines in Canada last summer after being mistaken for a noisy neighbour that the Osbourne family was feuding with. The fracas was televised through the Prince of Darkness's popular reality-TV show on MTV.

In one episode Ozzy and wife Sharon tossed objects, including a large piece of firewood, into the next yard to protest loud music from an unseen neighbour. He turned out to be a restaurant entrepreneur.

Boyd's meeting Thursday with Ozzy went far more smoothly.

"Ozzy was so friendly and he didn't swear once," Boyd said in a news release.

Boyd said she showed Osbourne a few tricks on her guitar. The pair discussed tattoos and their various pets.

Boyd admitted to Ozzy that she's on his Fan Club mailing list and loves to watch the crazy antics at his house from the safety of her mansion. But she wasn't sure what to expect of the notorious rocker, who is barely comprehensible on the TV show.

"Over the past year we've exchanged fruit baskets and phone calls, and a few months ago we were invited over for afternoon tea, but their plane was delayed," said Boyd. "It was great to finally get together." - Canadian Press


"Press Reviews"

- Ottawa Journal:
"... some of the finest classical guitar playing anywhere, and likely the best in North America."

- San Francisco Chronicle:
"... The guitar world's new Superstar."

- Stereo Review:
"... highly imaginative playing - flawless technique."

- Sao Paulo, Brazil:
"... one of today's greatest exponents of the guitar."

- Montreal Star:
"... an impeccable technique that few could match today.
No doubt about it - Miss Boyd is a winner."

- Los Angeles Times:
"... exceptional sensitivity and an impressive
sense of dedication."

- London Free Press:
"... she kept 1,200 listeners hushed and enthralled."

- Ijmuider Courant, Holland:
"... an astonishing technique and fine musical intelligence."

- Denver Post:
"... nothing short of fantastic. Liona takes one's breath away."

- The Plain Dealer, Cleveland:
"... a quiet poetic brilliance."

- Colorado Daily:
"... she played as if she poured energy into the guitar."

- Globe and Mail, Toronto:
"... technical dexterity of virtuoso calibre."

- El Diario de Hoy, San Salvador:
"... she captivated the people of Salvador with her graceful presence and exquisite playing."

- Canberra Times, Australia:
"... the most musically accomplished and technically flawless playing I have heard from any guitarist." - Various


"Striking a chord"

Liona Boyd moved into a 3,200-square-foot, white brick and wood, modernized New England Colonial in New Canaan, Conn., after four hurricanes chased her out of Miami.

Canada's foremost classical guitarist discovers a bright Colonial home helps her survive a cruel New England winter

By Kathryn Kates
Special to The Star

Liona Boyd gave up Miami's sun and sand for a little New England charm.

Canada's First Lady of the Guitar left her Beverly Hills mansion for Miami in 2004, but four hurricanes blew through, convincing her to relocate.

While pondering her next destination, Boyd reconnected with an old friend – Joanne Perica, a producer and singer from Toronto. Perica invited Boyd to visit her in Connecticut.

In New Canaan – where Boyd had performed some 30 years prior – Perica introduced her to Phil Maniatty, who is now producing Boyd's 21st CD, her first recording that will include her singing. Due out this spring, it will feature 16 love songs. Boyd wrote all the lyrics and most of the music.

For the CD she partners with Srdjan Gjivoje, a Croatian-born, New Jersey-based folk and classical guitar player and tenor.

Wanting to live within easy access of Gjivoje and Maniatty, Boyd moved to a 3,200-square-foot, white brick and wood, modernized New England Colonial last August. Boyd, now living single, says she enjoys her new-found freedom but finds it hard at times not having a man to help around the house.

Q: What attracted you to this place?

A: If I was going to survive the winter, I needed sunshine because it makes me feel good. Other New England homes I looked at were old and musty, this house had recently been renovated and it was light, airy and surrounded by windows. The only big disappointment is that it doesn't have a fireplace.

It is on a hill; there is a pond at the very bottom of the hill where many different exotic birds come, including Canada geese. Deer come through my garden; in the backyard are woods and a stream. I can walk everywhere – including to the train, and in one hour be in Manhattan. Everybody is very friendly and appreciative of my music.

Q: How would you describe your home?

A: It's a two-storey house with high ceilings. The basement has a laundry, storage and furnace room. The main floor has a mud room – it's what they call a foyer in New England. There's a powder room, an open plan dining room which I've made into my art gallery, kitchen, living room and a library/office/music room – where I spend most of my day. It has big windows; it is very light and that's what I love about it.

The second floor has four bedrooms; the master bedroom and guest room both have ensuites; the other two rooms I've made into gigantic walk-in closets. The attic is finished with a bedroom and bathroom.

Q: What is your favourite room?

A: My office/library because my guitar and computer are there, and I can see and hear the little stream in my backyard and watch the squirrels play in the trees.

Q: Do you like your kitchen?

A: Yes, it is light, bright and practical. I have white appliances, pale pine cabinetry and white, beige and black-flecked granite countertops.

Q: Is there a gadget you love?

A: I have this electric jar opener, it is very useful when there is no man with strong hands around which is most of the time!

Q: Does your decor have a style?

A: It is a contemporary and artistic mishmash.

Q: How does your house reflect your personality?

A: It is colourful and feminine. It has an international flavour reflecting my travels and mementos. I did leave many objets d'art in my former husband's house in Beverly Hills. ... I consider it free storage.

Q: Is there a decor piece you will never part with?

A: My beautiful cherry wood music stand, hand-carved by an artisan living in Salt Spring Island, B.C. I designed it – it's a one-of-a-kind. The funny thing is, I treasure it even more than my guitars, which I'm always changing.

Q: Who decorated your home?

A: I did. I've decorated four homes in four years. ... I must be nuts.

Q: Do you have a proud decorating moment?

A: I figured a way, with the help of my landlord and a handyman, to block out the light coming from two bedroom skylights using newspaper, tissue, Styrofoam boards and a white sheet. The idea won't win any design awards, but it works and I can now sleep in the dark.

Q: Have you had any decorating disasters?

A: The landlord had to rip out one wall in the living room when a leaking pipe was discovered. The problem was solved when five charming hunks came to fix it.

Q: When something breaks do you grab the toolbox or the phone?

A: It depends on what breaks. I do have a tool kit and sometimes know how to use it; otherwise I call my friendly next-door neighbour.

Q: Do you have a fantasy home reno project?

A: Move it to the edge of the ocean in Southern California.

Q: Are you a clean freak or comfortable around clutter?

A: Somewhere in the mid - The Star


Discography

Romanza (Moston)
Intimate Classics (Moston/Somerset)
Camino Latino / Latin Journey
Passport To Serenity (Moston)
Whispers of Love (Moston/Universal)
The Spanish Album (Moston/Universal)
Baroque Favourites - re-release (Moston/Universal)
Miniatures for Guitar - re-release (Moston/PolyGram)
Classically Yours (Moston/PolyGram)
Dancing on the Edge (Moston/Sony)
Paddle to the Sea (Oak Street/Sony)
Encore! (Moston/PolyGram)
Highlights (Moston/PolyGram)
Christmas Dreams (Moston/Sony) (Gold)
Persona (CBS) (Gold)
The Romantic Guitar of Liona Boyd (CBS/Sony/Moston) (Platinum)
Liona Live in Tokyo (CBS/Sony)
Virtuoso (CBS/Sony)
The Best of Liona Boyd (CBS/Sony) (Gold)
A Guitar for Christmas (CBS/Sony/Moston) (Platinum)
Spanish Fantasy (CBS)
Liona Boyd with Andrew Davis and The English Chamber Orchestra (CBS)
The First Nashville Guitar Quartet (Chet Atkins) (RCA)
The First Lady of Guitar (CBS)
Miniatures for Guitar (CBS)
The Guitar Artistry of Liona Boyd (Boot/London)
The Guitar (Boot/London)

Photos

Bio

Liona Boyd, known as "The First Lady of the Guitar" has introduced millions around the world to the art of classical guitar through her concerts, television specials, and twenty two recordings, many of which have gone "Gold" and "Platinum".

Liona has given solo and orchestral concerts around the globe and played for dozens of world leaders including the British Royal Family and the US President. She has recorded with Sir Andrew Davis and the English Chamber Orchestra, Yo Yo Ma and Georges Zamfir, and breaking with classical tradition has toured with Gordon Lightfoot and Tracy Chapman as well as recorded with Chet Atkins, Eric Clapton, David Gilmore, and Roger Whittaker. Liona has been a special guest on dozens of American television shows including The Tonight Show, Today Show, Boston Pops and Entertainment Tonight. Her virtuoso talents resulted in five Juno awards, five honorary degrees, and The Order of Canada. She is also a five-time winner of the Guitar Player Magazine poll for best classical guitarist and has been inducted into their "Gallery of Greats." Liona has composed and arranged hundreds of pieces for her instrument and also penned a best selling autobiography.

After a six year hiatus from touring, due to Musician’s Focal Dystonia, Liona returned triumphantly to the stage in 2010 having added singing to her guitar playing, and released two milestone CDs “Liona Boyd sings Songs of Love,” and "Seven Journeys-music for the Soul and the Imagination" with Peter Bond. In 2011 she relocated to live in Toronto and now tours with Michael Savona with whom in 2012 she will release a new CD called 'The Return... to Canada with Love'.

Liona wrote "Music contributes profoundly to the richness and beauty of our lives. I feel so fortunate to be able to share this wonderful international language with people around the world."