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Radim Zenkl

Radim Zenkl - mandolin player, composer, and instructor.

Originally from the Czech Republic, he discovered bluegrass by listening to records that were smuggled in to his communist country. The sound of a bluegrass mandolin initiated the spark that launched a decision to play music as a career at the age of seventeen and subsequently led Radim beyond bluegrass to an eclectic array of styles. He escaped from his homeland in the summer of 1989 and settled in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1992 he won the Winfield Mandolin Championship. Radim is at the cutting edge of the mandolin's future, designing new mandolin family instruments and creating new playing styles. He has invented a masterful technique, the 'Zenkl style,' in which a single mandolin sounds like two. According to David Grisman: "Zenkl has re-invented the mandolin in several different ways." Besides collaborating with the top musicians of the acoustic music scene, Radim has built up an extensive repertoire for solo mandolin, mandola and Irish bouzouki. He has recorded several solo CDs (released on Acoustic Disc, Shanachie and Ventana) and has appeared on more than sixty other recordings. Radim's worldwide performing and teaching credentials include guest appearances at prestigious music institutions such as the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, as well as many music camps and workshops. His very first music camp to teach at was PSGW in 1994, and this year Radim comes back with 20 more years of music teaching experience!

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