Guitarist Pierre Bensusan to Perform at the Clark March 22

For Immediate Release

March 11, 2003

Influential guitarist Pierre Bensusan will bring his unique acoustic style to the Clark Art Institute on Saturday, March 22, at 8:00 p.m. Bensusan, who was born in French Algeria, is the final performer in the series "Out of Africa: Music from Algeria, Guinea, Mali, and Senegal." Tickets are $19 ($17 for members of the Clark) and are available by calling 413-458-2303 extension 324, or at the Clark museum shop.

Bensusan draws on the musical idioms of Ireland, North Africa, and Brazil in his original acoustic tunes. Born in Oran, Algeria, Bensusan moved to Paris at the age of 4. He taught himself guitar at 11 and was greatly influenced by the folk revival in Britain, France, and North America. His 1976 debut album Pres de Paris won the Grand Prix du Disque at the famous Montreaux Festival in Switzerland. In 2002, he won the Association for Independent Music's award for best acoustic instrumental album for his CD Intuite. Bensusan works in the unusual DADGAD tuning and is lauded by fellow musicians, including David Crosby, Leo Kottke, and Doc Watson, for his virtuoso finger picking technique.

According to a Washington Post review, Bensusan's live performances demonstrate why "he has become one of the most distinctive and influential finger-style guitarists." The New York Times has said, "with a rare elegance, Mr. Bensusan measures every detail of tone, articulations, and counterpoint in pieces that covered a lot of geography. The sounds he makes are ravishing."

Bensuan's performance closes the Clark's "Out of Africa" series, which has featured concerts by Senegalese hip-hop group Gokh-bi System, Malian storyteller Mamadou Diabate, and Afro-pop artist Alpha Yaya Diallo. The series, called "musically provocative" by the Berkshire Eagle, is offered in connection with the Clark's current exhibition Renoir and Algeria. The exhibition, on view through May 11, features studio paintings done in Paris as well as landscapes, portraits, and images of life in Algeria inspired by Renoir's trips in 1881 and 1882.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Gallery admission is free through May. For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit

Return to the previous page