We just did a tally. Amazing to think of it, isn’t it?
27 Countries represented in the John E. Marlow Guitar Series over the past 22 years ( 6 concerts per year):
54 concerts representing the USA
Please see the Washington Post review for Xuefei Yang’s wonderful classical guitar performance, on Saturday, March 20th, 2010.
William Kanengiser, one of the founding members of the L.A. Guitar Quartet, gave a recital for the first half and then was the soloist for a new concerto composed by Shingo Fujii for Guitar and Guitar Ensemble. Advanced players from the Peabody Conservatory made up the ensemble with Julian Grey conducting.
Ponce and Granados, and Albeniz…these are not names that are evocative of a snow day in Washington DC. Yet, we had all of these last night when Rupert Boyd came to play. It was clear from the first pieces, new compositions from Australia by the composer Philip Houghton, that we were in for a treat. These pieces with the curious titles were delightful and rich in colors and expression…More Phillip Houghton, please!
Pressing on, the Folias Variations of Manuel Ponce highlighted both the profound depth of the great Mexican composer and and the amazing virtuosity of Rupert Boyd. I was asked at intermission if these works were difficult to play. What a question! “Not unless you really want to play them well, with no mistakes and with a great deal of musicality, tone, expressiveness and grace,” I replied. I probably need to learn how to just say, “Those were extremely difficult and he played them very, very well.”
So, we find ourselves with Rupert playing an impressive program and charming the socks off the audience…(not really their socks, that’s just an expression). By the time he got to the Valses Poeticos by Enrique Granados, the die was cast. The audience was hooked on his great warmth and charm, technique and gentle musicality. The standing ovation and bravos filled the hall, making the harsh realities of the snow and ice forgotten, just for the moment.
See the WASHINGTON POST review on Rupert Boyd’s concert.
When we looked at the program proposal from Carlos Perez, we realized he was playing music by composers we knew but music we didn’t know. Take Carulli for instance. In my experience, the music of Carulli is very transparent…there’s just no place to hide and very classically organized. It takes so much talent and musical heart to play that music well, and that is just what Carlos did. He made it sound interesting enough to hear and then to want to take the time to learn to play. He proceeded to play the challenging music of the Argentine virtuoso, Julio Sagreras, and included a largely unknown piece by one of the series’ favorite composers, Agustin Barrios.
We are so lucky to have been able to host Carlos and to see what he can do with a wooden box and six strings. What a miracle!
As you know, I am inclined to this music so it’s not surprising I enjoy it. Won’t you please note your comments below and let’s begin a dialogue online that will enrich us all, as we share our thoughts and impressions of the music we are so lucky to hear played live in concert.
From a presenter’s viewpoint, having a sold out performance is a sweet event, particularly when the hall is a good sized one with a large balcony for overflow audience. In this particular event, we were thrilled to have our great friend and virtuoso, Pepe Romero, come once again to play for our friends, both old and new. Getting to hear Pepe in person is a rare treat, as he plays great music meant to be savored and re-visited in our memories in days to come. Take the Capricho Arabe, as an example. When Pepe plays that piece, the music and his playing have a way of stripping away time and space, and for a few moments, we are lost in the world of southern Spain, among the Arabs and the oriental souks in the lands that held the Arabs, Jews and Christians in relative peace for over 800 years. And the Recuerdos de la Alhambra…another evocative piece that seems to lift us from our daily lives and transport us to such distant climes and times…all rather breathtaking but we’re back in time for the reception afterwards and a moment to speak with the pilot of our world travel himself and get his autograph on one of his cds. We are embarking on a new system of reviews here…won’t you include your thoughts and feelings, please?