Photos: Meng Su, Classical Guitarist

Sound check! Meng Su, Classical Guitarist

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Pre-Concert Talk: Hart Wells


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Meet – The – Artist Reception

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Meng Su at Tom Cole’s Studio at WPFW. Photos by Danielle Cumming.

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Outreach: Marco Socias, Classical Guitarist from Spain – Hagerstown, MD

On Friday October 23, 2015, internationally renowned guitarist Marco Socias visited the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in Hagerstown, Maryland, where he shared stories and played selections from Spanish guitar repertoire for over 100 attentive students. The mission of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts is to provide every student with a rigorous, comprehensive, college preparatory curriculum rooted in intense, pre-professional training in the arts that encourages excellence and success in their personal development as students, artists and cultural leaders. 1

Mr. Socias’ visit supported this mission by showcasing a world-class level of classical guitar performance to an audience of students from various arts disciplines. He shared his expertise about effective practice habits,discussed his lifestyle and extensive travels as a professional performing artist,and offered the opportunity for high school students to engage in a session of questions and answers. In addition to his remarkable musicianship, Mr. Socias’ warm personality and enthusiasm contributed to the positive response from the students, faculty and administration in attendance. For at least one pupil majoring in guitar studies, Mr. Socias’ performance was her first experience hearing live, classical guitar outside of the practice room.

Candice Mowbray

1 Retrieved from http://wcpsmd.com/schools/high-schools/barbara-ingram-school-arts/about, December 9, 2015.

http://wcpsmd.com/news/bisfa-welcome-classical-guitarist-spain

Photos: Classical Guitarist Marco Socias, Spain

Spanish guitarist Marco Socías endeared himself to the John E. Marlow Guitar audience in 2012 with a flawless concert featuring beautiful renditions of Spanish compositions. We welcomed back this remarkable artist in November.

“Marco Socías’ music breathes sweetness and sensitivity. His easy command makes the public forget the traditional difficulties of the instrument. Marco Socías is not a guitar virtuoso. He is even more: a virtuoso of music itself.”
El Sol

Photos: Berta Rojas, Classical Guitarist from Paraguay

Artists, guest artists, volunteers and audience from our March performance, Berta Rojas, Classical Guitarist from Paraguay.

Review: Deborah Drayer – Rupert Boyd, Classical Guitarist from Australia

JEMGSweb_squares_RBLast Saturday, Rupert Boyd visited the John E. Marlow Guitar Series for the second time in almost as many years and wooed the audience with his homespun talent and good wit including a splendid range of repertoire from Dowland and Bach to Sor, Granados, Piazzolla and a spicy dip of Australian indigenous inspired music by Sculthorpe. The great gift Marlow offers its audience is the international flavor of artists who never fail to introduce us to sounds from their homelands along with many of their own arrangements of well-known classics like the Valses Poeticos by Granados originally written for piano and effectively refashioned by Rupert for guitar. And, the tricky Otono Porteno which inspired an enemy of Piazzolla’s to challenge him, at gunpoint no doubt, to “stop messing with the Tango!” Who could have blamed the guy, even the most accomplished dancers might trip over their feet sliding to the beat of that irregularly twisted opus, but what fun they would have doing it! And, Mozart would have been thrilled with the Suite in E Major, first written for violin, then lute and graciously articulated by Rupert with its own gavotte and menuetts. Between the waltzes, gigue, tango and assorted dances, it was an evening of fanciful movement all around.

Be sure to join us for the last concert of the season on April 5th when Pearl Django brings us their own unique blend of gypsy, jazz and swing. You won’t be disappointed.

— Deborah Drayer

Review: Deborah Drayer : Carlos Perez, Chile

JEMGSweb_squares_CP-smIt may have been a blustery February evening in the Nation’s Capitol last Saturday but that did not deter Marlow ticket holders from attending a superbly rendered program performed by Carlos Perez of Chile.  Fresh off delayed flights from all that fluffy white stuff the Northeast had endured, Carlos jumped right into his program and warmed the hearts of listeners with Dos Mazurkas by Manjon.  It was the beginning of an evening of comfort music with one delightful work after another.

The first half of the program was from the Spanish repertoire with two of the composers related by their studies with Tarrega.  But, first, Carlos gave us Manjon’s Dos Mazurkas, then he added the melancholic Aire Vasco with its remarkable and challenging passages of runs and arpeggios executed with disarming facility.  These were followed by the younger and longer lived Pujol whose Cubana made it difficult not to get up and dance — the muscle moving rhythms are so compelling it’s a shame to be seated for music so, literally, well, moving.  The Scottish Madrileno, too, was a dance form but could also be sung and it mimicked the voice in places were higher notes were held sotto voce for delicate emphasis.   This set ended with Damas’ Fandango Variado and all its dashing scales run over and over again with Olympian ease.  The audience was, then, well prepped for the second, southern half of the evening.

Round two brought us the South American’s in all their richness and color:  Barrios (Paraguay), Sagreras (Argentina), and Nazareth (Brazil).  Barrios’ Preludio Opus 5 is the kind of piece that gets the fingers moving in a way musicians love to play especially with it’s awesome coda, while the fanciful and fun melody of Maxixa, charming in its way, led nicely into the following work by Sagreras.  It’s worth mentioning here, that programming is an art in itself and good musicians know how to balance a program and lead the audience through the ages.  It can be done chronologically, by alternating centuries or decades to contrast style and musical development, or by grouping like-influences together.  Carlos gets that superbly well and demonstrated it in his own programming by putting space between Europe and the Americas.  These types of presentations teach us something about how composers are impacted by their own times and peers.  The programming itself can be a type of formative instruction and when one knows one’s craft, as Carlos does, it shows the composers and their work in a sometimes subtle, but revealing light.  Regis Ferruzza knows this too.  He’s always talking about how artists arrange their programs, and I trust he would agree, that this one gets high marks.

That being said, what impressed me most on this part of the program was the Nazareth Eponina — a slow waltz that just lusciously lulled the listener into the evening’s closing.  I imagined holding my child as an infant in my arms and dancing her to it to settle her in the evening before bedtime or comforting when it was needed.   What a precious gift it was.  There were many gifts last Saturday, but this one I took away in my heart.  Thank you, Carlos, for your gift and for an evening well told.

— Deborah Drayer

Postcard: Classical Guitarist Jason Vieaux

Postcard: Classical Guitarist Jason Vieaux
Postcard: Classical Guitarist Jason Vieaux