Photos: ICM’s Board of Director’s Retreat

The International Conservatory of Music (ICM)’s Board of Director invited Dr. Matthew Hinsley from the Austin Classical Guitar Society to speak.



Thank you, Matthew, so very much. Thank you to Duane Morse for organizing retreat and thank you to Charlotte Kuenen and David Kirstein for hosting. Thank you to the Board Members for coming and for your whole-hearted and enthusiastic participation.

Looking forward to our next steps.

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

Review: João Figueirôa, Classical Guitarist from Brazil

Dear Friends,

Here is the link to the Washington Post review of João Figueirôa’s performance last night.


Music Clip: Roland Dyens, France

Music Clip: Roland Dyens, France

Listen to a music clip for Roland Dyens, France, performing Saturday, October 13, 2012

Music Clip: Roland Dyens, France

Listen to a music clip for Roland Dyens, France, performing Saturday, October 13, 2012

Trio Bolero – January 29th, 2011

The reunion of “Trio Bolero” brought three good friends and musicians together to play spirited and passionate music, arranged by Miroslav Loncar but tweaked in rehearsals by all three players.  Rebekah, the cellist, noted that all the music they play pre-dates the computer-generated sheet music of today.  It’s all hand written! And as a testament to the professional habits of fine performers who hadn’t seen each other in 13 years, all of their music was intact as they reassembled to perform last night’s program.

The majestic sounds of the cello offered a sweet and wonderful companion to the rich and sprightly guitars as they romped in the delightful music of Bartok, Rachmaninoff, Faure, Boccherini, the Bizet, Gnattali and our good friends, Vivaldi and Gershwin.

Two encores and a standing ovation brought the audience to their feet for a rousing thank you to the musical banquet offered by the “Trio Bolero”.

– Tim