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Jay Steveskey in Tunkhannock, PA on May 15, 2011

2011 May 5
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by The Classical Guitar Blog

n addition to presenting live theater this month, the Dietrich will also be offering up a Brazilian Classical Guitar Concert on Sunday, May 15, at 3 p.m. Classical guitarist Jay Steveskey will delight us with guitar music from the rain forests of Brazil in an all-Brazilian guitar program titled “Gritos d’ Alma” (Cries of the Soul). The concert will feature music of Brazil’s most celebrated composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos and his contemporary and close friend, Joao Pernambuco . We invite everyone to come out and enjoy this vibrant and insightful glimpse into the Brazilian soul through some of its greatest music composed for the guitar. Tickets are $10 each and can be reserved by calling 570.996.1500 or purchased at the door while they last.

David Russell CD Review

2011 May 5
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by The Classical Guitar Blog

He plays with the authenticity that comes from having grown up in the town of
Minorca, one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea that is governed
by Spain. Recording engineer Thomas Knab has taken special pains to illuminate
the warmth of the guitar’s heartfelt midrange. This results in performances
distinguished as much by their masterful range of colors as for their
heartwarming glow.

A review of David Russell’s new CD Spanish Music for Classical Guitar.

Nemanja Ostoich in Katy, TX on May 7, 2011

2011 May 5
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by The Classical Guitar Blog


Saturday, May 7 · 7:30pm 10:30pm


West Memorial area in Katy, TX

Created By

Serbian born, Nemanja Ostoich, ( is the winner of FIFTEEN international competitions, will perform a concert on Saturday, May 7th at 7:30pm.


From Bardenklange by Mertz, Sonata op 71 “Homage to Boccherini” by Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Sonata for Guitar by Antonio Jose, and Jazz Sonatina by Bogdanovic

Xuefei Yang Concert Review

2011 May 5
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by The Classical Guitar Blog

Saturday’s concert at Bethesda’s Westmoreland Congregational Church featured Xuefei Yang in her first area performance. As meticulous a technician as she is a musician, the Chinese guitarist avoids the rubato-filled rhythmic affectations so many guitarists espouse and she manages to highlight the individual lines of contrapuntal passages while still maintaining a sense of momentum and rhythmic flow.

,p>In pieces (or arrangements of pieces) by Bach, Granados, Tárrega, Brouwer and Jobim, her emphasis was on clarity and balance. The 10 dance movements of Granados’s “Valses Poeticos” emerged with highly individual personalities, and the variations of Tárrega’s “Carnival of Venice” built in complexity and virtuosity to a climax tinged with humor.

Read the full review:

This is about a year old, but I just found it today.

University of Missouri Expands Guitar Program

2011 May 5
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by The Classical Guitar Blog

Students now have the option to major in music education, theory and composition and history with guitar as their emphasis instrument, Shay said.

“The program of study will include not only lessons with professor Glise, but also classes in guitar literature, guitar history, guitar pedagogy,” Shay said. “These students will be in chamber ensembles with either other guitarists or other instrumentalists.”

The guitar program will also offer a career development class.

How to Teach Your Students to Slow Down

2011 May 4
by Christopher Davis

Even the most insignificant thing can become a big deal in a lesson.

For instance, as Rob pointed out: teachers have to choose their words carefully. Sometimes a word carries with it implications as to how a give technique or musical idea should be accomplished.

The result of the “wrong” word can be frustration from the student or some unexpected results from a week home a lone practicing.

Lessons are the Student’s Time

In lessons, it seems fairly obvious that the teacher wants the student to do most of the playing. Why else would a person take lessons? This mindset has unexpected consequences.

How many times have you (if you teach guitar) played a passage at tempo or fast just to get the student an idea of what it should sound like?

It’s probably happened a few times. Just like words can have hidden implications, so does how you play things for students.

Students Go Faster Than They Should

It’s a common problem. Students play something fast, when the should be slowing down or using a practice technique to really nail a passage.

I suspect a lot of this is due to teachers leading by example. We play stuff fast in lessons just to get through it so the student can have more time trying things out. But we’re also saying something about how a piece should be played: fast(er).

How to Teach Your Students to Slow Down

Simple. Slow yourself down. Play at the tempo you’d like your student to use.

St. Louis Classical Guitar Society 2011-2012 Season

2011 May 3
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by The Classical Guitar Blog

The St. Louis Classical Guitar Society, one of the region’s
musical gems, has announced its 2011-12 concert season. It will
feature some well-known names along with newer talents.

Sept. 24, 2011: Jorge Caballero

Nov. 5, 2011: Duo Noire

Dec. 3, 2011: Carlos Perez

Jan. 21, 2012: the Beijing Guitar Duo, Meng Su and Yameng Wang.

Feb. 18, 2012: The Romero Family

March 26, 2012: David Russell

Not quite sure on the Carlos Perez date above. Had to piece it together from the article linked above and from the St. Louis CGS website.

Matthew Holmes-Linder in San Francisco, CA [Concert Review]

2011 May 3
by Guest Poster

This is a guest review by Giacomo Fiore.

On Friday, April 29th, I took a seat next to department chair David Tanenbaum and took a look at the program for Matthew Holmes-Linder’s second graduate recital. I was immediately struck by the fact that all pieces (with the exception of Brouwer’s Concierto Elegiaco) had been written within the past year. Even though I knew that Linder was an advocate of new music, it was surprising and refreshing to see such a novel program come to life.

Linder opened with Jasmine in Winter (2011), a piece for guitar and flue written by the Iranian born composer Sahba Aminikia, and dedicated to the victims of the recent anti-government demonstrations in Iran. Colors reminiscent of Takemitsu, fused with more overtly maqam-inspired melodic turns, were impeccably delivered by Linder and flutist Sasha Launer.

For the following three pieces, guitarists Robbie Nance and Mason Fish joined Linder as the Mobius Trio, an ensemble that has premiered half a dozen new works in just over a year; most recently, the Trio appeared as part of the Conservatory Project at the Kennedy Center in D.C.

Aminikia’s second piece of the night, Persian Dances (2010), confirmed the composer’s talents in writing for plucked strings, and the quality of writing remained high for Garrett Shatner’s The Transition and Anthony Porter’s needle-play. This last piece in particular explored a seemingly infinite array of texture, timbres, and tones, as a series of short movements evoked the composer’s first encounter with acupuncture. The Mobius Trio played with elegance, command, and inventiveness—the chemistry between the players is undeniable, making for an absolutely enjoyable performance experience.

For the second half, Linder returned to the stage to give the world premiere of Porter’s hair of the thing that bit you, a solo fantasy for classical guitar and loop pedal. The electronic effect is used to create short textural webs of increasing rhythmic complexity, but the loops are kept short and ever-changing. Some of the resulting polyphonic passages in harmonics quite literally took my breath away. Once more, the guitarist met all challenges with unfaltering technique, strong rhythmic security, and pristine tone.

Finally, Linder closed the night with Leo Brouwer’s Concierto Elegiaco (1986), the piece with which he won this year’s Guitar Concerto Competition at the Conservatory. Whether confronted with the piece’s expressive Interlude or the relentless final Toccata, Linder shone as a soloist, showing a deep connection to the musical material. I’ll be looking forward to hearing the same piece with the Conservatory Orchestra next year.

Mobius Trio in Davis, CA on May 12, 2011

2011 May 2
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by Christopher Davis

Mobius Trio
WHEN: Noon, May 12
WHERE: Room 115, Music Building, UC Davis, Davis
COST: Free
INFORMATION: (530) 752-7896;

More info:

Kevin Loh plays Michael Chapdelaine [Monday Motivation]

2011 May 2
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by Christopher Davis

Today we feature Kevin Loh playing a Beau Fleuve by Michael Chapdelaine.