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Leo Brouwer Tribute Concert in New York City on April 23, 2011

2011 April 21
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by The Classical Guitar Blog

Saturday, April 23, 2011, 8pm

Benjamin Verdery, artistic director & guitar
Odair Assad, guitar
Canadian Guitar Quartet
Ricardo Cobo
, guitar
Eden Stell Guitar Duo
René Izquierdo
, guitar
Raphaella Smits, guitar

Tickets can be bought here: 92y.org

Michael Chapdelaine Concert Review

2011 April 21
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by The Classical Guitar Blog

Michael Chapdelaine, the international award-winning guitarist whose intriguing recital closed the GuitarSarasota concert season, is nothing if not varied in his tastes and talent.

Starting with two unidentified heavy metal pieces, Chapdelaine moved to the first of two compositions from the Beatles. The first, by Paul McCartney, was impressive in its delicacy. Later in the program, George Harrison’s “Something” held the audience spellbound by both the hypnotic melody and the guitarist’s technique.

Read the full review here: ticketsarasota.com

Three Left Hand Technique Errors Everyone Makes

2011 April 20
by Christopher Davis

Imagine your self at a guitar concert. The music is beautiful, and you’re lost in it. There you hear a terrible buzz — a missed note — and your reverie is broken.

Most of you have probably been to a concert where this has happened, and perhaps some of you have been the ones making the buzz (I know I have). Are those buzzes and split notes true mistakes? Or are they one of these errors:

1. Moving All at Once

Most classical guitarists come from some sort of rock or popular music background. So think back to your first guitar lesson. What did you do? Chances are you played some chords.

Then you tried to move those chords around, and your teacher said that you should try to move all your fingers at once.

Moving all at once is not necessary in much of the classical guitar repertoire. Our textures are different, and we don’t really have a lot of instances where block chords need to land all at once. The solution is sequencing.

Put fingers down as you need them. Don’t worry about nailing the block chords; start thinking, “where can I add fingers later? Do I need to have every note of the chord down right away?”

This one little change makes a huge difference in how legato and consistent your sound is.

2. Not Preparing & Carrying Around Excess Baggage

This goes hand in hand with sequencing. Good guitarists find ways to prepare for the next movement before it happens.

In other words, think how you can prep unused fingers for the next shift or movement. You could extend the first finger to prepare for a barre or hover an unused finger over the string where it will be placed next.

The other half of this is keeping unnecessary fingers down. Unless a finger is fulling a musical (controlling open strings, respecting note values, etc) or technical (a guide or pivot finger, etc) purpose, it probably shouldn’t be down. Why do we do this? Because it’s easy to be lazy and not worry about picking fingers up before we have to.

But the truth is that, while it is easy to keep left hand fingers down, often times those fingers create problems in shifting and legato later on. So drop them. And try to incorporate those newly freed fingers into your preparations for the next move.

3. Ignoring Hand Position

Hand position matters a lot for the left hand. Does your hand need to be angled or straight?

Sometimes it’s easier to do one or the other. But the real value in paying attention to your left hand positioning is not that it makes things easier.

Find a left hand position that works well for a given passage or motive and you’re able to replicate it in practice — you can getting into and out of this new hand position instead of leaving it to chance. That’s awesome.

Awareness is King

All of the above have one thing in common: they involve being aware. They involve you stepping up your practice focus and getting your left hand to do the things you need it to do.

The good news is the more you pay attention now, the more good habits — like sequencing, preparation, and good hand position — take over and become the default.

Hill Guitar Company Profile

2011 April 19
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by The Classical Guitar Blog

Here is a little business profile of the Hill Guitar Company:

FELTON – The aroma of wood shavings and varnish hung in the air at Hill Guitar Company along with more than a dozen guitars in varying stages of completion Monday.

Kenny Hill’s been producing classical and flamenco guitars in the San Lorenzo Valley for more than two decades, but with his new shop on Highway 9, he’s preparing to ramp up production to meet increasing global demand for his high-end concert instruments.

Full story: santacruzsentinel.com

Paul Galbraith Concert Review

2011 April 19
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by The Classical Guitar Blog

NEW YORK—Earlier this month, renowned innovator of classical guitar and a 1998 Grammy nominee Paul Galbraith took the stage of the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center.

As part of his 2011 world tour, Paul Galbraith delivered a great performance with his unique style, unconventional cellist posture, and 8-string Brahms guitar. He took the audience on a journey through the musical works of some of his favorite composers, transcribed for the guitar by Galbraith himself.

Read the full review here: theepochtimes.com

Berta Rojas Concert Review

2011 April 18
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by The Classical Guitar Blog

Like many musicians, guitarist Berta Rojas can play only music she loves. She said as much to the audience of her Saturday night recital at the Westmoreland Congregational Church in Bethesda, where she sat perched atop a kind of dais for the final event of the John E. Marlow Guitar Series season.

Read the full review here: washingtonpost.com

Asya Selyutina plays Nikita Koshkin [Monday Motivation]

2011 April 18
by Christopher Davis

Today we feature Asya Selyutina performing a Without a Landscape by Nikita Koshkin. This piece is from the set Da Capo and is available from Editions Orphee.

Edel Muñoz in Nashville, TN [Concert Review]

2011 April 17
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by Guest Poster

This is a guest review by Seth Guillen

Edel Munoz Classical Guitar

Edel Muñoz


I had the opportunity about a year ago to see the first Austin Peay State University workshop and competition up-close and personal; I was working it. During that competition I saw some excellent performances/performers, however, the player that won, Edel Muñoz, was a stand-out not only for the fact that he won but also was an excellent guitarist.

Now, almost a year later I got the chance to see Edel in a concert situation. Edel appeared today the seventeenth of April at the Nashville Public Library Concert Series with a casual air about him; what followed was far from a casual experience. The first half of the program consisted of what has been Edel’s competition set, Sonata in A Major, K. 208 D. Scarlatti, Prelude Fuga and Allegro, BWV 998 J.S. Bach, Andante and Rondo No. 2, D. Aguado and finished out with Elogio de la Danza by Brouwer.

After the first phrase of the Scarlatti I knew something was different and was going to continue to be different for this afternoon concert. I can only describe the Scarlatti Sonata as artistic and subtle with an extraordinary amount of elegance. The dynamic range was effective and thought out; even more powerful were the repeats. Edel took the repeats with ornaments, and they were some of the most tasteful and beautiful I have ever heard. Not only was the original melodic line intact and recognizable but even more exciting. Continuing on in the baroque fashion, the Bach PFA was just as engaging as the Scarlatti. I have personally heard this piece played more times than I care to admit to, but this time it was different. It was during this piece that I realized what I was enjoying most about the performance. Edel had mastered his neutral sound, where everything moves from, both dynamically and in tone color. The Bach was engaging and interesting and thoroughly thought out.

Both the Aguado Rondo and Elogio de la Danza were nuanced and stylistic performances. Muñoz played with grace and refinement in the Rondo, placing cadences and allowing the listener to enjoy arrival points, while in the Brouwer he maintained the intensity, keeping the audience guessing and making the closing piece as exciting as the first piece. It was obvious that the audience wished to give him a standing ovation right then before the intermission.

The second half consisted of two Cuban pieces, Mirandote by E. Martin and Guajira a mi madre by N. Rojas. I was unfamiliar with either of these pieces but enjoyed them. Muñoz ended the second piece by looking up at the audience and saying the only word he uttered the entire concert, “Cuba”. This word actually had an immediate effect: charm. It was a very clever moment in the concert. The rest of the concert finished out with Invocacion y Danza by J. Rodrigo and Sonatina by F.M. Torroba. Suffice it to say, the second half was better than the first half. All of the details were there, phrases, subtlety, nuance intensity and every moment that needed to breathe did.

Muñoz played a concert that was on the heavy side of the classical guitar rep but pulled it off with style. The few complaints I did have, such as obnoxious tuning and some strange stage deportment were overshadowed by the artistry of the music. I tend to feel one of two ways after a concert: 1) like going home and reading a book, watching TV or playing xbox or 2) like picking up my guitar and just playing. Edel did the latter of those two things for me. If you have the chance to see him, do so, you will not regret it.

Philip Hemmo in Tucson, AZ on April 29, 2011 [Guitar Concert]

2011 April 17
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by The Classical Guitar Blog
Time
Friday, April 29 · 8:00pm 11:00pm

Location


More Info
My last concert of the 2010-2011 season. The $10 door donation goes to feed the homeless here in Tucson. I thought it was a great cause and I hope we can raise a lot of money to help our community.

Program

Cinq Preludes – H Villa-Lobos
Suite castellana – F. Moreno Torroba
Granada and Mallorca – I. Albeniz

Intermission

Junto al Generalife – J. Rodrigo
Sonata III – M. Ponce

Guitar by Brian Dunn
A D’Addario endorsed artist

2011 Great Lakes Guitar Competition Winners

2011 April 17
by Christopher Davis

The Great Lakes Guitar Festival & Competition was held April 8-10, 2011 in Rochester, New York.

There were two rounds:

  1. A prelim round where competitors had 8 minutes for a program of their choice.
  2. A final round where three competitors had 20 minutes to play a program of their choice.

The Competition Winners

Great Lakes Competition Winners 2011

The Winners. Front (left to right): Jonathan, Emma, and Piotr with Kenneth Meyer, one of the festival's artists, in the back.

Watch Winner Piotr Pakhomkin Play

Here’s a video of Piotr playing Capricho Arabe by Francisco Tarrega.

The winner information was taken from the Great Lakes Guitar Society Facebook page. Stop by and “like” them to find out about all the cool stuff they do.