From Brussels to London to New York to San Francisco, there are plenty of interesting classical guitar concerts in the coming weeks. Here’s the lowdown on a few that caught our eye.
A Celebration of Rodrigo in Brussels
During this well-publicized 75th anniversary of Joaquín Rodrigo’s much-loved Concierto de Aranjuez, performances of the great composer’s music—and not just the Concierto—have been popping up all over the world. But the biggest Rodrigo celebration yet this year takes place October 28-31 at Belgium’s Conservatory of Brussels (Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel). Over that four-day period there will be master classes with renowned guitarists Odair Assad and Marcos Socías (and also violinist Agustín León Ara), lectures, workshops and a gala concert, dubbed “The Other Side of Joaquín Rodrigo,” that will put the spotlight on his chamber music, some pieces including vocals. The composer’s daughter, Cecilia Rodrigo, will give a pre-concert talk that will include performances of parts of the Concierto de Aranjuez.
The event was organized by the world-renowned guitarist and educator Antigoni Goni, who teaches at the Conservatory in Brussels, and also holds positions at New York’s Columbia University and the Royal Academy of Music in London.) For specific program information, click here.
Young Guitar Talents to Showcase at Carnegie Hall and in SF
The seventh installment of the D’Addario Foundation’s Performance Series for emerging guitarists brings together two of the classical-guitar world’s most promising talents for a concert at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on November 6: Ekaichai Jearakul, from Thailand, was the winner of the 2014 Guitar Foundation of America competition (among many other honors) and recently had his first CD, Guitar Recital, released by Naxos as part of their Laureate Series. Chinese guitarist Liying Zhu, who will be making her American debut at this concert, was the first prize winner of at this year’s prestigious Koblenz International Competition, after taking top honors at other competitions in Germany and the Netherlands the previous year (and placing in numerous others).
Two nights later, on November 8, Zhu will play at San Francisco’s St. Mark’s Lutheran Church as part of the D’Addario Performance Series, put on in association with the Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts. (On November 13, in the same space, Duo Meliswill be performing a wide-ranging program.)
On November 21, the Julian Bream Trust is putting on a program of adventurous (and in a few cases, seldom-performed) pieces at Wigmore Hall in London, featuring the outstanding guitarist (and composer) Laura Snowden, winner of the 2014 Ivor Mairants competition.
The first half will include works by Lennox Berkeley, Frank Martin and Benjamin Britten; the second, pieces by Manuel De Falla, Roberto Gerhard, Albert Roussel, Federico Mompou, and a world premiere: “Catalan Peasant with Guitar,” written by Julian Anderson. Before the concert proper, Julian Bream and Julian Anderson will give a talk. Anderson is one of the most prolific and respected composers to emerge from the UK in recent decades, having written many orchestral, choral, and smaller ensemble works through the years, as well as teaching composition at such first-tier schools as the Royal Academy of Music, Harvard University, and the Guildhall School of Music.