Video Pick of the Week: Liona Boyd Performs ‘La Malagueña’

Classical guitarist Liona Boyd talks about the injury that almost ended her career.

All of us at ‘Classical Guitar’ send our warm wishes and healing vibes out to the superb British/Canadian guitarist Liona Boyd, who was injured last week in a fall in her Palm Beach, Florida, home. Boyd slipped on a piece of cardboard in her garage and crashed onto the concrete floor, breaking a knee and a shoulder in the process.

“I was panicked lying there and thinking I might faint at any minute, my body trembling with adrenaline,” she said in a statement. “I knew I had broken my shoulder and my knee and was in excruciating pain and panicked that no one would find me, as I live alone and my next door neighbors were away. I was yelling so loud, and after ten minutes, which felt like an eternity, a Good Samaritan heard my screaming from a block away.”

Boyd was taken by ambulance to a hospital in West Palm Beach, and later was flown to Toronto (where she mainly lives). “It could have been much worse,” she said. “I could have broken my neck, suffered a concussion, or smashed my guitar-playing hands, or lain there undiscovered for days, as I was unable to reach my cell phone.” Boyd’s doctors expect that she can be up and walking—and playing guitar again—within a couple of months.


OK, enough troubling news. Here’s a clip of Ms. Boyd playing the old chestnut “Malagueña,” originally the sixth part of Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona’s 1928 Suite Andalucia, but also a popular piece on its own—performed instrumentally in many style through the years, and also vocally (with lyrics written by the composer). Lecuona’s original was written for piano.

Boyd has enjoyed a long and fruitful career since emerging from the University of Toronto in the early 1970s. She studied with the likes of Narciso Yepes, Andrés Segovia, Julian Bream, and Alexandre Lagoya, and since the mid-1980s, has made more than two dozen albums, including several best-sellers in the classical market, and a few or which even crossed over and reached more pop-oriented audiences.  A studio recording of her playing “La Malagueña” appears on the compilation The Best of Liona Boyd: The Millennium Collection.