Classical Guitar Canada
My good friend Adrian Verdejo, who I play with in the Victoria Guitar Trio, gave a concert in Vancouver last month with Stanton Jack and Mason Razavi. I really enjoyed the eclectic mix on the programme. Here is his strong performance of Elliott Carter’s “Changes.” I remember Adrian working on this piece back in college while we were roommates. I almost feel like I know this piece..until I look at the score that is. Adrian does a great job with presenting the gestures despite the obvious difficulty of the work.
Adrian Verdejo performs Changes for solo guitar by Elliott Carter (1908-2012) in Vancouver, Canada. http://www.adrianverdejo.com
Video Link/source: http://youtu.be/T5eWmUjHz30
Listen to samples or buy the album:
Comme un tango: The Music of Patrick Roux
- Original Release Date: January 1, 2013
- Copyright: (c) 2013 Productions d’Oz
- Total Length: 56:34
Tracks & Artists:
- Comme un tango – Canadian Guitar Quartet
- Le bourdon de l’âme – Patrick Kearney
- Après le bandonéon – Ensemble Contretemps/Go
- D’un ciel à l’autre – Patrick Roux
- Hier, aujourd’hui, plus jamais – SoloDuo
- Soledad – Duo Vice Versa
- Simplement choro – Jérôme Ducharme
- Ponticello Tango – Canadian Guitar Quartet
- Valse vertigo – Fabio Zanon
- Carnaval – Trio Alla Grande
What a great album this is! Not only is it held together by the theme of Canadian composer and guitarist Partick Roux’s writing but also includes some of the greatest guitarist of our day such as Fabio Zanon, Jerome Ducharme, and SoloDuo to name a few. The recording quality on the tracks are all pretty great and the packaging and design match the high quality playing. I imagine the recordings all come from different sessions as the quality, although high, appears to differ slightly across the tracks.
I really enjoyed reading the liner notes as they give some history on Patrick Roux’s musical life. As Louis Trepanier states, “this CD could be a sort of scrapbook of Patrick’s concert career of the 1990′s…Here is the result: the first ten years of the compositions by Patrick Roux, performed by the composer himself and an array of friends…”
The recording kicks off with Comme un tango performed by the Canadian Guitar Quartet. This title track has all of the great moments you’d expect from Patrick Roux: beautiful melodies as well as energentic romps into tango and flamenco. Most importantly, Roux’s compositions are FUN. Superb performance by the Canadian Guitar Quartet (I’ve come to expect no less than perfection from this group and they delivered once again). There are some moments in their performance of Ponticello Tango that completely shocked me! Such intricate and energetic playing, BRAVO!
The Le bourdon de l’âme performed by Patrick Kearney is another gem from the album. He’s in top form here playing with an excellent sense of space and time.
I was very grateful to hear Après le bandonéon played by Ensemble Contretemps/Go. The instrumentation of saxophone, clarinet, guitar, and percussion adds a real nice boost to the listening experience. The other track with Duo Vice Versa featuring flute and guitar is similarly a nice touch.
The composer plays a track himself D’un ciel à l’autre and showcases his very articulate playing. I thought the sound of his guitar was a bit woody and bright for my taste but after listening to the whole track I think it suits his clear style quite well and even missed it a bit afterward. Always nice to hear a composer play.
SoloDuo are awesome in there performance of Hier, aujourd’hui, plus jamais. This was one of my favorite tracks on the album. They pull off the performance brilliantly with an amazing mix of virtuosity, good tone, and spectacular ensemble skills.
Simplement choro played by Jérôme Ducharme is a treat as is the Valse vertigo played by Brazilian guitarist Fabio Zanon. Zanon’s is my favorite track on the album. He is able to take the phrases to all sorts of new levels. He is a master at keeping the energy moving forward and there is never a dull moment. As the notes state, “This virtuosic and lyrical waltz evokes a feeling of vertigo and imbalance through the sinuous motion of its melodies.” I couldn’t imagine a better rendition of this work.
This is a wonderful album that all will enjoy. It has moments of beauty and some raunchy tango grooves. The line-up of artists on this album is first rate and shows not only the importance of Patrick Roux to the guitar world but also all the great friends, students, and colleagues he has attracted over the years.
This recording has it all!
Guitare Alla Grande
February 14-17, 2013
by Heather Morand Clark
It was with a good deal of anticipation that I set off for the Guitare Alla Grande festival in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa. This four day festival takes place in mid-February, when all of us need a little break in the middle of our cold winter. The Guitare Alla Grande Festival, a collaboration of the School of Music at the University of Ottawa, Cambrian College (Sudbury), the Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau, and the Ottawa Guitar Society, is now in its eighth year, and its success is growing. Alla Grande is, without doubt, an event to look forward to every February.
This year’s invited artists included Fabio Zanon of Brazil, Benjamin Verdery of the US, and Canadian artists Jerome Ducharme, Patrick Kearney, the Canadian Guitar Quartet, Trio Alla Grande, Duo Vice Versa, and composer Patrick Roux, as well as ensemble conductors Denis Poliquin and David Gaudreau.
The festival began with a full day presentation by Benjamin Verdery. In the morning, he spoke about the art of transcription, and how to arrive at an accurate arrangement. He drew upon his many years of experience both playing arrangements, and being an arranger, to discuss some of the issues that must be addressed when trying to best keep the spirit and feel of a work alive when set to its new medium. Of particular study in this talk were Ben’s arrangement of the Blue Danube waltz by Strauss, and his settings of Jimi Hendrix songs. The aim of the Strauss arrangement was to stay very true to the original, whereas the Hendrix music was approached in a different way. Verdery preferred to take themes from the songs and put them together in a mix to create something that almost resembles a new composition.
Ben’s second lecture focused on the relationship between the performer and the text of the music, especially urtext editions. Ben focused on the Villa-Lobos studies, particularly the differences between the published edition, from 1953 (Max Eschig) and the 1928 manuscript that has recently surfaced. In parallel, he examined his working relationship with living composers who have dedicated works to him, and presented their answers to various questions on the topic of performers straying from the dictates of the written text. The lecture did not profess to have definitive answers, but was rather a very interesting and thought provoking examination of this relationship. The lecture did draw a few important conclusions: performers should start with a detailed reading of the text, and they should study, consult, ponder questions and proceed with utter respect of the form and traditions when making decisions. In the end, however, the performer must stand behind his or her choices.
The opening concert of the weekend was, as in prior years, performances by the students of the University of Ottawa, Cambrian College, and the Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau. The performers were soloists, duos, a quartet and an octet, playing new music published by festival sponsor Les Productions D’Oz. Composers included Benjamin Verdery, Claude Gagnon, Thierry Tisserand, Jurg Kindle, Carlos Rivera, Arnaud Dumond, Annette Kruisbrink, and festival director Patrick Roux.
Friday’s very full schedule included a master class with Fabio Zanon, with many of the same students receiving advice on their works-in-progress. The Maestro Alla Grande Guitar Orchestra, made up of students from the three participating institutions, under the direction of Denis Poliquin, rehearsed for three hours, as did the approximately fifty high-school-age girls of the Virtuoso Alla Grande Guitar Orchestra who had come in from Montreal towing a trailer full of guitars behind their school bus!
The evening concert was a launch of the CD Comme un Tango which features the music of Patrick Roux. Patrick’s eldest daughter Anne Sophie spoke at length about her father’s music career, informing us that when he first applied for admission to the Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau he was told he didn’t have sufficient technique or training to make a career in music. Rather than give up and pursue a different profession, Patrick persevered, and ironically now, as well as being a very well-respected composer, teacher and performer, he is the guitar teacher at that very same institution! Anne Sophie concluded her tribute by saying that she draws on this story a lot when she needs inspiration and determination in her own life.
Most of the performers from the CD were featured during the evening. We had the current incarnation of the Canadian Guitar Quartet, Philip Candelaria, Julien Bisaillon, Bruno Roussel, and Louis Trepanier, who were joined by Patrick Roux and Denis Donegani, since they had performed on the recording. Patrick Roux performed a solo, as did Jerome Ducharme, Patrick Kearney and Fabio Zanon, and finally Trio Alla Grande. The CD was of course sold afterwards, and since all artists were present, the queue for signatures was considerable!
Saturday there were master classes given by both Jerome Ducharme and Patrick Kearney. The annual “Welcome Back” concert in the afternoon, by a University of Ottawa or Conservatoire graduate, was by Duo Vice Versa, with guitarist Julien Bisaillon and flutist Pascale Margely. Both are alumni of the Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau. They performed the Grand Sonata for Flute and Guitar by Mauro Giuliani, and music by Roux, Assad, Michio Myagi and Chris Dumigan.
Saturday evening’s ‘headliner’ concert was by Brazilian guitarist Fabio Zanon. Says festival organizer Louis Trepanier; “I thought it very interesting to hear, in Fabio’s playing, very beautiful qualities reminiscent of Segovia. There was something in the presence of his sound and the elegance of his turn of a phrase that reminded one of Segovia. Also, I really think that Fabio Zanon is the guitar’s Georges Cziffra. His towering command of the instrument and intense stage presence really remind me of the Hungarian pianist.”
Works performed included 7 Lessons by Henry Purcell, Variations and Fugue on Folia de Espana by Ponce, Granados, Albeniz, and Brazilian composer Marco Pereira.
This year’s culminating events, the luthier fair and closing concert, took place at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. This venue, recognized as one of the most beautiful museums of its type, was chosen because one of the pieces being performed required a projection screen behind the guitar orchestra. The presence of so many guitars certainly garnered attention from people who had come to look at the aircraft! Luthiers set up their booths in front of some of the world’s most priceless aviation treasures.
As Patrick Roux explained to the audience at the beginning of the concert, ensemble playing is a large part of the music education in the schools participating in this festival. This afternoon there were performances by duos, trios, quartets and two orchestras, and included were a flautist, and violinist. In one of the previous concerts there had also been a guitar-saxophone duo. This demonstrates the versatility of the instrument in various chamber ensemble settings, and it is encouraging to see new music being written for these combinations of instruments.
Highlights of this final concert were the performances by the two festival guitar orchestras. The Maestro Orchestra under Denis Poliquin performed Classical Medley by Poliquin, which was a compilation/arrangement of many well-known classical guitar compositions. The Virtuoso Guitar Alla Grande Orchestra under the direction of David Gaudreau, made up of a large group of girls from l’École Secondaire Marguerite-De Lajemmerais in Montreal, performed Around the World by Patrick Roux, with video accompaniment. Four of Patrick’s students, Gabriel Beauchemin, Julian Geisterfer, Roberto Martinez-Lissow and Simon Rivet, had created videos to depict the four movements, which were homages to sun, water, forest and people of the world. The videos were edited by Martinez-Lissow and projected on the screen behind the orchestra. The fact that the orchestra was able to keep time with this was extraordinary, especially the first movement which incorporated tango dancing!
An Ottawa photographer at the event, Richard Lawrence, decided to have a bit of fun with the orchestra and a life-size cardboard figure of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. The resulting photo shows Hadfield at the back of the guitar orchestra holding a guitar, as if he is part of the event. The photo was sent to the Canadian Space Agency to be forwarded to Hadfield on the International Space Station!
At the Guitare Alla Grande Festival each year, it is inspiring to see such a high level of musicianship and dedication in all these young people, and such obvious enjoyment of both listening to and playing classical guitar. There were so many activities packed into a few short days, to quote Louis Trepanier, this really is the little festival that could! It keeps growing and getting better with every year.
Next year’s Guitare Alla Grande Festival, which will take place February 13-16, 2014, is already being planned. The Eden-Stell Duo from England will be headlining the event, as well as other Canadian and International performers.
And believe it or not, planning for the 2015 event is already under way. Big things are in the works, since that will be the tenth anniversary of the Festival, most certainly an occasion to celebrate!
For more information visit www.guitareallagrande.org
Contact Heather: firstname.lastname@example.org
The photo with Chris Hadfield was also entered into a competition. Votes for the photo can be registered at http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/missions/expedition34-35/photo-challenge/photos.asp?page=6 scroll down until you find it!
If you get a chance to see the excellent Scottish guitarist Matthew McAllister while he’s in Canada do get out to hear this wonderful musician. I’ve really enjoyed his beautiful playing on his YouTube Channel and I’m sure he will charm audiences across the country.
Friday 5th April 12.10pm
Vancouver Art Gallery ‘Out for Lunch’ Concert Series
Monday 8th – Tuesday 9th
Adjudicating for the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival
Saturday 13th April 8pm
Agnew McAllister Duo
Canadian Flute Association
Women’s Art Association Gallery
23 Prince Arthur Avenue
Sunday 14th April 3pm
Agnew McAllister Duo
St. Barnabas Church
33 Queenston Street, St. Catharines
Friday 19th April
Ottawa Guitar Society
Friday, April 19, 2013 at 8pm.
All Saints Anglican Church Sandy Hill
317 Chapel St, Ottawa,
ON K1N 7Z2
Friday 26th – Sunday 28th April
Adjudicating, Teaching & Performing
Montreal Guitar Festival @ Concordia Music
26th @8pm – Solo Concert D.B.Clarke Auditorium 1455 de Maisonneuve West.
27th @4pm – Masterclass Concordia University Music Department
Some videos to entice you!
Here’s a little note from festival director and guitarist-extraordinaire Jeffrey McFadden inviting you to Sauble Beach Guitar Festival – 2013. Looks like a great festival in a beautiful location. Also, look at the amazing faculty and performers!
Sauble Beach Guitar Festival – 2013
August 21-24, 2013 in Sauble Beach, Canada.
Official Website: www.saubleguitarfest.com
The Sauble Beach Guitar Festival celebrates it’s 7th annual edition, August 21-24, 2013, in Sauble Beach ON, Canada, one of the country’s great natural regions on Lake Huron’s most beautiful beach.
This years festival features many great artists and teachers from Europe and the Americas including Robert Hamilton, Marko Feri, Jan Bartlema, Patrick Kearney, Alejandro Valencia, and Stephen Aron.
Participants take part in private lessons, seminars, performance classes and other events throughout the week and evening concerts are open to the public.
Please check out www.saubleguitarfest.com for information and registration procedures or write to
Video Link (source): http://youtu.be/Ntgq723etV4
Video Link (Source): http://youtu.be/_xuAS_Ss0dY
Another year of festivals are upon us and the wonderful guitarist Patrick Kearney (festival founder and director) sent me the below welcome note inviting you to Guitare Montreal 2013. Looks like a great festival with artists: Jérôme Ducharme, Marcin Dylla, Patrick Kearney, Matthew McAllister, Jeffrey McFadden, Dave Pilon, David Steinhardt.
Guitare Montreal 2013! April 26,27,28.
I am very excited about this year’s festival for many reasons. Two of those reasons are Scottish guitarist Matthew McAllister, who has accepted our invitation despite being extremely busy with his musical projects all over the globe, as well as virtuoso extraordinaire Marcin Dylla, from Poland, who’s international acclaims are bountiful! Furthermore, the MGS Orchestra, Jeff McFadden, Jérôme Ducharme and last year’s MGS Youth Competition winner David Steinhardt will be joining us again this year. Let’s not forget that, all day on Friday and Saturday at Concordia’s Music Department, you’ll be able to visit and even try-out some wonderful guitars by reputable companies and extremely gifted guitar makers. The display is open to the general public! Furthermore, on Saturday afternoon, we’ll be treated to a live interview with Canadian writer Ann Ireland regarding her new book: The Blue Guitar, which is currently receiving rave reviews! And finally, not to be missed are the International Competition finals on Sunday afternoon!
So for all the details, please visit www.guitaremontreal.com and we hope to see you all there!
Guitare Montréal 2013! Les 26, 27 et 28 avril.
J’anticipe avec grand plaisir l’édition de cette année du festival pour plusieurs raisons. Deux de ces raisons sont le guitariste écossais Matthew McAllister, qui a accepté notre invitation malgré un horaire extrêmement chargé au niveau de ses projets musicaux partout dans le monde, ainsi que le virtuose polonais extraordinaire Marcin Dylla, qui reçoit déjà`des éloges sans nombre partout dans le monde! De plus, l’orchestre de la SGM, Jeff McFadden, Jérôme Ducharme ainsi que le gagnant de la compétition de La Relève de la SGM de l’an dernier, David Steinhardt, se joindront de nouveau à nous cette année. N’oublions pas que, tout au long des journées de samedi et dimanche au département de musique de Concordia, vous aurez la chance de découvrir et même d’essayer de merveilleuses guitares construites par des compagnies réputées et par des luthiers de grand talent. La salle de présentation est ouverte au grand public! De plus, samedi après-midi, nous pourrons profiter d’une entrevue en direct avec l’écrivaine canadienne Ann Ireland, qui nous présentera son nouveau livre: The Blue Guitar (La Guitare Bleue), qui jouit présentement de critiques élogieuses! Et finalement, il ne faut pas manquer les finales de la Compétition Internationale dimanche en après-midi!
Donc pour tous les détails, visitez notre site www.guitaremontreal.com et nous espérons vous y rencontrer en grand nombre!
I added this little teaser to Patrick’s note. There will be great concerts to be heard such as the amazing Marcin Dylla, the 2007 Guitar Foundation of America Winner:
Video Link: http://youtu.be/5oqZ-17m-qU
It’s been awhile since I gave the readers an update on my sites so here’s a little break down:
There Are Two Sites:
There are two sites that I operate. I did this to separate my lessons, sheet music, and other monatization from Classical Guitar Canada’s Canadian content mission. I also wanted a place to feature international artists and pretty much any media I thought was great. Plus, I’m moving toward starting up a society with the help of some great people across Canada and thought I should get rid of some of my more personal aspects of blogging.
Classical Guitar Canada – www.classicalguitarcanada.ca – Canadian Content and Media. I’ve been making lots of lists and doing spotlights.
this is classical guitar – www.thisisclassicalguitar.com – International Content and artists from the international professional scene but also: lessons, videos, sheet music, luthiery, lists, and other stuff. The tagline is: exploring classical guitar through multimedia. This is my main focus these days.
With only one year behind it, this site is growing fast and especially in the US. I look forward to building connections down there but also in Europe and Asia. Very exciting!
Subscribes to both sites and extra links and goodies from Bradford
OMG. This is the big winner. Around 2000 guitarists have subscribed by email. That might not seem like much but an email is worth more than any social media subscriber or site visitor. To be able to send out my weekly newsletter right to people’s email inbox is amazing. I’ve had so many people give me positive feedback on this.
About 10-20 people a day sign up so it will continue to grow. I’m also starting to receive material to review that addressed to the newsletter rather than any site. I’d like to increase it to 5000 people by the end of the summer.
Newsletter demographic location (top subscribers):
3. United Kingdom
Sign up to the newsletter here or below.
Join the newsletter and receive updates from both sites. Your email is super safe and never shared. You’ll also receive goodies and links that are not on the websites, making this the best way to subscribe. You can unsubscribe anytime, for any reason.
Questions, comments, concerns? Email: email@example.com
I’ve set up a Google+ community to act as a forum for Canadian Guitarists. It’s not a true forum, more of an opportunity to share and interact with others.
Share your stuff: Please sign up and share things like concerts, videos, links, and comments.
What is Google+?
Google+ is a social media platform much in the way that FaceBook is. I think the community pages (which I am calling a forum) are nicely controlled and easy to use. It a way to share chronological streams of information. That way people can share their activities without sending every little thing to me first.
Why should you create a Google+ account?
All forums require that you create an account and sign-in in some way or another. So, why not do it with one of the most secure and trusted sites in the world: Google. I really like their platform and the interface is easy to use and simple.
Signing up is a breeze! You’ll see the sign-up icon when you visit. If you’re already on Google or have gmail account all you have to do is hit the follow button.
Do you need to have a Google+ account?
You do not need an account to view the forum but you’ll need one to contribute to it.
Why didn’t Bradford create an in-site forum?
The reason for this is that in-site forums take a great deal of time and moderation. Plus, people have to sign into the forum regardless, and Google can stay on top of things like security, technology, and other stuff better than I can. I also don’t really have the time to create a forum despite the many easy options these days.
Try out Google+, I think you’ll like it.
Toronto based guitarist Drew Henderson plays Niccolo Paganini – Grand Sonata for Guitar and Violin. Allegro Risoluto. Drew has been making spectacular quality videos to match his great playing. You can see more of his work at Drew Henderson’s YouTube Channel.
Recorded and performed by Toronto-based guitarist and teacher Drew Henderson. Please enjoy in 720p!
This arrangement is inspired by Julian Bream’s 1962 recording. There are a lot of added notes compared to the original, which I believe enhances the piece when not performed with the violin. Although I’m still working on the interpretation and arrangement, I felt this video was something I wanted to share.
I’m preparing to record a CD of Paganini and Regondi this summer as well as launch a personal website. I promise to use all 8 strings in the next video!!
Guitar: Roberto de Miranda
Audio Equipment: Neumann TLM 103, Grace m101 Preamps, RME Converters
Video: Nikon D600, 28mm f/1.8G lens.
Video Link/Source: http://youtu.be/O0I_hXvDTtI
Stephen Lochbaum, guitarist
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Stephen Lochbaum regularly in Victoria over many years. While he was in Victoria I saw him study (UVic w/Alexander Dunn), perform, teach, and, on occasion, rock-out. He is a musician with personality and an exceptional flare for performance (more about that below).
One funny bit of info before I go on. Stephen and I were born on the same day, same month, same year, in the same town, and both studied in Victoria and taught classical guitar at the Victoria Conservatory. It freaks me out a bit!
A recent concert in Victoria by Stephen Lochbaum:
The thing that has always struck me while listening to Mr. Lochbaum in a concert is how relaxed I feel as a listener when he is performing. Often, especially when I know the player, I feel a bit nervous or worried for them but never with Lochbaum. He is fearless. As a student he was like a musical athlete that would simply out-play others (what did Lance Armstrong take for that?). However, this recent concert on January 13, 2013 he revealed another side filled with elegance and sensitivity as well the the power and chops I’ve come to expect from him.
Highlights for myself included a well-seasoned performance of Bach’s Chaconne from the D minor partita and a dark and brooding Caprichos de Goya by Tedesco. Lochbaum’s introductions to the Tedesco, although a bit interruptive were welcome in that he gave a clear image of the ‘scene’ that the music evokes. The Tedesco really suits him well as it offers an outlet for virtuosic playing but in a programatic way with a wealth of musical ideas to work with. Lochbaum communicates his musical ideas so well that I often forget that I’m listening to guitar which is always a sign of a good musician. Lochbaum’s playing is strong and ultra clear in musical intention. He packs a punch and takes plenty of exciting risks but always with a thoughtful interpretation.
Stephen Lochbaum is one of Canada’s most exciting classical guitarists! Great repertoire, virtuosic performances, and a down-to-Earth attitude make him a guitarist you don’t want to miss.
Between Bradford Werner and Stephen Lochbaum via email on February 3rd, 2013.
Bradford: Can you discuss how you came to play classical guitar?
Stephen: Like many other guitarists I started out by playing rock n’ roll when I was 11 or 12. I had tried classical but I just didn’t like reading music so I kept on playing other things. When I was finishing high school, I planned on studying physics or something but decided to audition for music school go from there. Apparently I had phoned the school on the deadline to apply and that they had one spot remaining. I said hey I’ll give music a try for a year and see what happens and now I am here.
You seem to be a very down-to-earth personality on stage, I’ve always felt very comfortable watching your excellent performances. How do you wish to portray the ‘classical guitar’ and connect with audiences?
It took me a few years but I finally took everyones advice to talk about yourself and your music during performances, something I also had to occasionally do as a jazz musician. I don’t wish to portray the guitar as anything, it’s just a piece of wood. For me the more you can make a concert about music and the content in the music and less about guitar the better. Also you can’t forget that people come to see you perform to feel better or enjoy themselves. For my last few programs, this has been a little problematic as the subject matter has been a tad depressing so I felt it very important to lighten the mood with some light banter before launching into a discussion of Goya’s Los caprichos or something.
You really seem to have a connection to Bach’s ‘Chaconne’, I believe you called it your “desert island piece.” What has been your relationship with this work over the years? Does your significant other ever get jealous!?
It is easily the piece that made me want to become a musician. This question relates to your first question so I might as well add more to the story. When I was nearing the end of my high school studies, my family house had been broken into and all of my CDs had been stolen. When I was at the CD store I had replaced most of my beloved Metallica, Pantera, and Stevie Ray Vaughn CDs, and was just browsing the classical section for something new. Some random stranger noticed I looked lost and had found out that I played guitar and liked spanish music. He recommended this Christopher Parkening CD which had the usual guitar pieces/composers like Tarrega, Granados, Albeniz, Llobet but it also had the Bach Chaconne at the end. I was instantly addicted to the piece and listened to it daily, I really mean daily, for 4-5 years before I just learned to play it. My first performance was only about a month after starting to learn it, I just couldn’t wait.
I am playing it now again because I told myself I would try to put it in my rep every ten years or so. I made it to eight before I had to play it again.
My wife does not get too jealous, I just make her play the wonderful left-hand arrangement of the Chaconne by Brahms.
How’s Texas? Can you tell us a bit about your doctoral studies?
Texas is really hot. It is early February and I will be going to a BBQ today in shorts and a T-shirt. My doctoral studies are going great. UNT is a very large school so it has plenty of juicy theory courses for me to sink my teeth into. Since I am specializing in early music I am also learning the how to play lute (8-course renaissance) which is a ton of fun. The early music program is huge so I have found a great singer and other people to work with already.
What’s next for Mr Lochbaum?
For me, this will be a year of competitions. As much as I loathe competing there are too many good opportunities nearby to pass up.
Can you give some advice for young student guitarists?
Listen to your teacher, your friends, and your family and anyone else who gives you advice. Some of the best advice I have received is from non-musicians. When you have great lessons write them down or be sure to remember them in some way. I’ve have had so many great lessons with teachers and various visiting artists that have taken me years to fully understand. Keep all your lesson materials and go over the really old stuff once in a while. Never forget, there is no greater way to prevent public humiliation then by practicing constantly with your metronome.
See more of the concert via Youtube: TheStephenL
Some exciting, virtuosic, and dark performance of Tedesco: Caprichos de Goya Op. 195 – XXIII- Linda maestra
The beautiful Air varie No. 2, Op. 22 by Guilio Regondi.
Stephen Lochbaum began his classical training at a late age and achieved much in a short span of time. Within six years he had earned a Master’s degree from the University of Victoria, won the national music festival of Canada, and had the immense honor of performing alongside the legendary guitarist Pepe Romero as well as Alexander Dunn and Randy Pile. Shortly after graduation Stephen had his radio debut on CBC 1 performing Romancero Gitano by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with the internationally recognized Vancouver Cantata Singers.
In addition to being a finalist and prize winner of many competitions, Stephen has also been invited to play and lecture at international festivals including: the GFA foundation, the Northwest guitar festival, and the Frazer Valley acoustic guitar festival,.
Mr. Lochbaum is frequently praised for the depth of his musicality, incredible technique, and unique and creative interpretations. He is one of the very few guitarists to perform Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for solo guitar.
As well as playing classical guitar, Stephen is also an established jazz guitarist. He has appeared in numerous national Jazz, Tango, and Flamenco festivals as a soloist and ensemble player. His recordings have been heard regularly on CBC radio 2 and 3, and he has had television appearances on The NewVI in Victoria, BC.
Currently Stephen is working on doctoral studies at the University of North Texas where he was awarded a teaching fellowship. He specializes in early music and improvisation and will spend the next two years playing and performing on early instruments in addition to his busy performing/competing schedule.
All of Stephen’s accomplishments would not be possible without the exceptional teaching, guidance, and generosity of his teacher Alexander Dunn and unwavering support from his friends and family.
Patrick Feely: www.patfeely.com
I’ve been seeing great things from Brantford Ontario. Patrick Freely has been organizing wonderful projects for his students and the community as well as concertizing himself.
With a background in both jazz and classical guitar he seems to be bringing life to the music scene in Brantford.
Patrick is also the artistic director of the Guitar Society of Brantford. This year the society is presenting: Matt Palmer, Fabio Zanon, Jose Antonio Escobar. But more impressively check out this great group:
Photo via: www.theguitarsocietyofbrantford.com
Patrick is also a member in the The EastWest Guitar Duo (link to facebook page) with Brad Mahon from Calgary. Here’s a video clip of them playing. you can see more at Patrick’s YouTube Channel where he posts videos of his performances and his students.Patrick Feely Biography from www.patfeely.com
Guitarist Patrick Feely has made solo appearances at the Sauble Beach Guitar Festival, the Visiting Artists Series at McMaster University, and the Friends of Guitar Festival in Brantford. This past season Patrick performed concerti by Manuel Ponce with the McMaster University Orchestra and toured Western and central Canada with duo partner Dr. Brad Mahon, as The East West Guitar Duo. Their forthcoming recording will include works arranged for two guitars by Mozart and de Falla, as well as original works for two guitars by Machado, Brouwer and L’hoyer. Mr. Feely is a faculty member with the School of the Arts at McMaster University, a member of the College of Examiners with the Royal Conservatory, and has adjudicated many music festival including the K. W. Kiwanis Festival, the Toronto Kiwanis Festival and the Barrie Kiwanis Music Festival.
This season Patrick will be adjudicating festivals in British Columbia and Central Ontario. Patrick Feely earned the Applied Music Diploma in jazz guitar from Mohawk College, the Bachelor of Music Degree from McMaster University, The Masters of Music Degree in Performance from the University of Toronto, and the A.R.C.T. in Performance from the Royal Conservatory. Jeffrey McFadden has been his principle guitar teacher.
Mr Feely was an external reviewer for the 2011 edition ofthe R. C. M. Guitar Series, 4`th edition, “Bridges” published by Frederick Harris and has given workshops for both Frederick Harris and R.C.M.E.. Patrick is the director of the Brantford Guitar Ensembles with “The Guitar Society of Brantford,” and the Chairman of the Education and Outreach Committee at both the Guitar Society of Toronto and the Sauble Beach Guitar festival.
Just a little update from Tariq Harb, CBC Radio recently featured him in a mini concert session recorded at the Glenn Gould studios in Toronto.
The videos are finally published and are available here: music.cbc.ca
Videos include: Augustin Barios Mangoré: Confesion; Jose Broca: Pensamiento Español; Nikita Koshkin: Usher Waltz, Op. 29
There will also be a live Radio Broadcast on CBC Radio 2 this coming Sunday February 24 at 2:20pm.
Don’t miss it!
David Feingold sent me some info on the next Northwest Festival just a hop across the border. I try to keep NW info on this site as posts about it in the past have been well viewed. Looks like a good one, maybe see you there! -Bradford
The Northwest Guitar Festival is back for a 22nd year! This year Western Washington University will host the festival under the direction of David Feingold. Feingold is Professor of Music and Director of the Classical Guitar Studies at WWU. The festival has been held at Western three times in it’s 22 year history and is always a great time!
A three-day event this year, the festival kicks off on Friday morning April 12th at The Firehouse Performing Arts Center in the village of Fairhaven, located on the beautiful south-side of Bellingham, Washington. Sunday’s afternoon concert will be held at Bellingham’s Mount Baker Theatre.
This is a particularly exciting year as the festival will wind down with a performance of Rodrigo’s Concierto D’Aranjuez performed by the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra and featuring guitarist Sharon Isbin. Other evening feature performances include guitarist George Sakellariou, and lutenist John Schneiderman who will perform as a trio including Jeffrey Cohan Baroque Flute and Bill Skeen on Cello.
The festival also features exciting Northwest artists Hanh Nguyen, Mark Wilson, Michael and Keleren Milham, James Reid and Stephen Boswell. Both Sakellariou and Sharon Isbin will give masterclasses.
The Northwest Guitar Festival Competition has become the centerpiece of the festival and this year, semi-finalists and the four finalists will compete on Friday and Saturday of the festival. The semi-final round will actually kick off the festival activities beginning at 10AM and following registration/check-in. Always a fun event, the semi-final round features approximately 20 competitors, each playing for about 10 minutes.
Sharon Isbin and the WSO performing Rodrigo’s Concierto Aranjuez at The Mount Baker Theatre. We currently have a limited number of tickets for this concert on-hold at the WWU Box Office for sale to festival participants at 28.00 per ticket. These will be sold with Festival Registration only at the WWU Box Office beginning February 26th.
Please phone WWU Box Office 360 650 6146 to register in advance and purchase a ticket to Sharon Isbin and the WSO at Mount Baker Theatre
Festival Registration US $120
Daily pass (Friday and Saturday only) US $55.00
Single Event US $15.
Bradford Werner, Michael Dias, and Douglas Hensley play Antonio Vivaldi’s (1678–1741) Concerto in G major, RV. 532 for theorbo and two guitars. We prepared this for a string department recital at the Victoria Conservatory of Music where we are all faculty.
Video Link: http://youtu.be/tTg18iJWqzI
Between 2 Continents on 8 Guitars by Guitar8
Artist Website: www.guitar8.net
1. Orazio Vecchi (1550-1605) – Saltarello detto Triuella (arr. Hans Brüderl)
2. Giovanni Gabrieli (1557-1612) – Canzon primi toni (arr. Hans Brüderl)
3. Ludovico Grossi da Viadana (ca. 1560-1627) – Sinfonia, “La Bergamasca” (Arr. Hans Brüderl)
4. Gunter Schneider (b.1954) – Roaring Guitars
5. Hans Brüderl (b.1959) – Octopus
6. Leo Brouwer (b.1939) - Acerca del cielo, el aire y la sonrisa
7. Leo Brouwer (b.1939) - Fantasia de los ecos
8. Patrick Roux (b.1962) - Comme un Tango
9. Patrick Roux (b.1962) – En las calles de Buenos Aires
10. Hans Brüderl (b.1959) – Around “mi”
11. Alexander Orologio (ca. 1550-1633) – Intrada XXVI
12. Alexander Orologio (ca. 1550-1633) -Intrada XI
Artists: see artist bios here
What could be better than two great guitar quartets coming together to make music? The Canadian Guitar Quartet and the Salzburger Gitarrenquartett (Salzburg Guitar Quartet) have collaborated to form the group ‘Guitar8′ (G8). The live recording comes to us via CBC Radio Canada & Espace Musique while on tour in 2009.
After listening to this recording for a few days it only confirms that I enjoy live classical guitar recordings far more than studio produced ones primarily for the raw energy of the performers and the crowd enthusiasm. Right from the get-go the listener doesn’t have to be as concerned with the many issues involved in recording classical guitar. Instead it really feels as one was in the audience and the experience is exhilarating.
The album is filled with compositions and arrangements by the composers/performers in the group. Other gems include music by composers such as Brouwer and Schneider. It’s quite a mix of different music but listeners will find the compositions very pleasing and certainly interesting. Some might be a bit challenged by the work by Schneider but will at the very least be amazed by the variety of textures and sounds. The early music selections are beautiful and the works by Roux are definite crowd pleasers.
I suspected problems in having eight guitars all playing at once but, as with previous CGQ recordings, G8 is in total control of the sound and the music is tight and orchestral in nature. There is a very wide range of colours and textures, especially from the work by Schneider but also the Brouwer.
The early music selections, in particular the Saltarello by Vecchi and Intradas by Orologio, are charming. The addition of some light percussion on the Salterello and Intradas also add an element of secular dance which frees up the arrangements from sounding stuffy or too homologous. The phrasing and general light feel is very balanced across the group. This is especially noticeable when the group switches to the modern works and changes the sound completely. Some excellent ensemble work here. The abrupt ending of the Viadana gave me a good chuckle! What a trickster!
I loved the Schneider piece titled Roaring Guitars. It turned out to be one of my favorites of the concert. Of interest are the textures created by alternative playing techniques. A bit bizarre in sections when the bluesy and Caribbean vibes get interrupted by noisey scraping and thrashing about and tone clusters. Wacky… However, the vast variety of sounds is truly orchestral and at times listeners may forget they are listening to guitars! I could swear that the end was a prepared piano of sorts!
The real joy in listening to this recording is that for every track the ensemble sounds like a completely different bunch of instruments. I’m sure some real hard work went into creating the soundscapes for each track. This is particularly noticeable in the Brouwer. ‘Acerca del cielo, el aire y la sonrisa’ really traverses a great amount of textures and blends a variety of melodic figures and harmonies in a way only a group of eight classical guitars could. It is works such as this one that make this octet project such a great endeavour. Originally written for Guitar Orchestra (1979), this work really shines in the hands of eight professionals.
The works by Roux are fun but also quite raunchy and risky at times. In fact, risk is something this recording does not lack! These are fearless guitarists willing to push themselves and the guitars to exciting effect.
There is not much to criticize in such a great collaborative project and live recording of such high energy. Comme un Tango, I’ve maybe heard one too many times and in many guises (duo, quartet, now octet). At the same time, I loved the Tango here so I can’t hold that against them; if it works then go for it!
I suspect the Gabrieli and Viadana, despite their definite charm, might be less successful then some of the other works on the programme. I say this more in regards to whether this many guitars are needed or the homologous sound is the best choice for the works. I liked the sound of the early music with percussion a bit more. Nevertheless, I can’t imagine these works played better by any other group and I do love the repertoire itself. Plus, G8 do a great job of interspersing the number of guitars in and out the of texture.
The recording quality might seem to some listeners to have too much of the room due to the far mics. However, the recording quality is great but the mics are quite far away so you get a lot of the hall. However, when reaching the tops of crescendos or hearing any of the percussive or alternative techniques (sounds) from the guitar the impact is amazing; dramatic is the word. If a recording can make me get lost in the sound then is has succeeded! Some parts of the Schneider, the rhythmic ‘noise’ I simply wouldn’t want to hear any other way. CBC has done a great job. As I said previously, when you have eight guitarists with a large dynamic range the drama comes across very well. I actually prefer listening to guitars in this way. It sounds as if one were in the audience. The problem with close mics is that they often make the guitar sound like a a completely different instrument on steroids. Here the G8 sound orchestra and the raw sound of works such as Roux or Schneider are simply awesome!Conclusion:
An outstanding collaborative project! This album is a great outlet for these Canadian musicians and composers as well as an amazing opportunity for international cooperation in the arts. The mix of music from early eras to contemporary composers will entice listeners and keep audiences want more. I for one will make sure to see this group on their next tour and certainly hope to hear more recordings and live projects. Fortunate music lovers indeed, to have such a great group of musicians from two countries collaborate to such spectacular result!
See Guitar8 Live!
I’ll post a link to buy the recording when it becomes available to the public so check back. This CD has been released in Europe, it will released in Canada on the next G8 Canadian tour in Oct-Nov of 2013. Subscribe to posts to get updates. Or check the Guitar8 website for tour dates and places for next fall.
Artist Website: www.guitar8.net
Recorded by: Espace musique, Director, Espace musique : Christiane LeBlanc, Radio-Canada production team: Producer Engineer: Marc Parizeau, Assistant: Shane Bryanton, Executive Producer: André Massicotte, Place of recording: Église Chrétienne Du Plateau, Gatineau, Québec, Canada, Date of recording: 08. Nov. 2009.
Bonus Tracks recorded at ORF innsbruck/Austria, Nov. 2006.
Graphic Design: ina-ahoi.de
© Guitar8, 2012
Thanks to Ann Ireland for this guest post about the writing of her new book “The Blue Guitar.” The Blue Guitar will be published and available from Dundurn Press in February, 2013.
WRITING ‘THE BLUE GUITAR’
A Guest Post by Ann Ireland
I hauled the guitar out of the cupboard where it had been lurking for the past few years. Since taking lessons at the Kassner Academy as a teenager I hadn’t been playing much. I’d dust off the instrument and go through some of the old pieces, the Milan Pavanes, some rickety Bach, Dowland – but I’d plateaued decades earlier. It was disheartening.
But on this particular day as I shined the cedar top with my sleeve and tuned the frayed strings, I had an inspiration: I’d take lessons again. Why not? Without giving it a further thought or my usual pragmatic consideration, I reached for my phone and dialed up the Kassner Academy.
Did the school still exist? I’d taken lessons there in the late 1960’s, back when classical guitar was mega-cool and there was no shortage of kids like me hovering backstage at Segovia and Bream and John Williams concerts, hoping for a sprinkle of fairy dust.
It did indeed exist, I soon discovered. Ann Kassner answered the phone and immediately booked me for lessons with Steve Thachuk, who was fresh from graduating with a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music. Holy smokes, better get practicing.
That’s how it began. Steve was a fine teacher and he quickly understood my intentions without me having to spell them out. No, I had no illusions of becoming ‘a guitarist’ or playing in public. Yes, I loved the challenge of learning the music and working to achieve a better tone. He taught me those repetitive right hand exercises and how to file my nails, and soon we were cracking open old scores with ancient fingerings marked by an earlier teacher. I discovered Leo Brouwer and his so-called easy pieces. Steve and I worked together for a couple of years, with audible improvements bucking up my spirits, before Steve took off to teach in the guitar department of California State University at Northridge. For a time I took lessons with Aaron Brock. Beautiful Aaron, who died so early, so dismayingly and tragically early. Then I signed up for a handful of classes with Anna Graham, who’d just arrived from teaching at Algoma College in northern Ontario.
I brooded on what nerve it surely required to enter an international music competition. I mean, I could hardly work up the mojo to play in front of Steve or Aaron or Anna. The idea of a row of judges sitting in the audience, marking every aspect of performance, noting every flub –it struck horror in my heart. And that, to me, is always interesting.
I spoke to several guitarists to find out more about the process, artists like Steve Thachuk, Lily Afshar, Denis Azabagic and Peter McCutcheon. They gave me insights into how it was from both sides of the stage, as competitor and as judge. I attended the Montreal G.F.A., hanging around the workshops, going to the semi-finals and the finals, finding people to talk to about their experiences, people such as Vincea McClelland. I hasten to say that none of these musicians are responsible for what ended up in my novel, The Blue Guitar. I gobble information and digest it in my own way. And I create backstories for my characters, each inhabiting his own drama, his or her motivation for winning the competition. I thought about how a musician’s life can change, swing from playing bar mitzvahs and weddings to finding himself performing solo recitals on several continents.
That felt like a dream worth investigating.
Would my characters stoop to sabotaging each other? Maybe. Would nerves hold up? Not always. What can go wrong– and what can go supremely right? Performance is ethereal, gone in a heartbeat. I felt my own chest flutter as each character took his turn walking on stage, squinting into the spotlight, bowing to the audience and judges – then entering the performance, for better or for worse.
Video Link: http://youtu.be/wDuJFptYzP0
Book Launch Info: