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by Daniel Hathaway, James Flood & Mike Telin
Though packed with lectures, panel discussions, exhibits and master classes, Classical Guitar Weekend, sponsored by Guitars International, centers around a series of solo recitals by international artists. This year’s fetival — the thirteenth — featured Cleveland’s own Jason Vieaux, assisted by three instrumentalists from the Cleveland Institute of Music, the debut of Korean guitarist Jiyeon Kim, the American artist Colin Davin, the Belgian guitarist Raphaëlla Smits in her fourth appearance at the festival, and British-born artist Jonathan Leathwood. The five players offered the Mixon Hall audiences a wide range of repertory to ponder and enjoy.
Representing the host of Classical Guitar Weekend, Cleveland Institute of Music guitar professor Jason Vieaux sometimes caps off the weekend’s activities, but this time was the headliner for Thursday evening’s opening concert. After playing a sweet and beautifully layered performance of Fernando Sor’s Bagatellle, op. 44, no. 3, Vieaux told the audience that he had decided to revisit repertory he had played over the years at Classical Guitar Weekend, after working on some of the pieces on the program with students and recalling how much he liked them. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mike Telin
On Thursday, May 23rd beginning at 8:00 pm in CIM’s Mixon Hall, Classical Guitar Weekend kicks off its 2013 edition with a recital by Jason Vieaux that features the music of Paganini, Piazzolla, Ponce, and Sor. Vieaux, who heads the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Guitar department and serves on the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, will be joined by hi CIM colleagues violinist Jinjoo Cho, violist Jeffrey Irvine, and cellist Melissa Kraut.
On Friday, May 24 beginning at 9:00 am, also in Mixon Hall, Vieaux will lead a master class via Distance Learning. Guitar students from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Royal Danish Academy of Music will perform on and off site via CIM’s innovative Distance Learning audio/video hook up and be coached by Jesper Sivebak, head of the RDAM guitar department.
Since winning the Guitar Foundation of America’s International Competition at the age of nineteen, Jason Vieaux has earned a reputation for putting his expressive gifts and virtuosity at the service of a remarkably wide range of music. Read the rest of this entry »
by Daniel Hathaway
Belgian guitarist Raphaella Smits will be making her fourth visit to Cleveland for this year’s Classical Guitar Weekend to play a solo recital in Mixon Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music on Saturday, May 25 at 4:30 and to conduct a master class on Thursday, May 23 at 2:00 pm. A frequent visitor to our shores, Smits has made some 95 solo and educational appearances in the US during her distinguished career, which includes having been the first woman to win Spain’s prestigious Certamen Internacional de Guitarra Francisco Tarrega Competition.
We reached Raphaella Smits via Skype video conference at her home outside Antwerp. Of course I have to ask her first if she admires Rubens’s paintings.
Raphaella Smits: Yes of course. They are everywhere. We are living about ten minutes outside town and we’re lucky to have a really huge, beautiful garden. It’s spring and all the leaves and flowers are out.
Daniel Hathaway: I’ve been reading about how you got started on the guitar, but it would be fun for you to tell us that again in your own words! What first attracted you to the instrument?
RS: Why not! In the beginning I wasn’t attracted to it at all because I didn’t even know it existed. But I grew up with a lot of culture. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mike Telin
Hailed as “the real thing, a player with a virtuoso’s technique, a deeply expressive musicianship, and a probing imagination” by the American Record Guide, guitarist Colin Davin is quickly emerging as one of today’s most dynamic young artists. His recent recital appearances include Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (on historic instruments from the museum’s collection), New York Philharmonic Ensembles at Merkin Hall, and venues in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Austin, and Cleveland.
As an educator, Davin has taught at the Aspen Music Festival as the teaching assistant to Sharon Isbin, and in January 2013, he was a guest artist-faculty at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul, Afghanistan.
On Friday, May 24 beginning at 8:00 pm in Mixon Hall, Colin Davin presents a recital featuring the music of J.S. Bach, Britten, Erin Rogers and Joan Tower. On Saturday, May 25 from 1:00 until 4:00, Mr. Davin will give a master class in CIM Studio 113.
We spoke to the Bay Village native by telephone from his home in New York and we began by asking him why he chose the two Bach sonatas for his Classical Guitar Weekend recital.
by Mike Telin
“Jonathan Leathwood is a genius,”writes Therese Wassily Sabaof Classical Guitar [UK]. One of the few guitarists to perform on six-string and ten-string guitars, Leathwood’s innovative programs are a mix of modern and traditional works. His recent recital appearances have taken him to Italy, the UK, Germany, Turkey, France, Belgium, Holland, and the United States. On Saturday, May 25 beginning at 8:00 pm in Mixon Hall, Jonathan Leathwood presents a recital featuring the works of J.S. Bach, de Falla, Gerhard, Goss, José, and Lindberg. Additionally Mr. Leathwood will give a master class on Friday, May 24 from 1:30 until 4:30 in CIM studio 113.
Equally noted as a teacher and writer on music, Jonathan Leathwood writes and lectures on a range of topics from Bach to Elliott Carter. In 2001 he conceived and edited Guitar Forum, a new scholarly journal for the classical guitar published in the United Kingdom by the European Guitar Teachers’ Association (EGTA UK). Currently he is a lecturer at the University of Denver. Read the rest of this entry »
By Daniel Hathaway and Mike Telin
Recitals, lectures and exhibitions by international artists and craftsmen will mark the twelfth annual Classical Guitar Weekend to be held at the Cleveland Institute of Music from Friday, June 1 through Sunday, June 3 under the auspices of Classical Guitars International.
Featured recitalists will include CIM’s own Jason Vieaux with soprano Jung Eun Oh; SoloDuo with Matteo Mela and Lorenzo Micheli (Italy); Gaëlle Solal (France); and Pavel Steidl (Czech Republic), and lectures will be given by Jonathan Fitzgerald (USA, “Listening and Re-listening: opening your ears to new sounds”); Alan Bise (Azica Records, Cleveland, “The Recording Process: from artistic vision to retail sale”); and Bernhard Kresse (Germany, “The Viennese 19th century Guitar Making Tradition”).
Although all the events center around the classical guitar, two are linked by a certain style of instrument. Pavel Steidl will play his Friday evening recital on a copy of a nineteenth-century Viennese instrument built by Bernhard Kresse. We spoke with Steidl via Skype in Mexico, where he was on tour, and with Kresse by phone in Köln, to learn more about the recital and this special instrument.
“You can compare the period guitar from the nineteenth century and the modern guitar with the Hammerklavier and the modern Steinway”, Steidl told us. “The modern instrument is more resonant and seems to produce more sound, but the romantic instrument separates the voices more clearly and produces huge, rich colors. Maybe the sound seems smaller, but in my experience, the projection of the sound is very good”. Read the rest of this entry »