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by James Flood, Daniel Hathaway & Mike Telin

The twelfth annual Classical Guitar Weekend was distinguished by four outstanding concerts by Pavel Steidl, Gaëlle Solal, SoloDuo and Jason Vieaux with soprano Jung Eun Oh; three excellent and informative lectures by luthier Bernhard Kresse, guitarist Jonathan Fitzgerald and record producer Alan Bise; and record audiences showed up for performances, talks and master classes over a three-day span from June 1-3 at the Cleveland Institute of Music. For the first time, Classical Guitar Weekend took on the air of a real festival chock full of delights for guitar enthusiasts as well as for music lovers in general, for which artistic director Armin Kelly deserves an up-front round of applause.

Recital by Pavel Steidl

Pavel SteidlPavel Steidl chose his Friday evening program with a particular instrument in mind: a reproduction of a nineteenth century Stauffer instrument made by Bernhard Kresse. In an interview, Kresse contrasted it to the modern guitar as “the difference between a limousine and a sports car with the same engine”. Indeed, Steidl took us on a brisk and thrilling road trip through music by Johann Kaspar Mertz, Niccolò Paganini, J.S. Bach, Fernando Sor and Zani de Ferranti, showing us how well the smaller, peppier instrument responded in the areas of color, speed, articulation and ornamentation.

Pavel Steidl is an animated performer who uses his hands, his feet and his facial expressions as well as the guitar to put the essence of the music across. The Mertz pieces featured colorful harmonies, toccata-like gestures, lyrical stretches and cheerful, humorous moments that Steidl played brilliantly and footnoted with his body motions. Read the rest of this entry »


By Daniel Hathaway and Mike Telin

Pavel SteidlRecitals, 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.

Pavel Steidl

“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 »

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Daniel Hathaway
founder & editor
Mike Telin
executive editor
Jarrett Hoffman
assistant to the editors

James Flood
J.D. Goddard
Jarrett Hoffman
Nicholas Jones
Timothy Robson
Robert & Gwyneth Rollin
Alexandra Vago
Tom Wachunas