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by Mike Telin
“This week’s concert is going to be really great,” classical guitarist Jason Vieaux exclaimed during a recent telephone conversation. On Saturday, September 27, beginning at 7:30 pm in Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights, the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society will begin its International Series. And in keeping with tradition, the series will kick off with a free Showcase Concert.
Francois Fowler (Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University) will open the program with two of his own compositions, Meditation (2010) and Wavelength Sonata (2013). Robert Gruca will continue the program with music from the baroque era with David Russell’s arrangement of Jean-Baptiste Loeillet’s Suite No. 1. Jason Vieaux, (Cleveland and Curtis Institutes of Music) will conclude the evening with music by Metheny, Jobim, Tarrega and Merlin.
by James Flood, Daniel Hathaway & Mike Telin
The three-day event formerly known as Classical Guitar Weekend was relaunched as the Cleveland International Guitar Festival this year. Running from Friday, May 30 through Sunday, June 1 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the festival included masterclasses, lectures, workshops and exhibitions — and five recitals by world-class artists. ClevelandClassical correspondents covered four of the five performances. Their reviews appear below. (We were unable to attend Saturday evening’s performance by SoloDuo.)
Petra Polácková by James Flood
Czech guitarist Petra Polácková took the stage for the festival’s opening recital on Friday evening, May 30, with her 8-string Romantic period guitar, a replica by Jan Tulacek of an 1840 instrument by the Viennese builder N.G. Ries. The instrument’s appearance, with two extra strings placed conspicuously well above the guitar neck, along with its unique body shape, would catch the attention of even a complete newcomer to the classical guitar. But the sound was what was even more striking. The smaller body lessened the lower end frequencies, but the instrument had a beguilingly sweet sound. And the character of the guitar fit the character of the performance. Read the rest of this entry »