Villa-Lobos is one of the most important composers for classical guitar. His music combines Brazilian folk music with contemporary classical. Chôro No. 1, one of his most famous pieces, is a beautiful merging these two styles.
David Russell is one of the great players of the present age.
In this, the 3rd and final post in the series, I am featuring 10 incredible players 35 years old or younger I have ordered them from youngest to oldest to maximise the impact. What wonderful talent in such young people!
Linda Bernert (10) plays Tango en skaï by Roland Dyens
Nina Bernert (12 now 14) plays Phantasia D major by David Kellner
Leonora Spangenberger (13 now 15 years old) plays 12 Etudes by Heitor Villa Lobos: Etude No 1
Julia Lange (19) plays Asturias by Isaac Albeniz
Stephanie Jones (24 years old) plays Recuerdos de la Alhambra by F. Tárrega
Anna Likhacheva (25 years old) plays Russian folk song “Ivushka”
Gabriel Bianco (29 years old) plays Variations on Venice Carnival
Su Meng (30 years old) plays Bach Prelude, Allegro – Presto
Kyuhee Park (33 years old) plays El Ultimo Tremelo by Augustin Barrios Mangore
Milos Karadaglic (35 years old) plays’Oriental’ by Enrique Granados
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As promised, here is a list of 10 top Generation-X classical guitarists aged between 40 and 55.
I have avoided using the word ‘best’ when referring to this list because of how different folk understand this ascription. Some comments to previous posts are; “there is no ‘best’, just opinions”, and “the best players are those who embrace the ‘new’ compositions”, and “No way! Eliot Fisk is the best because of his innovation and energy”. I guess we could have a shot at determining who the best players are by adopting a comprehensive set of criteria and an impartial assessment methodology, but what’s the point? Certainly, my reason for compiling these lists is to provide reference points, learning opportunities, and listening pleasure.
In the 3rd and final post in this series, I intend to feature another 10 fabulous players 35 years old and under.
My last post featured John Williams, and although many commented favourably, there were one or two critical of John’s virtuosity. When I searched the threads in the Delcamp forum, I soon realised that there are as many opinions on the ‘best’ living classical guitarist as there are on what constitutes ‘best’.
The criteria for judging ‘best’ appear to fall into four categories: musicality, technique, tone production, and emotional impact. However, what interested me more was the sheer number of CG players listed among the top three picks… 38 in total!
So, I have compiled a list of just the top 10 candidates. I have done this as a basis for further research, learning, and listening pleasure. I have arranged the list based on the number of different people identifying them as part of the top three living players. Of course, the list is not meant as any sort of definitive ranking, but rather as an inspiration for run-of-the-mill classical guitarists like me. Along with each name are links to their websites and a video of them playing.
Of the 10 maestros listed, seven are over 60 years of age, and so the fear for many is that the era of classical guitar greats is passing. Not so! In my next post, I intend to highlight 10 great players between 40 and 55 years old. Then in a 3rd post I intend to feature another 10 fabulous players 35 years old and under. The future of the classical guitar looks bright to me!
Benjamin Verdery, Yale University professor, composer and international performing artist, describes this piece as the musicians most popular work. He lauds it as ‘a composition any composer could learn from and admire’.
The composition is pronounced ‘Hul-ia Flor-ee-da’ and is a level 5 (intermediate) performance piece.
The castle of Torija is in the Guadalajara province, located just off the road between Madrid and Barcelona. Torroba (1891-1982) also composed operas, but he is best remembered for his works written for the classical guitar.
Per-Olov Kindren plays with his usaul style and sensitivity.
Adelita is one of Tarrega’s most well-known compositions and is played by amateurs and professionals alike. Apparently, Tárrega named the piece Adelita because he dedicated the piece to the illegitimate daughter King Alfonso XII, Adela Aimerich.
Here Per-OLov Kindgren plays the piece, which I have graded as Level 6 (Higher exit).
This is a Level/Grade 5 (Intermediate) piece composed by Vivaldi for the violin and transposed for the guitar. Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was an Italian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher and cleric. Born in Venice, he was as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe.
The piece is played by Steven Law, a member of a new breed of musical star who connect with fans directly through the Internet. His hundreds of guitar videos often feature tunes from modern pop songs and anime, and have been freely shared millions of times by grateful fans all over the world.
In my scheme of things, this is a Level/Grade 4 (Lower exit) piece.
Andrew York ‘is one of today’s best loved composers for classical guitar and a performer of international stature. His compositions blend the styles of ancient eras with modern musical directions, creating music that is at once vital, multi-levelled and accessible.’ Taken from www.andrewyork.net
Brian Farrell is largely self-taught, however he initially took lessons with the late Barry Lawlor who was one of Ireland’s finest guitar teachers and Barry’s teaching had a profound impact on Brian’s career.