Xuefei Yang

Xuefei Yang plays Xodó da Baiana by Dilermando Reis. The video was made for the Starface TV documentary show on Phoenix TV, for the episode featuring Xuefei. She is playing a Greg Smallman guitar.

Xuefei is an extraordinarily talented classical guitarist. Watching her video performances, I am always taken by her dexterity and apparently effortless fluidity, even in the fastest of movements.

According to her official biography, ‘Xuefei was the first-ever guitarist in China to enter a music school, & became the first internationally recognised Chinese guitarist on the world stage. Her first public appearance was at the age of ten and received such acclaim that the Spanish Ambassador in China presented her with a concert guitar. Her debut in Madrid at the age of 14 was attended by the composer Joaquín Rodrigo and, when John Williams heard her play, he gave two of his own instruments to Beijing’s Central Conservatoire especially for her and other advanced students.’

Here she plays Cavatina at the BBC Proms In The Park 2018 on Titanic Slipways , Belfast, accompanied by the Ulster Orchestra.

Stanley Myers “Cavatina”

This a beautiful but difficult piece originally written by Stanley Meyers for the piano but transcribed and expanded for guitar at the request of John Williams. Meyers wrote it for the film The Walking Stick in 1970, but it only became well known eight years later when it was used as the theme for The Deer Hunter.

John Williams was the first to perform Cavatina on the classical guitar. He recalls that when Andres Segovia heard him playing it he remarked that it was ‘a very pretty tune’. The word ‘cavatina’ is an Italian musical term meaning ‘a short song of simple character’, but the piece is anything but simple to play.

Here one of my favourite guitarists, Per-Olov Kindgren, plays Cavatina

If you let the clip play on you will discover a beautiful bonus, John Williams playing Julia Florida by Barrios.