Xu’s Shops

What job do you do after graduating in classical guitar?

When I first visited Chengdu two years ago, I was surprised that the professor at the conservatory, Xu Bao also ran a music shop.
I learned that this was a place his more advanced students could teach and it was a general meeting place for the increasing number of students he had.
There were also guitars for sale.
On this present visit, he had just opened a new shop, a hundred yards down from the previous one, but I also discovered that there were another two shops in other areas of Chengdu.
They all sold relatively expensive guitars from Altamira, Martinez and Milestone.
Overall, there were around 300 students and each shop was managed and part owned by one of Xu Bao’s students.
Intrigued, I wanted to find out why there was such a demand for guitar studios, their function in the life of students who have finished their studies and how Xu Bao manages to sell higher quality and more expensive guitars to his students.
The studio/shops themselves were also an interesting design, incorporating lots of open space and making use of all the space that was available.
In the following interview, I was ably assisted by one of Xu Bao’s former students, Wenjun Qi, who is now studying with Bill Kanengiser in Los Angeles.

Written by Mrs Bach

Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello (BWV 1007-1012) are among the most famous pieces in the canon of Western music. Recent claims by the Australian researcher Martin Jarvis about their authorship have become a media sensation, causing heated scholarly debates in normally restrained musicological circles. Jarvis claims that the Cello Suites were composed not by Johann Sebastian but by his second wife Anna Magdalena.
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Here are some recent superb interpretations of the cello suites by David Watkin

NYGE Easter Concert – Part 2

More from the National Youth Guitar Ensemble

Garcia/Mozart, Carlo Domeniconi, Celso Machado

 

 

NYGE Easter Concert Part 1

Here is some of the concert which the National Youth Guitar Ensemble gave at Easter in the Church of St John the Evangelist in Oxford –
Leo Brouwer, Gary Ryan, Shingo Fujii

 

Dodgson – 1st Guitar Concerto

John Williams in fine form, complete with a bit of LP crackle.

I was reminded of this concerto when Stephen Dodgson’s widow, Jane Clark,sent me the score recently. This is one of my favourite concertos and is full of the feel of summer.

As  nice comparison, here is Dodgson’s flute concerto.

King and the Pope

A little late to the party, but I would like to add my little tribute.

 

How the church encouraged the blues

A report in MTV News last December
December 19 [12:00 EDT] — B.B. King will be presenting his trademark guitar, the legendary “Lucille,” to Pope John Paul II following a performance at the Vatican on Friday, December 19, according to reports by Reuters and the AP.

Which “Lucille” this is was not noted (the original “Lucille” is long gone, and the blues guitar legend has had a few subsequent axes over the years that have borne the name in turn), but B.B. King’s signature Gibson guitar has been by his side for close to half a century.

“Meeting the pope will be a very emotional experience for me, it will be electrifying,” King told reporters. The performance, at the Pope’s annual Christmas concert, will be taking place at the Paul VI Auditorium, the usual scene of the Pope’s public audiences. King, 72, will have an audience with the Pontiff in advance of the show.

AP reports that the concert is to raise money to build 50 new churches on the outskirts of Rome. King will be joined by fellow American
Chaka Khan, the Portuguese group Madredeus and France’s Mireille Mathieu.

The Pope is becoming a regular rock fan. He met folk-rocker Bob Dylan at a concert in September.

 

Mangoré – Los Ultimos Dias – The last days

The film is now in production!

Here is an interview with lead actor  Damián Alcázar with more clips from the film

And here is there trailer in English

Facebook page

More here

Here is an article in Spanish about the film.

Ana María Hernández Guerra reported this on her blog almost 2 years ago! Hopefully, it will be realised very soon.
“The president of El Salvador Gral. Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez was a great admirer of Barrios, calling him “One of the chosen ones”, whose artistic culture does great good for those who listen”. After a concert attended by dignataries(Including the Paraguayan ambassador), Gral. Martinez appointed him Professor of guitar at the national Conservatory, presenting him with a check, declaring that he must stay in the heart of America, El Salvador”.

In the meantime, you could just enjoy this!

Capo Fail – Boris rides again

  

You have probably come across this already, but I just saw it on a Chinese website and thought it was quite funny, what with the elections looming.

Can you spot the non-deliberate error?

Here is an associated article in the Daily Telegraph

The Mayor of London has told an audience of young people that his biggest regret in life is failing to make it as a famous rock musician. 

He said: “I think I regret bitterly, I still regret, my failure to get anywhere as a rock star and a player of the guitar. I tried at school to master the guitar with a view to becoming a famous … and it was hopeless. And I thought, right well I’ll master the piano and that went even worse.”

Maybe these guys should have stuck to playing the guitar…

   

 

Fernando Sor : Sinfonía No. 1

We know that Sor studied music seriously and wrote works for instruments other than guitar – so how many of have actually heard any of his other music?

Here is a recording by Sir Neville Marriner of his first symphony. More on iTunes

  • Sinfonía No. 1 in C Major: I. Largo – Allegro assai” by Orquestra de Cadaqués, Sir Neville Marriner, Orquestra de Cadaqués, Sir Neville Marriner

And here is some piano music played by Josep Maria Roger.

Catching Up with Julian Bream: The Legendary Master Looks Back

Some new insights from Julian Bream, courtesy of the refurbished Classical Guitar Magazine. A fine interview by Thérèse Wassily Saba adapted from the December 2014 issue of Classical Guitar. Julian Bream was in the first ever issue of Classical Guitar in 1982.

Sorry to see that it (Classical Guitar) has left the UK for greener pastures, but happy that it will be invigorated. It has been an old friend!