ARD Finalist Kuang Junhong

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17-year-old Junhong Kuang is widely recognized as one of the greatest young talents in the world today. He began receiving professional training in classical guitar at the age of nine with Professor Xu Bao in Chengdu, China. Only two years later, he won first prize in the Thailand International Guitar Competition, and soon after he was awarded a prize for the best interpretation of a Spanish piece and also for his interpretations of Bach’s “Chaconne” at the Iserlohn International Guitar Competition in Germany.

I met Junhong again last May in Baltimore, where he is studying with Manuel Barrueco.
Before that, I had been teaching him on and off, and recorded his CD for Naxos when he was 13 years old.
This is the interview we did

I worked with him on his ARD programme in Iserlohn under the auspices of his former teacher, professor Xu Bao

Here is his ARD semi final, playing Tedesco’s Quintet

Interview with Su Meng

Su Meng is famously a Chinese guitarist who studies and plays in the USA, as a soloist, in a duo (the Beijing Duo) with her compatriot Wang Yameng (whom John Williams and I met on our Chinese tour in 1995) and in a trio with her teacher, Manuel Barrueco.

  • In 2002, Meng Su won first prize in the 5th Vienna International Guitar Competition.
  • in 2005, she garnered first prize in the 48th Tokyo International Guitar Competition.
  • In 2006, she was the winner of the first Parkening Young Guitarist Competition.
  • in 2006, she was the winner of the first Iserlohn Guitarist Competition.
  • in 2014, Meng Su received the Maryland State Art Council’s Individual Artist Award in Classical Solo Performance!
  • in 2015, she was the winner of the fourth Parkening Guitar Competition.

I was lucky enough to catch her on my latest visit to Hong Kong just after she had won the prestigious Parkening Competition for the second time (the first time was as a junior) and we managed to have a brief conversation about practice, competitions and living in the USA.
There interview took place in the studio of my old friend Wong Yik Hung.

Website

The Beijing Guitar Duo

Manuel Barrueco: live concert playing Takemitsu and Bach

Thanks to selftaughtgirl for this early radio broadcast of Barrueco

In case you were interested in analysing the maestros technique, here is a slowed down video (try not to listen to the sound though!)

Brazilian Mozart

He had two brothers, one named Verdi, the other Rossine, so it isn’t surprising that his parents had musical ambitions for Mozart Guarnieri. In an act of self effacement (and probably to ward off unkind comments) he changed his name to M.Camargo Guarnieri (Camargo was his mother’s maiden name, and M. stands, of course, for Mozart).
He is arguably the most important Brazilian composer after Heitor Villa-Lobos having written 6 symphonies, 6 piano concertos and many chamber works. Continue reading