A week with Paul O’dette: A modern Baroque and Renaissance Star

This week has been one of the best during my time in Alicante. Every class has had so much information to absorb and as a performer, every lesson was an overview of the history of the piece, the mannerisms of the time when it was composed, the essence and character of the composition. I think working with this phenomenal artist and teacher has shed some light into the true interpretative character of Baroque and Renaissance music. And in the words of Mr. Paul O’dette, A.K.A. Baroque Rock Star, “There is no such thing as bad music, only uninspired performances.”

Here are some photos of the amazing week I spent working with him on my transcriptions of Soler’s music and a Dowland Galliard.

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Manuel Barrueco week…. BACH back to back!!!

Last week was definitely a dream come true. I had the incredible opportunity of studying with the one and only, Manuel Barrueco.

It was definitely a very packed week, the schedule was quite unforgiving, but the quality of the lessons and the great emphasis on music elegance and purity made every moment priceless.

I played for the first class maestro Barrueco’s transcription of the second violin sonata, BWV 1003; and in the second class, my transcription of Padre Antonio Soler’s sonata in D minor, R. 115. Both lessons proved to be so insightful, and two particular phrases will forever remain engraved in my mind:

Fall in love with your pieces, listen and fall in love.”

“When playing Spanish music, always think elegant and no feeling” – this was a quote that he remembered from one of his conversations with Alicia de Larrocha.

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Recording my transcription!!!

Last Wednesday, I was recorded my transcriptions of two sonatas by Padre Antonio Soler professionally – the catalog numbers of the sonatas are R.1 and R.115.

My day started at 9 with an hour warm-up and slow practice. My recording session was set to start at noon; so, I made sure to program my early morning in order to allow an arrival time of 30 minutes prior to the session to warm up properly. Upon my arrival to the studio I met Luis Ivars, a Spanish film score composer, who was going to be running the session and whose welcoming character made the project run smoothly.

The session went very well and we were able to work through both sonatas in the three hours given. The process, in general, was very rewarding and exhausting at the same time. By the conclusion of the three hours, I felt as if I had run a marathon, my mind was very exhausted but it had a felling of accomplishment that I can still taste.

By the end of next week we will be receiving a CD with the final product; after all the practicing, playing, editing, and listening, I am looking forward to sharing it with all of you.

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Chamber music…. guitar + guitar

This past week has been a very musically active week. First let me tell you a bit about the fantastic classes we had with maestro Rodes. He is such a knowledgeable professor, and his constructive coaching helped us get our chamber repertoire to the next level.

I had the pleasure of playing two Tedesco duets with my classmate and friend William Pofahl from Brazil. We player the “Prelude and Fugue in C# minor” and the “Fuga Elegiaca,” dedicated to Ida Presti. We got so many great ideas from the maestro, one of the most crucial ones was: “Make it an orchestral piece.” So now we will  be inserting more colors and dynamics to this masterpieces.

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Last week was full of concerts, on the 3rd we  attended the Quaternaglia concert, they played an all Brazilian music program. This concert was a fundraiser for a ‘Guitar in the Schools’ project that is trying to start next year here in Alicante.

The highlight of the concerts last week was, by far, Sir András Schiff. His concert was incredible and his Schubert sonata was unbelievably passionate, sensitive and simply FANTASTIC!!!

Here is a slideshow of some pictures from both concerts:

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Jose De Eusebio week!

Marketing… Conducting… Music Business… Conductor… Guitar…

What an intense week with conductor Jose De Eusebio! It has been so enlightening to learn about the etiquette required when working with an orchestra and approaching rehearsals with them. We also worked on the basic elements of conducting with the maestro and with a fantastic pianist, Federico, whom we got to conduct first hand.

The second topic we covered during the week was marketing and music business. Maestro De Eusebio was kind to share his knowledge about the music industry and the promotional materials needed for a professional career in performance. Truly it was a very enlightening week. Now I have to get to work on developing my own professional materials!


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Working with the legendary Pepe Romero…

Two weeks ago, we had the absolute honor of working with maestro Pepe Romero. I was mesmerized by his stories surrounding Joaquín Rodrigo and the Romero family.

Not only did we have amazing lessons with such a charismatic, patient and loving teacher but we were able to immerse in Rodrigo’s repertoire. Many times maestro Pepe would coach us in the manner Rodrigo did when he was coaching young Pepe. This were my favorite moments, him re-living Rodrigo’s persona.

Overall, this week was so positively inspiring. I was able to play the 1st movement of the Giuliani concerto for him and Vivaldi’s RV. 82.

The last day of classes we hosted him in San Roque and had a wonderful patio luncheon with him. So many memories..

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Latin American guitar repertoire & the Assads…

The Assad brothers celebrated 50 years of playing as a duo last year; they are such an inspiration to young players like me and, as teachers, they absolutely the best. It was truly an honor to play once more for them.

This week we got to work with the maestros specifically on Latin American guitar repertoire. My repertoire selection for this week was Contemplación by Agustín Barrios and El Arpa y la Sombra by Leo Brouwer.

Besides having private lessons with each of them we got one incredibly useful technique seminar with Odair and a composition/improvisation seminar with Sergio.

A memory recorded: Maestro Sergio recorded their promotional video and interview for the University of Arizona with my Gnatek guitar, when the video is out I will share it!

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Fabio Zanon Week…. that means TRANSCRIPTIONS!

This week was focused exclusively on our transcriptions. For my final thesis project I am transcribing two Antonio Soler sonatas.

It was so helpful to work with such a genius like maestro Fabio Zanon. Not only was he able to sightread all of our transcriptions right out of the original scores, but his abilities went as far as recomposing sections of pieces that didn’t work very well in the guitar. I am extremely exited to listen to his upcoming CD, with release date on April, featuring his own transcriptions of Romantic composers.

Here are the photos from this week:

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Movement, Choreography and Practice

What an astonishing week full of new information about our body movements and the physiology of our body. It was such a reflective week full of seminars and private coachings with neuroscientist Victor Candia.

As a guitarist, I hadn’t realized the importance of taking full care of my body. Stretching before practicing, warming up, having a practice/rest ratio of about 20/10 minutes,  cooling down and always setting the arm and hand choreography to move effectively  through out the fingerboard.

Truly a life changing experience!

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