Stefano Grondona week!

This week in Alicante I got to study with Stefano Grondona. A very insightful and musical teacher; such an inspiring approach to music. He plays a wonderful Torres guitar and it was such a delight to hear him play live in his concert at the ADDA.

Here are some photos from that week:

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Ignacio Rodes Week!

This week was all Spanish repertoire. I have learned so much this week! Maestro Ignacio is such a wonderful and charismatic teacher, incredibly well versed in the Spanish musical tradition. Not only did we have a fantastic seminar regarding the ‘Hommage a Debussy‘ composed by Manuel de Falla; we also explored the world of the first recordings ever made of our instrument. We had the incredible opportunity of being submerged in the magical sounds coming out of maestro Rodes’ unique gramophone and we had the privilege of listening to first recording of the guitar, known to this date, made by Octaviano Yañez in 1908.

Here are some photos of this remarkable week:

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Inauguration ceremony and first week of classes

My first week in Alicante has been full of vibrant adventures. We had a tour of the University of Alicante and the architecture surrounding this institution; the inaugural ceremony; a welcome reception at one of the organizer’s house where his famous paella was the highlight of the evening; and David Russell’s amazing concert paired with a fantastic week full of classes with maestro Russell.

Here are a few photos from my first week in Alicante:

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Master Guitarra Alicante here I come!

I am very happy to announce that I will be one of the students in the IV International Master in Classical Guitar Performance of the University of Alicante. During my studies in Spain, I will be working with the living legends of the guitar world. The teacher’s roster includes: David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Pepe Romero, Fabio Zanon, Sergio and Odair Assad, Stefano Grondona, and lutenist Paul Odette. Also I will get to work with the conductor Jose de Eusebio and the neuroscientist Victor Candia.

I am so delighted to start this new adventure!



Master’s Recital

On Saturday, December 5th, I had the pleasure of performing my final concert as a Master’s student. It was a wonderful evening, thank you so much to everyone who attended the recital and all of you who watched the live stream.

If you want to catch the recital, here is the link to the live stream:

Kathy Acosta Zavala, Master’s Recital

Here is a video from the concert:


First sample recording of my transcription!

If you have been following my transcription project, I promised on my last post to have a sample recording of what my work sounds like so far. Finally, here it is! My good friend and colleague, Michael Weiss, generously helped me record this short sample. He is playing the alto saxophone part and I am playing the guitar part, since my duo partner Christine is currently recuperating from pneumonia. Hopefully her recovery will be speedy and we will be back playing together and premiering my transcription at its completion soon.

Give it a listen, and let me know what you think!

NASA Region II Conference!!

I had an incredible time playing with my duo partner, Christine Yi, at the 2015 NASA Region II Conference. We drove up to Flagstaff yesterday and played today at 11 am.

In our program, we included two pieces. The first one was a traditional Balkan sevdalinka folk song arranged by Michael Djupstrom and the second one was Alan Hovhaness’ Suite for alto saxophone and guitar, Op. 291.

Here are the live recordings of both pieces:

I hope you enjoy the pieces, we had a fabulous time performing them!


New Project!

This semester I am working on a new and exiting transcribing project: “Modernizing Bach’s BWV 1016.” My intention is to create a full transcription of Bach’s violin and harpsichord sonata in E major, BWV 1016, for saxophone and guitar. I will be posting each week about the progress made on my transcription, and I will also make sure I post some videos and PDFs of the transcription’s score. Check it out by going to the Project section of the main menu.