Classical Guitar Lessons and Coaching: Philadelphia, Lansdowne, Delaware County, PA & Wilmington, DE

Whether you’re a long-time student of the classical guitar or an absolute beginner, a college student looking for additional coaching and ideas or an aspiring performance major preparing for auditions, I look forward to working with you to enhance your ability to make music and improve your technical skill. All ages and levels are welcome!

Interview with GFA-featured composer Kevin J. Cope

The Guitar Foundation of America has for many years distinguished itself by hosting the prestigious GFA International Concert Artist Competition and by publishing Soundboard magazine, a quarterly publication available to members of GFA, widely-regarded as one of the best classical guitar publications in print (http://www.guitarfoundation.org/). This September, GFA and Soundboard have chosen to distinguish our very own Kevin Cope by featuring him within the magazine and making him their cover story. Kevin is a long-standing member of WCGS and a talented composer who we are excited to see receiving recognition for his outstanding compositions. I sat down with Kevin this past week to ask him some of our own questions:

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Julian Bream – The Complete Album Collection

Julian Bream Complete Album CollectionRCA released a complete recordings of Julian Bream several years ago. This new release includes even more recordings, 2 Decca (both with Peter Pears), 4 Westminster, 4 EMI and 1 BBC. In addition, the recordings are as Bream originally presented them, with the original album art and order of tracks preserved. 40 CDs in all, and all for around $100. An incredible deal for the music of easily one of my favorite guitarists ever.

The drawback? It’s currently only available for pre-order outside the USA. The closest availability to the US is Amazon Canada. That’s not stopping me.

Master Class Report: Manuel Barrueco – February 4, 2013

The Wilmington Classical Guitar Society recently had the pleasure of being invited to audit a master class with Manuel Barrueco at the Curtis Institute of Music on February 4. The program featured the first four guitar students of Curtis’s new guitar program, Jordan Dodson and Jiyeon Kim, who entered Curtis in 2011, and Louis Xavier Barrette and Gideon Whitehead, who entered in 2012. All are students of Jason Vieaux and David Starobin, who began the program in 2011.

What a great experience this was for the thirty or so fortunate enough to attend the class. As would be expected, the students all demonstrated remarkable musical and technical skill, while each retained their own unique style and interpretation. Read the rest of this entry »

Master Class with Petrit Çeku

I first encountered Petrit Çeku when he played for Scott Tennant in a master class at Peabody Conservatory in February of 2011. I remember being captivated that day, drawn in by Petrit’s playing and his seemingly complete disregard for his instrument. That’s not to say he is an inattentive guitarist, just that his attention is focused elsewhere, inward. When performing he rarely looks at the guitar; in fact his head is almost always turned away from the guitar, eyes closed, his expression and movements deeply emotive, changing sympathetically with the music, and always complementing the performance. Upon reflection, I came to the conclusion that playing this way serves one very important purpose in regard to the audience: it draws the focus away from the guitar and onto the music, and in the musical realm Petrit clearly excels. I am apparently not the only one who appreciates Petrit’s playing, as he has gone on to win several major competitions since I saw him perform that day, including the prestigious Christopher Parkening International Guitar Competition.

So it was with an appreciable measure of enthusiasm that I made the trek to Baltimore October 28th to observe Petrit conducting his own master class. Read the rest of this entry »

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