Sergio and Odair Assad have been the preeminent classical guitar duo of the last 40 years, having set the standard for technical excellence, sensitive musicianship, and innovative repertoire choices. Their performances are all the more sought after in recent years as they have become more selective about their engagements and less-easily seen. Sergio has used the time to compose a series of brilliant scores and to become the guitar world’s most sought-after composer. Odair, meanwhile, has enthralled audiences with a series of solo performances and recordings that have received rave reviews.
“I never thought about playing solo, because I’ve had such a good connection with my brother,” Odair says. “But I was pushed by composer Leo Brouwer, who wrote a sonata for me. I wanted to record it, which meant assembling a full CD of solo material — and everything progressed from there.” Brouwer’s sonata is a major work that portrays Brazil’s Amazon rainforest and arid highlands, as well as its vibrant musical culture in the composer’s well-known blend of idiomatic modernism and hyperromanticism. The program will also include works dedicated to Odair written by Sergio Assad and Kevin Callahan, as well as works by Latin American composers Villa-Lobos, Garoto, Piazzolla, and Gismonti.
Scott Cmiel is Chair of the guitar and musicianship departments at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division and Director of the guitar program at San Francisco School of the Arts.