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.
Articles by this Author
The Japanese guitarist Kazuhito Yamashita performed an ambitious, all-Bach program Friday at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The recital, presented by the Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts, featured arrangements of the First and Sixth Cello Suites as well as the Second Sonata for Solo Violin and had a decidedly mixed reception.
The twins Peter and Zoltán Katona have created a guitar duo noted for spirited interpretations, amazing virtuosity, and an uncanny ensemble that many attribute to their shared genetic heritage. The brothers from Budapest move and breathe together, and they mark changes of mood with an exchange of glances that highlights their musical decisions. As students, the Katonas worked with Julian Bream and John Williams, the great masters of the previous generation.
The Spanish guitarist Margarita Escarpa offered a recital notable for finely wrought emotion, beautiful sound, and flawless technique on Saturday at the Green Room of San Francisco’s War Memorical Veterans Building. The Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts and the Government of Spain presented the recital as homage to the Spanish guitarist and composer Francisco Tárrega, commemorating the 100th anniversary of his death.
The young American guitarist Jason Vieaux is an exceptionally communicative artist. On Saturday he presented an interesting, well-shaped program, with expressive playing and friendly, informative spoken introductions, at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Concert Hall. Interested in expanding the guitar repertoire, Vieaux performed his own arrangements of music by jazz guitarist Pat Metheny and a Suite by contemporary Argentine composer José Luis Merlin, as well as works by Bach, Albéniz, and Brouwer.
Classical guitarist David Tanenbaum presented an excellent recital of classical guitar, featured in a variety of chamber music settings, along with one spellbinding solo work on Saturday at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Concert Hall. A faculty member at the Conservatory, where he is chair of the collegiate Guitar Department, Tanenbaum was joined by fellow faculty members harpsichordist Corey Jamason and violinist Axel Strauss, as well as by steel string guitarist Peppino D'Agostino.
Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas, winner of the gold medal at the inaugural Christopher Parkening International Guitar Competition, gave an exhilarating San Francisco debut recital Saturday at the Veterans Building's Green Room. He stirred an enthusiastic audience with passionate Romantic interpretations, bravura technique, and an unusually wide dynamic range at the first concert of the Omni Foundation's Dynamite Guitars series.
The Guitar Foundation of America held its annual Convention and Competition in San Francisco this year and presented a week of fascinating concerts, lectures, master classes, and showcases of the work of celebrated luthiers and publishers, as well as this year's most important international classical guitar competition. Under the direction of Richard Patterson, the guiding force behind the Omni Foundation's series of guitar recitals often presented in association with San Francisco Performances, and David Tanenbaum, chair of the S.F.
Paul Galbraith, whose Sunday recital at the Florence Gould Theater was sponsored by Chamber Music San Francisco, is a unique figure in the classical guitar world. Winner of the Segovia International Guitar Competition and the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award in 1981 at age 17, he began giving concerts throughout Europe regularly. An unusually thoughtful young man, he subsequently withdrew from concertizing for several years to rethink his relationship to the guitar, technique, interpretation, and music itself.
Virtuoso lutenists enjoyed privileged positions in Renaissance Europe. They were held in high esteem, were well-paid by princes and kings, and often had magical effects ascribed to their performances. Contemporary lutenists don’t enjoy the patronage of presidents, but Hopkinson Smith, one of the instrument’s finest performers, did give a magically beautiful recital of works by Renaissance composers Francesco da Milano and John Dowland on Sunday at Saint John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in San Francisco, in a concert presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society.