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Classical 101

The Guitar Rises Again on the Concert Stage

People make fun of violas, tubas, and bassoons, but at least these musicians are being noticed. When was the last time you heard someone make fun of a guitar, or even bring one up in conversation when it came to classical music? The last major composer to focus attention on the guitar was Joaquin Rodrigo, whose last work for guitar and orchestra, Concierto para una Fiesta, was written in 1982. In the classical realm, guitars and orchestras seldom mix, but if Sergio Assad has his way, that is about to change. Sergio and his brother Odair are hailed by some as the guitar-lovers answer to Rembrandt: artists who paint masterpieces with their instruments. The Washington Post called them "The best two-guitar team in existence...maybe even in history." Now, older brother Sergio is looking to fill what he considers a void in classical music literature: music for guitar and orchestra. In a few months, Telarc will release the recording of Interchange by Sergio. It features not the Assad Brothers, but rather the four guitarists of the LA Guitar Quartet. Not content to stop there, Sergio and Odair will premiere a two guitar concerto in the 2010-2011 season.  Here's a preview of this exciting new concerto.  In the meantime, enjoy some great musical humor with the LA Guitar Quartet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yflWG-e38OU