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Classical 101

Classical Guitarist Milos Karadaglic Stops Public Concerts

This photo is lended as courtesy of Andy Earl of Mercury Classics
Milos Karadaglic has suffered a recent injury preventing him from embarking on a world tour.

Just as he was about to begin an international tour, Milos Karadaglic, a major star of the classical guitar world, has been forced to cancel andstop giving public performances, at least temporarily.  He is suffering from a physical condition of his hand that interferes with performing, and his doctors urged him to take a lengthy break from playing.

Karadaglic, or just "Milos," as he is called by his fans, is from the small Balkan country of Montenegro.  He had a rather rapid rise to prominence after guitarist David Russell heard him play and suggested he study at the Royal Academy in London.  

Now, four CDs later, including an entire album devoted to music of the Beatles, his popularity has been steadily increasing.

I hope he recovers quickly.  It's good to see the public profile of the classical guitar increase with a player of such obvious talent expanding the repertoire a bit with skillful and imaginative arrangements.  He also plays the long established works, solo and ensemble, such as the Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo (on his third album) at a very high level as well.

Milos Karadaglic's situation brings to mind another very good guitarist who also suffered from a debilitating muscle condition of the hand but did not return to a concert career.  

English guitarist Nicola Hall made several fine recordings in the early and mid 1990's on the Decca label that are still worth listening to, so I know that a hand injury can be a potentially career-ending event.  Here she is at 18, before making her first record:


You may also have heard the story of the renowned classical pianist Leon Fleisher who lost the use of his right hand in in 1964 due to a muscle condition called focal dystonia.  

Amazingly, he was able to return to public performing using both hands four decades later, after receiving treatments with botox injections that allowed him the full use of his right hand again.  That resulted in a best-selling 2004 CD called "Two Hands."

I hope Milos Karadaglic's situation is not that serious and he doesn't have to wait that long to be back on the concert stage.  Be well and keep playing that guitar.


Be sure to listen for some of his recordings and many other fine pieces by and for guitarists on Fretworks, Saturday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM.