Review: GFA Fest puts 200 on Long Center stage, and more
By: Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
Quick — how many guitarists can fit on the stage of the Long Center’s Dell Hall?
Try 200. And it was a phenomenal and charming sight.
Last night, as part of the Guitar Foundation of America’s annual convention and competition now taking place in Austin, some 200 young guitarists from around the country took the stage for a short concert under the direction of Michael Quant. The sea of strings sounded lush and colorful, particularly during the premiere of ‘Powerman,’ a fun yet thoughtful piece commissioned for the event from Austin composer Graham Reynolds. Let’s hope the young guitarists continue to rock on.
The youth guitar orchestra was the warm-up act of sorts for the evenings featured performers: guitarist Adam Holzman with the Miro Quartet.
But before the music started, GFA president Brian Head announced the 12 semi-finalists of the International Competition. Click here to see the list. The semi-finalists are competing today. On Sunday, four finalists will compete in a public concert beginning at 6:30 p.m. The winners will be announced during a 9 p.m. ceremony.
But last night the stage belonged to Holzman and the Miro. All on the faculty of UT, the fivesome clearly relished in the collaboration of playing together. That particularly came through in Boccherini’s exuberant Quintetto No. 4 a piece that bounced between virtuosic flourishes (particulary from the cello) and spirited leitmotifs full of Spanish flare.
Another treat was seeing Miro first violinist Daniel Ching play the delightful Giuliani’s Sonata Op. 85 in duet with Holzman.
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