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In 1998, the Baltimore Sun offered free access to its digital archives, which go back to 1990. I was curious about the frequency and the nature of references to the classical guitar in a typical newspaper. So, I did a search on "classical guitar".
There were 61 hits, meaning 61 separate newspaper articles. I've distilled the approximately 500,000 total bytes down to the short excerpts given below. I retain enough surrounding material to give a solid context for the mention. I also retain guitar-related information I think might be of interest to the reader or a future historian.
There's nothing too earth-shaking about the results; we find "classical guitar" mentioned in articles about classical guitar players, classical guitar makers, classical guitar concerts and classical guitar recordings. Pretty amazing, huh?
Slightly more interesting (to me, anyhow) is the passing mention of someone who is not a classical guitar performer having played or studied the classical guitar. Often, this is noted in regards to a musician who has made a name in some other style of guitar playing, which isn't such a big deal, but in other cases it comes completely out of the blue, which is kind of cool.
I was wondering if there would be any mention of the classical guitar made for "literary" purposes. By this I mean some simile or metaphor in a passage that has absolutely nothing to do with the classical guitar, or guitars, or music even. Some tiny hint that the classical guitar has invaded the awareness of mankind. Something like, "His position holds as much sway as a classical guitar in a 100-piece brass band," or, "President So-and-so is getting flabby as a 6th string tuned down to D on a classical guitar," or something . . .
There was exactly one instance of this. See the the April 17 1996 excerpt way below. Even though I have to give it an asterisk, it's still my favorite mention out of the 61. The reason for the asterisk is that the writer was mainly using Jimi Hendrix to make his point, and the classical guitar just kind of got hitched up to Jimi's bandwagon.
It's been about four years ago, now (writing in July 2002.) I trust myself to have searched on variants such as "classical guitars" and "classical guitarist". I know I did a search on "classic guitar" and remember distinctly that none of those hits referred to the classical guitar. So, if there are any factions of guitarists still duking it out over the proper name of the instrument, be advised that whatever manual of style the newspapers use has closed the matter.
If not otherwise noted, writers credited below are on the Sun staff.
I haven't made a distinction between the Sun and the Evening Sun,
even though they were two completely separate newspapers with no overlap
in content. The Evening Sun stopped operation in 1995. I'm presuming that
the Sun Archives include all the articles from both newspapers.
That would seem like a safe assumption based on the monumental insignificance
of many of the items below, but I had the experience in July 2002 of
unsuccessfully searching the database for a news article which I know
exists because I have the hard copy. What to make of that?
Operafest duo plan new show
Baltimore Sun: Friday, November 23, 1990
Writer: Ernest F. Imhoff, Evening Sun Staff
Opera fanatics are lemmings who generally behave and stay out of sight until live operas at the Lyric or Saturday radio opera beckon and send them over emotional cliffs of Wagner, Verdi and Puccini to sure death, transfiguration and ecstasy.
So it may seem sometimes to Jonathan Palevsky and Ken Meltzer, the cheerful WBJC radio opera duo who... tomorrow play an early Verdi opera and temporarily wind up Operafest, their afternoon stint of explaining full-length operas to the faithful...
A Montreal native, Palevski grew up with the Met Saturday afternoon opera broadcasts... Palevsky played guitar at home. After the University of Ottawa, he came here, received a master's degree in classical guitar from the Peabody Conservatory and began working at WBJC in 1986...
Rock guitarist dies
Baltimore Sun: Wednesday, January 9, 1991
Writer: from wire reports
Steve Maynard Clark, guitarist for the heavy metal rock group Def Leppard, was found dead at his London home yesterday, police said. He was 30...
Known as "Steamin" Steve Clark, he was born in Sheffield, northern England. The band began to play in a Sheffield garage and got a record contract from Polygram in 1979... Clark studied classical guitar for one year and once worked as a lathe operator for a company that produced parts for electric train motors. Lead singer Joe Elliott described him as "the master of the riffs" - the repeated background phrases - who had written the group's best work...
His life is a history of 20th century guitar.
Baltimore Sun: Friday, February 15, 1991
Writer: Larry Harris, Evening Sun Staff
He has done it all, in 65 years, has Charlie Byrd. He has been everything from a club bum to a student of the great classical master, Andres Segovia. And from many influences he has developed a style of finger-picking jazz on a nylon-strung classical guitar, using liberal sprinklings of Latin rhythms and good old down-home blues...
It has been a long, long time now since Charlie Byrd began his professional career. "That happened at the end of World War II, in 1945... That's when I convinced the U.S. Army to change my M.O.S. from infantry rifleman to guitar player."
When the war ended, Byrd mustered out, took his guitar and headed for New York and began to hang around with the great jazz players of that era. He sublet an apartment from another musician and in his spare time began to fool around with some Bach and baroque numbers. When he mentioned to his landlord that some of these tunes seemed to lie well on the guitar, the owner was aghast.
"Haven't you ever heard Andres Segovia?" he asked Byrd.
"No," said Charlie. "Should I?"
With that, Byrd's friend raced for the record cabinet and a new world of music was opened to this soft-spoken man of the South.
Eventually, Charlie went to Chicago on a gig with Freddy Slack's band and, while poking around a music store, found a Martin classical guitar he bought for $40. In those days, classical guitars were strung with gut because the nylon string was just beginning to be manufactured...
"That's when it hit me," recalls Byrd now of his early classical connection. "It was the sense of history. I found I could learn something from these great composers of the past - Sor, Guiliani, Tarrega. I was becoming part of the world, part of humanity. I had models to go by; I didn't feel so alone anymore."
Byrd studied under [Sophocles] Papas for several years in Washington, all the while playing in clubs and halls and even museums. In 1952, he was invited to Siena, Italy, where the great Segovia was conducting a summer camp. Among the invitees was a 12-year-old Australian prodigy named John Williams. It was to be Byrd's most enlightening experience.
"A marvelous revelation," he says. "I was still naive in the ways of the guitar, even though I had been playing since I was 8 years old and thought I was pretty damned good at it. How quickly you learn how little you know! It was a very valuable lesson, being around these people that Segovia had hand-picked. It was a great moment of awareness...
Back in the U.S., Byrd continued both his classical studies and playing odd jobs...
"I was 30 years old," Byrd says. "I was doing all the right things, playing all the right places with all the right classical connections. But I was 30 years old and there were people like John Williams and Julian Bream who were eons ahead of me.
"What if I can somehow combine these musical expressions, I asked myself. If I do, would I have something unique?"...
Charlie Byrd and saxophonist Stan Getz generally get most of the credit for bringing the bossa nova sound to the United States in the early Sixties...
Charlie's collaboration with Getz was a great success, but apparently the two men, both strong individualists, never really hit it off. "It was not a pleasant experience," says Byrd, ending the subject.
The master's favorites ...
* Carlos Barbosa-Lima and Laurindo Almeida: "When you are playing Brazilian music with them, you know it is authentic. They're the real thing." ...
The master's guitars
Charlie Byrd's finest guitar is a Kohno, a Japanese-made classical model that sells for $5,000 or more.
The guitar he carries with him on most of his trips, however, is a Takamine electro-acoustic, also a Japanese-made model which has a cutaway at the bottom side to allow easier access to the lower fretboard. "It's also set up well for amplification," says Byrd.
Guitar players are noted for keeping everything, and Byrd is no exception. He still has his first classical guitar, a C.F. Martin-made model he purchased for $40 in Chicago in the late Forties. "Someday I have to get that thing out and clean it up," he says.
The Martin Company doubtless would love to restore it for him.
Obituary: Leo Villafana
Artist, drug counselor
Baltimore Sun: Monday, April 8, 1991
A memorial service for Leo Villafana, a free-spirited artist and recovering alcoholic who later worked as an alcohol and drug counselor, was held yesterday...
Mr. Villafana, who was 64, died of cancer Saturday...
Born in Puerto Rico, he grew up in New York. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, he gained a reputation as an impressionistic painter of street scenes, several of which were sold to such Hollywood figures as Edward G. Robinson.
A colorful, ebullient man, Mr. Villafana entertained friends by playing the classical guitar and gained pocket money as a professional magician.
His career as an artist and magician, as well as his guitar playing, was adversely affected when he [injured] two fingers while trying to frame one of his paintings.
Bluegrass player doesn't fret success
Baltimore Sun: Friday, April 26, 1991
Writer: Linell Smith, Evening Sun Staff
Yesterday Morris brought her critically acclaimed bluegrass band, The Lynn Morris Band, to the all-girl Catholic [Mercy High School] for a performance and a pre-concert pep talk. She is one of the relatively few women performers in her field, and one of even fewer to head her own band. After almost 20 years as a professional musician - her second album on Rounder Records will be out this summer - she is the only person to have twice won the coveted National Banjo Championships. And she recently became the first woman elected to serve on the board of the International Bluegrass Music Association...
Born in Lamesa, Texas... Morris began playing guitar when she was 12, taking lessons in classical guitar when she was in high school... Not until she went to study art at Colorado College did she hear the bluegrass music which captured her...
Peabody guitarist a crowd favorite in Italy
Baltimore Sun: Monday, November 4, 1991
Writer: Larry Harris, Evening Sun Staff
The 22-year-old Stephen Turley, a Peabody senior... recently was awarded a fourth-place prize in the Niccolo Paganini International Guitar Competition in Moneglia, Italy...
Turley's joy, however, was tempered with harsh reality. He discovered the music world, like any other, is susceptible to nationalism, politics and backbiting, and what started out as a week of great communication among guitarists from all over the world almost ended in disaster...
The 25 contestants played in a 10th century chapel in the small town of Moneglia, and Turley was the viewers' favorite from the start. The villagers showered him with adulation on the streets, and in one preliminary round he received the maximum 10 points from judges from Switzerland, France, Germany and Spain. The four Italian judges, however, only gave him 5's.
"I knew I was in trouble when one of the Italian judges came up to me and said, 'Just because you are the audience favorite doesn't mean you are the jury favorite,'" Turley recalled...
Their rules, to the townspeople's outrage, meant that Turley was not among the six performers to advance to the final round. The local newspaper joined in with an indignant editorial. And that's when Albina Marcone Scarpi, the president of the competition who also was affronted by the judges' decision, stepped in...
"I was making plans to go home when Ms. Marcone Scarpi called me in," Turley said. She took me to a special review session in front of all the judges, where there was a tremendous lot of bickering. Then she told me to stay the rest of the week, to be at the final ceremony by all means, and to wear my tuxedo. And that's when they gave me the award.
"Perhaps I should be bitter, but I'm not. Nothing could take away from the experience I shared with the guitarists from other countries"...
Turley made many friends among his peers, one of them being Carlo Marchione, an Italian who took first-place honors. "He and I became very close," Turley said. "He had tears in his eyes when we found out I wasn't in the finals."
Where some of the parties are
Baltimore Sun: Thursday, December 26, 1991
Here's a sampling of the variety of New Year's Eve celebrations on tap this year: ...
Cover-to-Cover Bookstore Cafe, Owen Brown Village Center, Columbia. Bruce Casteel, Classical Guitar and Buzz Merrik and his Musical Menu provide entertainment all evening...
Classical guitarist could be instrument of group's success
Baltimore Sun: Thursday, March 26, 1992
Writer: Larry Harris
When classical guitarist Roberto Aussel, a star of international stature, performs at the Walters Art Gallery on Sunday... it will be very hard to miss the smile adorning the face of Mike Kirkpatrick... president of the sponsoring Baltimore Classical Guitar Society.
"Hopefully, this will legitimize our society so that we will be able to deal with other top players when they are available," Mr. Kirkpatrick said...
"I certainly don't want to slight any of the other people who have played for us, but Mr. Aussel is a true virtuoso and I think this indicates our society is quite serious in bringing in the best"...
It has not always been so. Two years ago, Mr. Kirkpatrick and four others sat down to see if a foundering little group could be rescued. "Someone who isn't even connected with the program anymore suggested I be president," he said. "To put it simply, I got drafted"...
Mr. Kirkpatrick... has upgraded the society's popular newsletter, tripled the membership, deposited a few dollars in the bank and put together a loose-knit network consisting of a couple dozen members who can be counted on to get things done.
With the help of others, he also has instituted an outreach program which furnishes amateur and professional guitarists for programs for the elderly and at schools and prisons. In addition, open recitals for young guitarists who want to play for an audience also are being organized.
"The thing that makes us a bit unique," said Mr. Kirkpatrick, "is that we have no grant funding. Our sole funding comes from dues, concert admissions and donated services."
Interest in the instrument is growing rapidly, and Baltimore has become a busy center of guitar activity...
The Peabody Conservatory has one of the finest programs for students extant, with an all-star faculty, and its alumni roster (Mr. Barrueco, David Starobin, David Tanenbaum, among others) reads like a who's who of the instrument.
Tots learn languages in day care.
Baltimore Sun: Monday, May 18, 1992
Writer: Robert A. Erlandson
At Les Bons Enfants Nursery Inc., each child has a daily language session, said Monica Santos... who runs the program in her Randallstown-area home. She uses Berlitz children's books, vocabulary cards, tape recordings and stories and songs in French and Spanish...
Dr. Frances Bond, associate dean of the [Towson State University] College of Education and professor of early childhood, said experiencing other languages and cultures helps to broaden the base of the early (childhood learning) experience...
[Ms. Santos' husband, Jumi] Mohammadioun, 27, a multilingual American who grew up in France, is a classical-guitar instructor at the Peabody Preparatory School. When he's not teaching, he helps with the children, and is a firm advocate of early language training.
He is also critical of what he calls American "cultural isolationism" from foreign languages. "We thought of ourselves as the premier country, and [thought] that everyone else should speak English," he said...
Aside from the languages, Ms. Santos said, she operates her business like any other pre-school care facility, with plenty of activities - and an afternoon nap. "That's when I catch my breath," she said.
This commuter takes his cycling seriously
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, July 5, 1992 Dolly Merritt
Bicycling to work is no small task for a man who lives in Beltsville and works in Columbia. For Mark Charleston, it means that every work day - summer and winter, through rain, sleet and snow - he undertakes a 35-mile round trip.
Mr. Charleston... is amused by those who express amazement at such an effort. "I don't like cars, pollution or being programmed like a little zombie," said the 29-year-old, who is a pizza maker at Mamma Ilardo's restaurant in Columbia. "Biking is the more sensible thing to do and it's not that hard. People are lazy."
Mr. Charleston clearly is not...
Mr. Charleston grew up in Columbia and graduated in 1985 from St. Mary's College of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in classical guitar.
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, September 6, 1992
Writer: Linell Smith
A number of vocal and instrumental ensembles at Essex Community College will accept new members this season. Call the music department... for information about the following groups: ... the Baltimore Symphonic Band led by Chris Wolfe; the Electric Guitar Ensemble under Robert Winter; the Classical Guitar Ensemble under Julian Gray and the Power House and Night Train big bands, led by Ashton Fletcher.
Museum would honor genius of Hendrix
Baltimore Sun: Thursday, September 24, 1992
Writer: Seattle Times
SEATTLE - The first rock-and roll-record that billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen ever heard was by the made-for-television group, the Monkees. The second was "Are You Experienced?" by Seattle's not-then-ready-for-prime-time rock guitarist, Jimi Hendrix.
"When I heard the Hendrix album, I thought, wow, this is pretty amazing," recalled Mr. Allen, 39, recently. "There have been some great electric guitarists, but I believe Jimi represents the pinnacle of creativity in his ability to play guitar."
That, in short form, is why Mr. Allen, himself an electric rock and blues guitarist, wants to install a museum dedicated to Hendrix...
The museum was officially proposed to the Seattle City Council two weeks ago.
Mr. Allen... has played in a rock band with various other computer software-industry musicians over the years. He studied violin from second to sixth grades and took two years of classical guitar, and says he might have pursued a career in music had he not discovered computers and gone on to start Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975. Mr. Allen left the company in the mid-'80s - after recovering from Hodgkins' disease - to found his own company, Asymetrix...
Barrueco concerts to highlight city's classical guitar season
International stars scheduled for 12 performances.
Baltimore Sun: Tuesday, October 6, 1992
Writer: Larry Harris
Baltimore's growing reputation as a major center for classical guitar activity is certain to be enhanced by the excellent schedule of performances planned for the coming season...
Highlight of the schedule will be the appearance of hometowner Manuel Barrueco as guest soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra...
Mr. Barrueco came out of his native Cuba in the 1960s to graduate and become a faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory. The Baltimore County resident now occupies the highest rung of the classical guitar ladder and spends much of his time on world tours...
The Baltimore Classical Guitar Society has scheduled a handsome four-concert series with highly regarded Richard Cobo, David Tanenbaum, David Leisner and the flamenco guitar-dance team of Paco De Malaga and Ana Martinez appearing...
[Other performers listed include Michael Cedric Smith, David Starobin with baritone Patrick Mason, Alice Artzt Trio (Ms. Artzt, Raymond Burley, Michel Rutscho), Nathaniel Gunod, Carlos Barbosa-Lima and flutist Paula Hatcher.]
Those People Who Shoot Out Windows
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, October 18, 1992
Writer: Ernest F. Imhoff
In a follow-up to earlier columns on Baltimore Sun editorial writing, let me introduce the writers choosing targets here...
Glenn M. McNatt, 43, of Charles Village and Alexandria, Va; born in New York City; grew up in New York and Teaneck, N.J.; Brandeis University for B.A. and M.A.; taught Afro-American studies at Brandeis and English and sociology at Wellesley College; began in newspapers as reporter with Newark Star-Ledger in 1972; wrote for Time Inc. for seven years in Washington and New York bureaus and for the Time-Life Books Division in Alexandria; began as editorial writer for The Evening Sun in 1985; assignment: social and intellectual trends, science and culture. Has written on city and state problems and music (plays the piano and the classical guitar)...
Living for Literature
Jean McGarry writes in a voice that combines feeling, thought.
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, November 29, 1992
Writer: Linell Smith
[Jean McGarry,] associate professor in the Writing Seminars of the Johns Hopkins University and director of the department's undergraduate studies... published her third novel, "The Courage of Girls"... this year. She has just finished "Gallagher's Travels," a story of a brilliant, neurasthenic young woman who stumbles into newspapers in the early 1970s as they are transforming into corporate, high-tech products...
With a degree in social relations... Ms. McGarry pursued two additional bachelor's degrees, in French and music (she took up classical guitar in her 20s), studied art history and Russian in graduate school, and started to publish stories in various literary magazines...
Ms. McGarry... is also a creature of the fountain pen - one of few novelists left, perhaps, who write longhand with a Cross pen.
"My penmanship really isn't that readable," she says. "But the nuns went to a great deal of trouble to teach us how to write without any muscle strain. They gave us all kinds of exercises, the way they teach people to play an instrument."
Ms. McGarry savors her memories, traveling easily from practicing arpeggios in her 20s - "It was wonderful listening so carefully for the sound of this note and of that note, thinking about how you were phrasing that line. The solitude, the patience, the enormous patience it took. . . ." - to descriptions of priests in Providence.
Obituary: Raymond Bennighof
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, January 3, 1993
Raymond H. Bennighof, a retired electronics engineer, died of cancer Thursday at his home in Phoenix. He was 64.
Mr. Bennighof was born in Westminster and educated in the Carroll County school system...
A resident of Phoenix since 1956, Mr. Bennighof worked for 29 years at the AAI Corp. in Cockeysville before retiring in 1988 as principal staff scientist...
Throughout his life, Mr. Bennighof read widely and studied German, French and Greek. An amateur musician, he played several instruments, including the violin, cornet, euphonium - an instrument similar to a tuba, but smaller - and classical guitar. He also enjoyed cultivating floral shrubs and roses.
Cello Master & The Cello maker
Cello-maker Jim Cox blends classic models and American woods.
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, February 28, 1993
Writer: Stephen Wigler, Music Critic
If some instrument makers are like purebred dogs, James Cox is one scrappy mutt... He deliberately crossbreeds different types of 18th-century models, mixing the classic purity of Stradivariuses with the gritty power of Montagnanas; and he uses the American wood that many of his rivals disdain...
Cox was almost predestined to work as an instrument maker. He has always loved working with wood - he chops down his own trees and ages the wood for instruments. From the time he was a teen-ager, he had worked as a trim carpenter for his father... He had always been interested in art but abandoned painting and sculpture because modern art didn't appeal to him.
"I like things that exhibit technique," he says. "A Jackson Pollock looks like a house painter's drop cloth to me."
And he was always interested in music...
"Then, when I was older, grittier stuff like the early Bob Dylan and John Lee Hooker." He began to play the guitar, rapidly figured out that the most demanding music for the instrument was for classical guitar and then - at the age of 17 in 1968 - decided to make one.
"It stank," says Cox, who has a habit of emphasizing one word in a sentence, with his voice growing higher and louder. "It didn't play in tune. The frets weren't quite where they were supposed to be, and it had a finish like an alligator that had been dropped into the Sahara."
Bad as Cox says that guitar was, it encouraged him enough to write several instrument makers to ask if they would take him on as an apprentice.
Almost all of them wrote back to say, in Cox's words, "To forget it."
"What else should they have said?" Cox asks...
But in 1972, George Kelischek, a luthier in North Carolina who specialized in instruments for early music took him on. For the next 2 1/2 years, Cox helped Kelischek make violas da gamba, lutes and krumhorns (an early ancestor of the oboe)...
After returning to Baltimore in 1975, Cox worked steadily through the 1970s as a luthier, specializing in violas da gamba (many of which made their way into the hands of members of Baltimore's early music ensemble, Pro Musica Rara) and cellos. Cellos won out. Most luthiers make all kinds of stringed instruments. Cox is somewhat unusual in that he specializes in cellos...
Guitar masters give the dobro its due
Baltimore Sun: Friday, March 19, 1993
Writer: J.D. Considine, Pop Music Critic
[Dobro player Jerry] Douglas steps into the foreground as part of a package called Masters of the Steel String Guitar, a [concert] program designed to showcase some of the many styles of acoustic guitar picking...
Considering the range of players involved - a grouping that includes country picker Ray Flacke, jazz player Cal Collins, bluesman John Cephas, Hawaiian slack-key great Ledward Kaapana and Appalachian guitarist Wayne Henderson - you might think that a group jam would border on chaos. But as Douglas point out, these six have quite a lot in common despite their stylistic differences.
"I think we all rub off on each other a little bit," he says. "I know all these different styles kind of come from blues, which is pretty much what all guitar players have in common, unless you're strictly a classical guitar player. So we're sort of working from that as a base."
Baltimore Sun: Monday, April 12, 1993
Writer: Lyn Backe
Tickets should also be purchased now for guitarist Michael Hedges' performance at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts...
The Windham Hill recording artist, playing an acoustic guitar, makes musical magic by strumming, plucking, tapping, multioctave sliding, and bending...
Mr. Hedges... began playing music early. During high school, having learned piano, cello, and clarinet, he settled on flute and guitar.
He earned a degree in composition and studied classical guitar and electronic music at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore...
Charlie Byrd - Art Treasure
Baltimore Sun: Thursday, September 9, 1993
Charlie Byrd has been named the first Maryland Art Treasure by the Community Arts Alliance of Maryland.
This is swell because the honor will take the Annapolis jazz guitarist on a 15-month statewide concert tour called "Welcome, Maryland Art Treasure"... Over the years, Charlie Byrd has had his share of breaks good and bad. In retrospect, it all evens out to a remarkably satisfying career which has managed to combine breakthrough achievements in jazz with a serious interest in classical guitar...
Works of gold
Community group names guitarist Charlie Byrd a state treasure.
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, September 12, 1993
Writer: Linell Smith
Guitarist Charlie Byrd, famous for producing more than 80 albums of jazz, classical and Latin music, has been named the first "Maryland Art Treasure" by the Community Arts Alliance of Maryland...
Mr. Byrd became known as a jazz musician in New York in the 1940s and studied classical guitar with Andres Segovia in the 1950s. One of his best-known albums, "Jazz Samba," recorded with Stan Getz in 1962, helped introduce the bossa nova to the United States...
As big loggers lose ground, tree seeker branches out
Baltimore Sun: Monday, October 4, 1993
Writer: David Foster, Associated Press
Prowling the forest from California to Alaska, [Stephen] McMinn seeks only the biggest, oldest and finest of trees for the "tone wood" used in crafting musical instruments...
President Clinton's plan to protect the northern spotted owl would reduce logging in the Northwest's old-growth forest to a third of its 1980s peak. The region's challenge is to do more with less...
Responding to demand for tone wood, the Washington Department of Natural Resources last May sold a single, blown-down Sitka spruce for $22,726. In the past, the 450-year-old giant likely would have fetched far less as part of a larger timber sale.
Mr. McMinn has absorbed some of the price increases by improving efficiency. With careful sawing, he can transform a single big tree into as many as 20,000 guitar tops, his company's specialty.
But customers also bear a share. Top-grade spruce guitar tops, which retailed for $20 each in 1980, now go for about $50.
Instrument-builders have no choice but to pay. Over the years, many crafts that once used the Northwest's old-growth trees have switched to other materials. House-builders now use lumber milled from smaller, second-growth timber. Boat-builders use fiberglass.
But the makers of stringed musical instruments have found no substitute for the strength, beauty and tonal clarity of the Northwest's old-growth conifers. Wood grown here is coveted by craftsmen worldwide.
Each species has its own use: Sitka spruce for piano soundboards and violin tops; Sitka and Engelmann spruce for the tops of steel-string guitars; Western red cedar for classical guitars.
Only ancient trees, 200 to 1,000 years old, will do. Slow-growing and tight-grained, they have a durability and resistance to seasonal shrinking and swelling that fast-growing, younger trees do not...
Equipment stolen from Glen Burnie High
Baltimore Sun: Monday, October 25, 1993
Several rooms and offices at Glen Burnie High School were broken into Wednesday night or Thursday morning, with more than $2,500 in music equipment and computers reported stolen...
Teacher Anthony Pidner reported that a window to the music room was broken and several items were missing, including a cash box containing $100. Items reported stolen include a VHS camcorder worth $900, several radios worth several hundred dollars, two classical guitars worth $500 and a computer monitor worth $200.
Classical guitarist plays at the Walters
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, February 20, 1994
Writer: J. Wynn Rousuck
A world-class guitarist, Adam Holzman has been hailed as a master of classical guitar. This afternoon he will perform at the Walters Art Gallery for the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society...
Tickets... are $15...
Classical guitarist Kanengiser to perform
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, September 25, 1994
Writer: J. Wynn Rousuck
Note: Kanengiser was misspelled throughout this piece.
Besides the wonderful blues music in the movie "Crossroads," there was some lovely classical guitar performed by - actor Ralph Macchio. Well, not just Ralph Macchio. West Coast guitarist William Kanengiser was Mr. Macchio's guitar coach and double in the film.
Mr. Kanensiger, a founding member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and prize-winning musician, will perform in a concert sponsored by the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society... at the Walters Art Gallery... Tickets for the concert cost $15...
Photo caption: William Kanengiser plays both blues [???] and classical guitar.
Baltimore Sun: Tuesday, October 25, 1994
Writer: Natalie Harvey
The Peabody Preparatory is inviting the public to attend the school's open house... at the Columbia Academy...
Faculty members will discuss enrollment for adults and children in piano, flute, voice, French horn, saxophone and classical guitar classes...
Guitarist shares his love of music with students
Baltimore Sun: Thursday, January 19, 1995
Writer: Ellie Baublitz, Contributing Writer
Aldo Lagrutta firmly believes that the arts are for everybody.
A guitar virtuoso in the truest classical tradition, the 33-year-old Taneytown resident has become involved with the Carroll County Arts Council, trying to bring a little bit of musical culture to the county...
The arts council's current Artist in Education, Mr. Lagrutta has been taking his musical talent into the middle and high schools and presenting cultural programs to music and Spanish students...
"I do it for the music students to enrich them a little more because there isn't much classical guitar music, mostly band music," Mr. Lagrutta said. "Then I do it for the Spanish students because I can give them some Spanish, and Spanish music represents the spirit of the culture."
Besides playing for students, he gives them a lecture in the history of the guitar and music written for the concert guitar, plus how the guitar is a classical concert instrument...
Mr. Lagrutta started playing guitar at age 11 after seeing guitarist Alirio Diaz on television.
"I was impressed with how it sounded," he recalled. "But I thought [Diaz] just played like that always, I never knew you could learn it."
The youngster then went in search of someone to teach him to play, and after being rejected by every music conservatory in Caracas, Venezuela, he found someone who was willing to take him as a student - Leopoldo Igarza...
Later, Mr. Lagrutta was accepted at the National Conservatory of Music in Caracas, where he finished a nine-year program in musical studies in three years, the only guitarist in the school's history to graduate in such a short time...
His philosophy is to concentrate on playing one instrument, playing one kind of music and practicing as much as possible to try to achieve perfection.
"At 15, I practiced 10 hours a day," he said. "Parents should not be afraid if their child spends a lot of time practicing - it gives the child the idea that there are other possibilities."
Another myth Mr. Lagrutta wants to dispel is that you have to be a genius to play an instrument.
"To be a musician, the only requirement is that you love it - you don't have to have an ear for it - you just do it, play it and love it," he said...
Baltimore Sun: Wednesday, March 1, 1995
Writer: Larry Sturgill
"Landscapes" multimedia exhibit is coming to Slayton House Gallery.
Bernice Kish, gallery director, negotiated this exhibit with the Laurel Guild, a 70-member art group that includes both professional and amateur artists...
The public is invited to attend an open reception, featuring many of the artists, refreshments and live classical guitar music...
BSO funds creative bid to return arts to schools
Baltimore Sun: Saturday, April 22, 1995
Writer: Holly Selby
Like recurring motifs in Wagnerian operas, lessons in the arts will be woven throughout the classes of a dozen Baltimore-area schools under a new six-year program sponsored by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Described as a way of "rethinking education," the arts-in-learning project... is based on the idea that music, dance and other arts enhance how children learn - in every subject, from math to reading...
The BSO program was developed by Mitchell Korn, a New York education consultant, and is based on the notion that students taught through the arts learn better and stay interested longer.
Mr. Korn, who began a career in classical guitar and switched to education reform, runs an education consulting company called Artsvision... Earlier this year, he was hired by New York City to explore ways of restoring arts classes to that city's public schools.
Artists, organizations receive city grants
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, May 14, 1995
Writer: Linell Smith
[CityArts] grants, in their 14th year, are given to small cultural organizations for their general operating funds and their community arts projects... All applicants must be based in the city.
A list of this year's awards, which range from $500 to $2,000, follows...
Dance and music: Concert Artists of Baltimore, Eva Anderson Dancers Ltd. and Mount Royal String Orchestra Inc., $1,500 each; ... Baltimore Center for the Creative Arts, Baltimore Classical Guitar Society, Baltimore Folk Music Society, Chamber Music Society of Baltimore, Harbor Opera Company Inc...
Baltimore Sun: Wednesday, May 17, 1995
Writer: Larry Sturgell
Hickory Ridge resident Al Bishop will join fellow Columbia artist Lynn Ferris in displaying watercolors and mixed-media pieces at the Slayton House Gallery in Wilde Lake Village Center...
An opening reception featuring the classical guitar of Don Miller will be held... Refreshments will be served.
From the classroom to the stage
Singer-songwriter is playing a happy tune.
Baltimore Sun: Friday, June 16, 1995
Writer: Patrick Hickerson, Contributing Writer
After two years of trying to make it as a songwriter and performer, Lisa Cerbone was ready to return to teaching English last November. But then she signed a six-compact disc recording contract, the start of an upswing in her career...
In 1992, Ms. Cerbone, a former language arts teacher at Owen Brown Middle School, gave herself two years to succeed at songwriting - a mix of her background in writing, singing and guitar-playing - before returning to teaching...
Ms. Cerbone has had a desire to write since she was a third-grader... When she was in her late teens, a voice teacher suggested that she take her soprano voice into opera, but she decided instead to study English literature at the University of Maryland College Park and picked up the guitar.
"I was taking a lot of creative-writing classes at Maryland," she said. "I was also taking classical guitar at the same time. My first songs were pretty bad. It took a while to develop that craft."
Fall Arts Preview
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, September 10, 1995
* Baltimore Classical Guitar Society, Notre Dame College of Maryland. March 16: Paco De Malaga & the Ana Martinez Dance Company.
Fall Arts Preview
What's in Season
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, September 10, 1995
* Baltimore Classical Guitar Society, Walters Art Gallery. Sept. 16: Scott Tennant; Nov. 11: Norbert Kraft; Feb. 17: Jason Vieaux; April 13: Nicola Hall.
Alison Krauss surprised by winning four times at the Country Music Association awards last night.
Baltimore Sun: Thursday, October 5, 1995
Writer: J. D. Considine, SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC
The star of the 29th Annual CMA Awards last night in Nashville was clearly Alison Krauss...
Not every star needed staging to get a point across. Mary Chapin Carpenter, surrounded by candles, offered a heartbreakingly simple rendition of "Where Time Stands Still," accompanied only by piano and classical guitar...
Guitarists demonstrate their classical talents
Varied styles: Local musicians present outstanding recording of Bach, Handel and Scarlatti.
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, October 29, 1995
Writer: Larry Harris
"Baroque Inventions," music of Scarlatti, Bach and Handel, performed by Julian Gray and Ronald Pearl.
It is an eternal mystery why the music gods deigned to have Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel and Domenico Scarlatti born in the same year, 1685...
Their music is in wonderful hands when performed by the Baltimore guitar duo of Julian Gray and Ronald Pearl...
They have succeeded admirably, so much so that they deserve to rank right up there with the mighty Assad brothers, who generally are thought to be the best guitar duo extant.
"American Landscapes," music of John Corigliano, Joseph Schwantner and Lukas Foss, performed by Sharon Isbin.
When Juilliard started a classical guitar department, it named Sharon Isbin as director...
Her latest release, "American Landscapes," comprises three concertos by contemporary U.S. composers... John Corigliano's "Troubadours," Joseph Schwantner's "From Afar A Fantasy for Guitar and Orchestra" and Lukas Foss' "American Landscapes"...
Fans of traditional guitar concertos may not appreciate the sometimes dissonant passages found in this 66-minute recording, especially the Copland-esque title piece by Mr. Foss...
"Music of Barrios," performed by David Russell.
Augustin Barrios Mangore (1885-1944) was a Paraguayan troubadour who wrote incredibly beautiful music for the guitar.
Only in recent years has the considerable production of this Latin American traveler been thoroughly explored...
There are humble pieces and sultry pieces and romantic pieces and well...
Aficionados of the instrument will be particularly impressed by Mr. Russell's reading of Barrios' popular tremolo pieces as he evokes almost painful melancholy with that rapid right-hand finger movement.
Atlantis gifts aim to ease monotony on Mir station
Shuttle scheduled to lift off today on eight-day mission.
Baltimore Sun: Saturday, November 11, 1995
Writer: Associated Press
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Don't tell the three guys on Russia's space station, but the shuttle astronauts headed their way today have all sorts of gifts for them, including flowers, candy and a guitar to strum on those long, lonely space nights...
"I'm a guitar player," [said Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield,] "and I thought wouldn't it be nice when you're sitting looking out the window in the evening and you can't go for a walk wouldn't it be nice to be able to play a guitar"...
The "astro-guitar" going up on Atlantis - or "cosmo-guitar" if you're a cosmonaut - is a vast improvement over the old, beat-up acoustical guitar that's been hanging around Mir for years.
Designed as a travel guitar by Rossco Wright, a former guitar repairman from Eugene, Ore., the collapsible "astro-guitar" opens into a full-size classical guitar with a battery-operated headphone amplifier so that only the guitarist can hear what he's playing.
After all, not everyone on Mir may want to be serenaded...
For classical guitarist, time for a lighter touch
Plucky fellow: Manuel Barrueco has played classical guitar with Placido Domingo and Kenny Burrell. But you may recognize him as the guy who played in the back seat of a Lexus.
Baltimore Sun: Monday, December 11, 1995
Writer: Larry Harris
The ever-rising spiral of Manuel Barrueco's career reached a high point recently when the Cuban-born classical guitarist entered a London studio to begin work on a CD with tenor Placido Domingo...
The career of this Peabody Institute product remains on the ascent at a time when classical guitar seems to have flattened out and many stars are struggling. Some observers in the guitar world credit Mr. Barrueco's success to his choosing to broaden his repertoire.
That looking to a new direction began two years ago when, after a steady stream of classical releases for EMI Angel, he recorded a disk called "Sometime Ago," containing works by contemporary American composers such as Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Paul Simon and Lou Harrison. Then, two months ago, EMI unleashed his recording of songs made famous by the Beatles, titled "Manuel Barrueco plays Lennon & McCartney...
"I have been surrounded by Beatles music all my life," Mr. Barrueco said. "I believe it is something of value. Domingo and [Luciano] Pavarotti have done crossover projects, so I decided to have some fun. After so many serious pieces, this was dessert"...
He still feels, however, that much of his commitment to the guitar is to pass on his knowledge. Wherever he travels, he is besieged by students and often combines concerts with master classes...
For all his professional successes, Mr. Barrueco is still amazed at how many people recognize him from his brief appearance two years ago on American TV. He was featured in a national advertisement, playing Isaac Albeniz's "Asturias" in the back seat of a moving Lexus. He says people still stop him on the street or in restaurants to ask if he was "that guy playing the guitar in the car."
The long view: JHU researcher who once debunked a beloved Abominable Snowman myth now fights to keep development from gettings its footprints all over Asia's wild places.
Baltimore Sun: Monday, February 5, 1996
Writer: Douglas Birch
FRANKLIN, W.Va. - Back when Daniel Taylor-Ide was 11 years old, he grabbed his BB gun, dashed out of his parents' vacation bungalow and began to stalk the Abominable Snowman... He was vacationing with his family on the slopes of the 5-mile-high Himalayas... That impulsive decision to track the snowman launched a quest that lasted 30 years...
About a decade ago, Dr. Taylor-Ide... made headlines when he concluded that the yeti's huge, human-like footprints were made by a species of bear...
In the late 1980s... [Dr. Taylor-Ide] helped the government of Nepal to establish a nature preserve called Makalu-Barun, covering an area the size of Rhode Island...
In Tibet, a region of China, Dr. Taylor-Ide helped set up the Qomolangma Nature Preserve, a park the size of Massachusetts. Four of the world's six highest mountains, including Mount Everest, lie within its boundaries.
For the past three years, Dr. Taylor-Ide has been working on creating a 30-million-acre park in southeastern Tibet, which would be the third-largest such preserve in the world...
Dr. Taylor-Ide [earned] an undergraduate degree in Russian from Johns Hopkins, and a doctorate in development planning from Harvard. At various times he worked in a ski shop, studied classical guitar and served as a development planner for the State Department. (He speaks Nepali, Hindi, Urdu, Russian and English)...
'The Fire Still Burns'
Raising the alarm: For Madison Smartt Bell, 'All Souls' Rising' acts as a warning that race-inspired hatred still smolders.
Baltimore Sun: Wednesday, April 17, 1996
Writer: Carl Schoettler
Comment: As noted in the introduction, this is my favorite of the 61 "classical guitar" mentions collected here. Also, as powerful as the simile is, I wonder how well-chosen it is, considering a) Bell's earlier books are much milder than his 10th, and b) one of my earliest exposures to Jimi Hendrix was on a late-1960s television show called "The Great American Dream Machine" in which he played a very tasteful, almost classical, fingerstyle solo on an acoustic guitar. Anybody want to tell me how far off my memory is?
In the grand sweep of "All Souls Rising," the first volume of a planned trilogy, [novelist Madison Smartt] Bell chronicles racial hatred, burning passion, brutal cruelty and fiery revenge during the Haitian slave rebellions of 200 years ago...
"All Souls Rising" is his 10th book, but his first historical novel, and it represents a sharp shift in style, as if Jimi Hendrix had suddenly taken up classical guitar...
High note for Guitar Society
Music: Down and nearly out just a few years ago, the Baltimore organization is now presenting some of the world's very best guitarists.
Baltimore Sun: Tuesday, September 3, 1996
Writer: Larry Harris
The Baltimore Classical Guitar Society, an all-volunteer organization that was down to its last set of strings just a few years ago, has a 1996-97 concert series that ranks with the best this country can offer...
Highlighting this season's schedule are Baltimore's own Manuel Barrueco... and David Russell...
How the BCGS reached this level of credibility is an entertaining story of determination, imagination and an attitude of good old let's-all-pitch-in-and-help...
[David Hepple] was a key figure in reaching an agreement four years ago with the Walters to stage concerts at its 500-seat subterranean theater. Though far from perfect acoustically, the venue is centrally located in a prestigious institution, and the BCGS also benefits from having its concert plans printed in the Walters newsletter, which goes to more than 7,000 members...
Mike Kirkpatrick... started the idea of a concert subscription series and instituted the practice of frequent open recitals for members...
Using Julian Gray, who is also a much-respected teacher of the guitar at Peabody, as a soundboard, [Hepple] has sought out "high-quality performers who will give you a trustworthy performance and don't cost an arm and a leg.
"Brand names are no good in this market," Hepple says, "but we couldn't afford to have performers who were less than the best. In classical guitar, unless you can bring in people who can knock an audience out of its seat, you're running a huge risk of boredom."
To help build up the kitty four years ago - and to prevent boredom - Hepple and Kirkpatrick brought in Paco de Malaga, a stunning flamenco guitarist from Washington, and his wife, Ana Martinez, an accomplished dancer who is usually accompanied by her own troupe.
The results were astonishing....
No purely classical acts have equaled those attendance figures...
"We need and appreciate corporate and grant help, but we're not out there on our hands and knees," [Hepple says.] "We'd rather not be addicted to that. We'd rather try to be hard-working and ingenious enough to raise most of our own funds.
[BCGS schedule also includes Andrew York, John Holmquist and Antigoni Goni.]
Fall Fine Arts Preview
Treasures of the Season
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, September 8, 1996
* Baltimore Classical Guitar Society, Walters Art Gallery.
Sept. 21: Andrew York; Oct. 26: David Russell; Feb. 22: Manuel Barrueco (at Peabody Institute's Friedberg Hall); March 22: John Holmquist; April 19: Antigoni Goni...
* Candlelight Concert Society... Performances are at Smith Theatre, Howard Community College...
May 3: Sharon Isbin, guitar...
* Second Presbyterian Concert Series, Second Presbyterian Church...
May 18: Light Jazz, Classics and Fun, Paula Hatcher, flute, and Charlie Byrd, guitar...
* Center Stage...
April 25-June 1: "Seven Guitars," Pearlstone Theater
Taking measures in science and music
Charles Vega creates guitars in his spare time when he's not building scientific equipment.
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, October 27, 1996
Writer: Jean Marbella
Charles Vega spends his days in the world of science, making the precise equipment that a Hopkins chemical lab uses for its experiments. In the off-hours, you'll find him in an equally rarefied yet decidedly more artistic world, making classical guitars...
"I used to get frustrated with the repair work I was getting," he recalls. "I would take my guitar in and it would come back worse. I thought, how hard can it be?"
He had started playing guitar in his 20s, and moved to Baltimore in the 1970s to study classical guitar at the Peabody Institute.
"It became obvious I was not going to be another Segovia," Vega says ruefully. "I'm a better maker than player."
After a "kind of crude and lumpy" first guitar, the self-taught Vega eventually refined his techniques and now makes instruments that sell for around $3,000 each. It takes about 120 hours of work to cut, shape, string and finish each one...
With his Hopkins job, Vega currently can make no more than eight guitars a year...
Poe's appeal grows with the season
Another Halloween and the birth of the football Ravens are luring more visitors to the author's cemetery, which is undergoing a $35,000 renovation.
Baltimore Sun: Monday, October 28, 1996
Writer: Edward Gunts
The 19th-century master of macabre has come to be closely associated with Allhallows Eve - especially in Baltimore, where he died in 1849.
This is the first Halloween since Baltimore's new football team called attention to Poe by naming itself the Ravens, after his most famous poem.
Which is why the folks who keep watch over the downtown cemetery where Poe is buried, Westminster Burying Ground, are bracing for an onslaught of visitors at their annual Halloween open house this week...
At this year's event, actor David Keltz, dressed as Edgar Allan Poe, will perform two of the author's works: "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Raven"...
Also featured will be tours of Westminster Hall, with seasonal music performed on its restored 1882 Johnson pipe organ and classical guitar performances of "Usher Waltz."
Costumed patrons are welcome.
Classical guitarist Russell exceeds high expectations
Baltimore Sun: Tuesday, October 29, 1996
Writer: Larry Harris
David Russell... [made] his long-awaited Baltimore debut... Playing before a packed house of more than 400 in the small, subterranean theater at the Walters [Art Gallery], Russell produced a magnificent sound and tone that has not been matched since the Classical Guitar Society began sponsoring concerts 10 years ago...
By the time Russell finished his first encore, the exquisite "Un Sueno en la Floresta" by Agustin Barrios Mangore, he had listeners in a euphoric state and some in the standing audience had tears in their eyes.
Only the heat in the jammed auditorium marred the evening, but even those uncomfortable surroundings, which caused Russell to shed copious rivulets of perspiration onto his instrument, could not dim the magic...
[Guitar by German luthier Damman. Other pieces played: "Fantasia in F Major" by Fernando Sor; "Sonatina" and "Aires de la Mancha" by F. Morena Torroba; three waltzes by Philip Rosheger; works by Bach, Carlo Domeniconi.]
Rocky Mountain resorts offer appetizing packages
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, November 17, 1996
Writer: Randall Weissman, Chicago Tribune
You say your search for the fluffiest champagne powder is taking too much time from your pursuit of the world's silkiest champagne sauce and its bubbly ingredients? Why not sate both appetites on the same trip? Numerous Rocky Mountain resorts are offering skiing gourmets off-the-slope gustatory adventures to match the challenge of the ski runs...
Many resorts sponsor periodic winemaker dinners throughout the season. Steamboat Springs, in Colorado, plans to hold the first of several on Feb. 27 at Ragnar's, the on-mountain restaurant.
Step from the cold mountain air into the warm, pine-finished restaurant, where you are greeted by classical guitar music and the first of seven or eight wines from a single winery that will be paired with five or six courses of the outstanding cuisine of chef Morten Hoj...
A bounty of free Thanksgiving meals
Baltimore Sun: Tuesday, November 26, 1996
More than 25 Baltimore-area organizations are serving free Thanksgiving meals today, tomorrow, Thursday and Friday. They are:
Thursday: Our Daily Bread, 411 Cathedral St... Our Daily Bread will feature J. P. Loban, a graduate student at the Peabody Conservatory, who will play classical guitar for those dining.
Organizations in the area to serve free Thanksgiving meals today, tomorrow
Baltimore Sun: Thursday, November 28, 1996
More than 25 Baltimore-area organizations are serving free meals today and tomorrow. They include:
Today: Bea Gaddy will serve turkey dinners... at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Orleans and Caroline streets.
Today: Our Daily Bread, 411 Cathedral St... Our Daily Bread will feature J. P. Loban, a graduate student at the Peabody Conservatory, who will play classical guitar for diners...
A capital night in Annapolis
Baltimore Sun: Thursday, December 26, 1996
Writer: Sandra Crockett
The state capital is transformed into an alcohol-free citywide party on New Year's Eve as First Night Annapolis celebrates the start of 1997...
As usual, a wide range of entertainment will be offered at First Night Annapolis. All in all, there will be nearly 300 performances in various categories, plus roving outdoor street performers...
Hear the jazz of Greg Howard, the classical guitar of Leon Bernardyn, the a cappella sounds of the University of Rochester YellowJackets and a poetry slam with Marc Smith... and Dean Shostak playing a glass armonicist [armonica], an "old world" instrument invented by Ben Franklin...
First Night Annapolis, an indoor event, goes on no matter what the weather and is alcohol-free.
College amphitheater fund-raiser is set
'A Starry Night' to feature 19 local performers.
Baltimore Sun: Friday, January 10, 1997
Writer: Ellie Baublitz, contributing writer
Whether skies are cloudy or clear, the stars will shine brightly tomorrow evening at Carroll Community College's Rotary Amphitheater fund-raiser, appropriately called "A Starry Night."
Nineteen local performers will offer a preview of when the performing arts amphitheater is open. Groundbreaking for the open-air facility is expected in April, college officials said...
The acts include: Linda Kirkpatrick and Garth Baxter on classical guitar and flute; Jo Morrison on Celtic harp...
"All performers have donated their time, so all proceeds will go to the amphitheater fund," [Lisa] Aughenbaugh said.
'Patience' shows too few virtues
Baltimore Sun: Wednesday, January 29, 1997
Writer: J. Wynn Rousuck, Sun Theater Critic
In its production of Antonio Skarmeta's "Burning Patience," Fell's Point Corner Theatre takes two apparent plusses and turns them into minuses.
The first plus should be the play itself, which, together with the novel by Skarmeta, inspired the 1995 Academy Award-nominated movie, "The Postman"...
"Burning Patience" is a semi-musical, with a score composed by Roberto Lecaros and lyrics by Skarmeta, augmented by incidental music by local physician Daniel Drubach, who also accompanies the action on classical guitar.
While Drubach's musical underscoring is a nice touch, the songs slow the action...
Barrueco the master
Baltimore Sun: Thursday, February 20, 1997
Writer: Stephen Wigler
A goodly number of the world's classical guitar aficionados argues that Manuel Barrueco is the greatest living master of the instrument - and, certainly, no one is greater.
The Cuban-American virtuoso makes one of his rare appearances this Saturday at the Peabody Institute...
Tickets are $20...
Barrueco exceeds expectations in concert for Guitar Society
Baltimore Sun: Tuesday, February 25, 1997
Writer: Larry Harris
Manuel Barrueco gave careful consideration to the classical guitar program he presented Saturday night at Peabody's Friedberg Hall...
"This is the one place where you would not want a bad concert," said Barrueco, whose presence as a teacher at Peabody in the last several years has helped to make the guitar program well known internationally...
He need not have worried...
Barrueco [played] for the first time under the sponsorship of the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society...
Barrueco played a suite of songs derived from the Yoruba, an African tribe sold into slavery and brought to Cuba. The music and customs of the Yoruba have survived...
The over-appreciative audience was quick to shower applause at inappropriate intervals, temporarily disconcerting the artist.
[Guitar made by German luthier Matthias Damman. Program also included: Sonata for Violin in A minor by J.S. Bach; 5 songs by Schubert and transcribed by J.K. Mertz; "Un Tiempo fue Italica Famosa" by Joaquin Rodrigo; "The Three-Cornered Hat" suite by Manuel De Falla; Afro-Cuban melody by Lecuona.]
Archie Edwards is a national treasure, a man on a mission to save the music of his soul. When he's gone, who will play the country blues? Who that looks like him will carry on?
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, April 27, 1997
Writer: M. Dion Thompson
"Brother Arch" is Archie Edwards, 78, barber, shop owner, World War II vet and "doctor" of the blues...
Blues and its preservation being "Brother Arch's" mission...
That's what Saturdays are for at the Alpha Tonsorial Barbershop - blues, a taste of bourbon and a cold one pulled from an ancient Crosley Shelvador...
Brother Arch has a gig [in] Williamsport, Pa... It's a long ride for a gig that'll pay $250 plus expenses, but Brother Arch was a hit in the summer. So, he's back, sharing the bill with... Ben Andrews, a blues demon who is making a 10-hour drive from the Outer Banks...
"See how spry he looks," says Brother Arch, a that's-my-boy pride in his voice. "He can drive all day and all night, get himself a cup of coffee and be ready to play. He loves his guitar the way I used to love mine."
Andrews, 35, was a Foreign Service brat who played classical guitar before falling into the blues at 14...
CityArts awards 46 grants
Baltimore Sun: Sunday, May 4, 1997
Writer: Karin Remesch, Contributing Writer
Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke will award CityArts grants in a ceremony tomorrow morning at City Hall to 46 artists and community cultural organizations.
Selections were made in visual arts, literary and theater arts, music and dance, and community arts projects. Here's the list of this year's winners...
Dance and music: $1,500: Eva Anderson Dancers Ltd.; Pro Musica Rara Inc.; Second Presbyterian Concert Series. $1,000: Baltimore Classical Guitar Society...
Barbosa-Lima relies on sound, not look
Baltimore Sun: Wednesday, September 24, 1997
Writer: Larry Harris
Carlos Barbosa-Lima violates all the traditional standards of a classical concert guitarist in dress, posture and choice of program. He appeared Saturday night at Catonsville Community College in an open-collared long-sleeved shirt and loafers. He slumped over his guitar in a most casual way, and his choice of music was about as far from the somber classical menu as possible...
The purists may have been offended, but there were few toes not tapping by the conclusion of the opening concert in the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society's 1997-1998 series...
Now, as he freely admits, concerts like the one Saturday night are carefully planned to illustrate the many styles of music in which he is fluent, whether it be Debussy, Jobim or Gershwin...
Barbosa-Lima is particularly adept at the intricate rhythms of South American composers Ernesto Nazareth, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Agustin Mangore Barrios...
"The tradition of the classical guitar is a good musical foundation for guitarists, but it must integrate with inventive, complex styles developed in the music of other cultures where the guitar is prominent," he has written...
Musical Interlude at City Hall
Baltimore Sun: Thursday, October 9, 1997
Imagine an audience that walks, makes noise, distracts the performer and then walks away. That was Mark Simons' audience yesterday in the rotunda of City Hall, where he performed classical guitar pieces. Every plink-plink-plink of Simons' six-string guitar had to compete with clanging keys, clopping shoes and the not-so-hushed chatter of people walking by.
"It's a very delicate instrument with limited dynamic range," Simons said of his guitar. He said that playing under such circumstances was "a challenge to the concentration."
Most people walked past, gave a cursory glance and kept walking.
"I came here to spend an hour listening to good music," said Jyoti Kumta, who works in the city's legal department. "It was great."
Photo caption: Round tones: Classical guitarist Mark Simons plays for a small but appreciative audience yesterday in the rotunda of Baltimore's City Hall. The performance by Simons was part of a Wednesday lunchtime concert series.
More than a sum of the parts
Music: Emily Saliers was a folkie, Amy Ray a rocker. But together, as the Indigo Girls, their apparent differences add up to a new kind of whole.
Baltimore Sun: Saturday, October 25, 1997
Writer: J.D. Considine, Sun Pop Music Critic
At first glance, the Indigo Girls come off like a classic example of how opposites attract.
Emily Saliers grew up a perfect little folk musician. The daughter of a classically trained pianist and organist, she took classical guitar lessons as a child, was deeply into Joni Mitchell as a college student, and was always eager to pick up tips on harmony and chord voicings. It's no surprise, then, that her playing emphasizes finesse, complexity and invention.
Amy Ray, on the other hand, grew up a rocker...
Addiction thins ranks of top bassists
Baltimore Sun: Wednesday, December 10, 1997
Writer: Dan Rodricks
Baltimore's bass line sounds a little thin these days... Two of the city's finest bass players of the past two decades died within the past three months. They were young, talented, and hooked.
Tony DeFontes, who played bass guitar with a lot of terrific bands in Baltimore - Mambo Combo, Gypsy Dawg, Cowboy Jazz, Patti Sullivan group - ... died in... early September. He was 40 years old... The state medical examiner since has listed "narcotics intoxication" as the reason.
A few days before his death, Tony DeFontes had been to Colorado to visit a longtime friend, Paul "Weenie" Wheaton, another bassist, who was terribly sick from years of alcohol abuse...
Wheaton, a big man with puppy-dog eyes, played the upright bass for years with Swing Central in Baltimore. He left the band in January and went to Colorado to be near family, dry out and recuperate. His plan didn't work. He withered away and died of liver failure Oct. 6 in a Denver hospital. He was 41 years old...
Paul Wheaton had come to Baltimore in the early 1970s to study at the Peabody. That's when he met Cromer, a student of classical guitar. They hooked up with other musicians, and they experimented with different styles, starting with bluegrass and rockabilly...
Remarkable Assad Duo
Baltimore Sun: Thursday, February 12, 1998
Writer: Judith Green
Sibling musical duos have been around since Wolfie and Nannerl Mozart, and classical guitar has its own Partridge Family in the Romeros (a father and three sons). But the Assad brothers, a classical guitar duo from Brazil, have carved a special niche for themselves.
Sergio and Odair Assad, the sons of Middle Eastern immigrants, are acknowledged worldwide for the way they play together and the championing of new music for their versatile instruments.
The Baltimore Classical Guitar Society will present the Assad Duo in a Valentine's Day concert...
They'll play works [by] Domenico Scarlatti... Mauro Giuliani... Darius Milhaud... Ernesto Nazareth... Astor Piazzolla... Egberto Gismonti... Terry Riley; and their own arrangement of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue"...
Tickets are $20...
Books mark day of wedded bliss
Binding: As they turn a new page in their lives, one couple thought a reception in the Enoch Pratt Central Library would be perfect.
Baltimore Sun: Wednesday, June 24, 1998
Writer: Stephanie Shapiro
Piles of old books... served as centerpieces.
Newlyweds Linda Drury... and David McBride... radiantly greeted 160 friends and relatives Saturday night in the grand, pillared lobby of the Enoch Pratt Central Library...
Since the Pratt was scrubbed of decades of grime... a small but growing number of couples have chosen to celebrate their marriage at the library. This year so far, four couples have booked the library for their wedding parties...
A deejay spun Otis Redding, Paul Simon and other
artists before accordionist Judith Meyers took to the
stage to play mournful Eastern European ballads.
Later Dr. Daniel Drubach, a Baltimore physician, was
to entertain with flamenco and classical guitar...
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