Leo Brouwer London masterclasses & interview with John Williams


The Cuban composer, conductor and guitarist LEO BROUWER will be in London on 27–28 April 2017 to give open masterclasses: ‘Guitar for All’.

The masterclasses will be in the form of one-to-one teaching, focusing both on Brouwer’s own compositions and the general classical guitar repertoire. In the spirit of ‘Guitar for All’, they are open to the public and will be held from 9.30am–1.30pm on Thursday 27 April 2017 and Friday 28 April 2017 at the Bolívar Hall, 54 Grafton Way, London W1T 5DL. Tickets.

On Thursday 27 April 2017, Leo Brouwer and John Williams will be ‘in Conversation’ as part of the Thinking Ibero-America series organised by the Instituto Cervantes and Canning House; the talk will be chaired by Stephen Goss at the Bolívar Hall, 54 Grafton Way, London W1T 5DL, at 7pm. Tickets.

On Friday 28 April 2017, the concert: ‘Homage to Leo Brouwer’ will feature the works of Leo Brouwer performed by Ahmed Dickinson and Andrey Lebedev. The programme includes: Beatlerianas’ Quintet, Canción de cuna, Sonata No. 5 ‘Ars combinatoria’ and Paisaje cubano con lluvia at the Bolívar Hall, 54 Grafton Way, London W1T 5DL at 7pmTickets.

Leo Brouwer © Ivan Soca

Leo Brouwer’s career has been outstanding since its very beginnings. He was a virtuosic concert classical guitarist who made his mark not only through his dedication to contemporary music – he inspired Hans Werner Henze to add a guitar part to the ensemble for El Cimarrón (Henze, writing in his memories, said: ‘Leo helped with the composition by coming up with new ideas on ways of extending the range of sounds that the guitar can produce.’) – he is also a fine transcriber of works onto the guitar, and made a groundbreaking recording of his own transcriptions of 12 Scarlatti Sonatas which was released in 1974.

Leo Brouwer is a composer who has had a prolific output throughout his career. Apart from his concert works, he has composed over 100 film scores. The significant contribution that he has made to the classical guitar repertoire and to improving and educating classical guitarists in the finer aspects of technique and ornamentation is truly phenomenal; his list of works includes over a dozen guitar concertos and works for guitar and orchestra. His compositions are more readily available these days through the Editiones Espiral Eterna (link

Added to all this is his international reputation as a conductor. From its establishment in 1992, he was the founder and conductor of the Orquesta de Córdoba in Spain. His international touring schedule is relentless and at the same time, the compositions keep flowing. He is never anything less than completely inspired and completely inspiring!

Guitarrísimo is organised by the Instituto Cervantes and the Iberian & Latin American Music Society (ILAMS) with the kind support of the Embassies of Cuba and VenezuelaFor more information.

© 2017 Thérèse Wassily Saba

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