Local guitarist and composer Vincent Lindsey-Clark reflects on the sell out concert given by Berta Rojas on Saturday 10th November 2012 at All Hallows Church… (video interview embedded below)…
A VERY SPECIAL CONCERT
The classical guitar world gathered along side the local Whitchurch community at All Hallows Church last Saturday for a very special concert given by the wonderful guitarist Berta Rojas from Paraguay who mesmerized everyone with her virtuosity, musicianship and Latin charm. Berta is one of the most popular guitarists in the world and constantly travels the globe.
I met Berta when we were both teaching and performing at the West Dean International Guitar Festival in 2007. She heard some of my music for guitar, which she liked very much and this sparked a five-year, long distance working relationship.
I composed the set works for a competition Berta chaired in Washington DC and then she recorded some of my establishes music. After this she decided she wanted to ask me to write a substantial work for her based on South American dance styles and rhythms and that they should have an intellectual approach with a sense of fun.
I was happy to take on this challenge and the result was a four-movement suite called Fiesta Americana. The music is now published in Canada by Productions d’Oz.
WHITCHURCH ADDED TO WORLD TOUR
Berta was playing most of the suite this year in far-flung places such as Japan, Malaysia, across America and South America but I was not able to hear her play it myself. Then I heard that she was to tour England this in November so I would be able to travel to London, Liverpool or Bristol to see her. However a much better idea was to invite her to Whitchurch to give a concert and she was very happy to do this.
I organized the concert and was heartened by the response from the local residence of this small town. Berta’s fame brought guitar enthusiasts from miles around and some cases very long distances.
The church was packed with well over 200 people and I enjoyed introducing Berta to everyone and spoke about the background to my music, which she played first on the programme.
FIRST PERFORMANCE OF ENTIRE SUITE
This was to be her first performance of the entire suite and she played it with all the virtuosity, musicianship, power and passion I hoped for.
To hear such an inspirational musician play my music was a major highlight of my career.
There was a very pleasing reaction from the audience so I was happy that it had been extremely well received.
TWO HALVES AND AN ENCORE
Berta finished the first half with a beautiful performance of Pasaje Abierto (Open Lane) by Edin Solis who is a young composer from Costa Rica.
The second half was devoted to the music of the Paraguayan guitarist and composer Augustin Barrios 1885 – 1944. His music is played and loved by guitarists all over the world and Berta is arguably the leading interpreter of these works.
There was rapturous applause at the end of the concert, which speaks for itself, and we were treated to an encore of Danza Paraguaya by Barrios.
This was a very special evening for me and I am happy that Berta Rojas gave such a memorable concert here in my home town. Next for her is the Latin Grammy Awards Ceremony in Las Vagas for which she is a nominee. Good luck Berta from everyone in Whitchurch.
A date for your diary: Vincent Lindsey-Clark is performing on Saturday, 18th May 2013 at 8pm at The Point, Eastleigh as part of the SCGS Celebrity Concert Series.