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Sierra Nevada Guitar series features international musicians

Josh Sweigert
Lake Tahoe Action
Yuri Liberzon is a Russian born classical guitarist.

Chakrapani Singh and Yuri Liberzon will headline a series of upcoming classical guitar concerts in and around the Lake Tahoe Basin. Sierra Nevada Guitar will host the International Guitar Series Spring 2013 from Thursday to Sunday at a number of locations in California and Nevada.

Sierra Nevada Guitar has been hosting musical events in the Tahoe region since 2004, founder Larry Aynesmith said. The organization’s feature event is the Sierra Nevada Guitar Festival in the second week of July. Held in Incline Village, the festival includes concerts, workshops and classes, and a guitar competition.

“The festival is known around the world, especially in classical guitar circles,” Aynesmith said. “The more I do this, the more I like to mix it up once in awhile.”

With an eclectic lineup of international classical musicians, this April concert series certainly looks to “mix it up.” Singh and Liberzon are joined by Polish singer Anna Helwing and Aynemsith himself.

Singh is a well-known Indian guitarist, performing slide guitar in the traditional Veena style of Indian instruments like the sitar. Widely recognized in India as both performer and instructor, Singh first played in the U.S. at last year’s Sierra Nevada Guitar Festival. He will be playing a number of ragas, one of the components of traditional Indian music, and will also play a number of his original compositions.

Yuri Liberzon is a Russian born classical guitarist. He lived in Israel as a youth before coming to America to study classical guitar, first at the Peabody institute in Baltimore and later at Yale University.

Liberzon plays classical music pieces for guitar, pieces originally scored for instruments like piano or violin. With guitar largely absent from classical orchestras and instrumentation, classical guitarists rely on complex arrangements of original works. Liberzon arranges much of his own work, he said, favoring Barqoque composers like Bach and Scarlatti.

“A lot of it is arrangements,” Liberzon told Lake Tahoe Action. “Bach never wrote for guitar, so I do a lot of arranging. Most of what I’ll be playing are my arrangements.”

“I try to understand what the composer is trying to say and try to transfer it to my instrument, using my knowledge of the instrument,” Liberzon said.

Liberzon will also be joined by Helwing, Polish music instructor at Lake Tahoe Community College, for duet vocal and guitar pieces by Joaquin Rodrigo and John Dowland.

The concerts will be held at a number of locations in coming days, with stops in South Lake Tahoe, Incline Village, Reno and Olympic Valley.

Aynesmith is enthusiastic about the upcoming concerts.

“It’s like a barnstorming tour for classical guitar,” he said.


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