Internationally acclaimed classical guitarist Paul Galbraith will perform at Peninsula College Tuesday, Oct. 15, when the Maier Hall Concert Series opens its 2013-2014 performance season at 7 p.m.
The Scottish-born guitar virtuoso, who now lives in Switzerland, is internationally renowned as a brilliant innovator of the classical guitar and is known for his dramatic innovations in guitar design, technique and original transcriptions. By exchanging the traditional guitar for the eight-string Brahms Guitar, which he helped to develop, Galbraith found the ideal instrument with which to interpret the challenging classical transcriptions from his highly personal repertoire. The guitar has two extra strings, one high and one low. It is supported by a metal endpin, similar to that of a cello, and rests on a wooden resonance box.
Both the guitar’s extraordinary design and Galbraith’s playing style are considered groundbreaking developments in the history of the instrument, increasing its range to an unprecedented extent.
Galbraith has produced a number of critically acclaimed recordings of works by Bach, Haydn and Brahms, along with his own arrangements of folk tunes from various countries. His performances win allocades where ever he plays and have garnered him a Grammy nomination and recognition as a Billboard "Top Ten" Artist and a Critic’s Choice performer.
After a performance in the United Kingdom, The Guardian (U.K.) reviewer wrote, “Worth traveling long distances to hear.” The Sunday Times of London noted: “What many had come to see and hear was the revolutionary change he has brought to playing the guitar … the results were truly remarkable, with an amazing clarity and a huge dynamic range… The audience was held spellbound.”
Critics in New York were equally impressed. The New York Times called his performance, “Gracefully phrased, beautifully balanced … imagination and coloristic variety.” And The New Yorker noted, “Exceptional artistry.”
Galbraith first garnered critical acclaim at the age of 17, when he took part in the first Segovia International Guitar Competition in Kent, England, where he was the youngest of 50 competitors from 14 countries. The Jury, presided over by Segovia himself, presented the silver medal to Galbraith. Commenting to the press after the competition, Segovia called Galbraith’s playing "magnificent” and went on to add, “He will be a great artist.”
This award helped launch an international career that has included engagements with some of the finest orchestras in Britain and Europe, including the Royal Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, BBC Philharmonic, Scottish Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Orchestra, Scottish Baroque Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, among others. He also has performed in Prague’s Dvorák Hall with the National Chamber Orchestra of Chile and has toured extensively in the United States and several other countries as a soloist.
As part of his program for the Maier Hall Concert Series, Galbraith will perform music by Haydn, Ponce, Albeniz and Granados, with a special Bach selection.
Subscriptions for the concert series are now on sale and can be purchased online at www.pencol.edu/cutural-events. Cost for the entire concert series is $50. Individual tickets to each concert are $15; students $5.
For more information about the Maier Hall Concert Series, call 417-6405 or visit www.pencol.edu, or www.facebook.com/PeninsulaCollege.