Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tempo: “Guitar Composer Leo Brouwer: The Concept of a 'Universal Language'”

Tempo, a Journal of Cambridge University Press
Vol. 62, Issue 245, July 2008
Clive Kronenberg
In the realm of art music, Leo Brouwer (1939-) is widely considered as the most significant living composer for the guitar. Since the latter part of the 20th century, students of the guitar at most, if not all, recognized music institutions have increasingly sought to perform Brouwer's works. Correspondingly, at the South African College of Music (University of Cape Town) respected instructors like Elspeth Jack, Neefa van der Schyff, and others, have over many years consistently and devotedly incorporated Brouwer's guitar literature into their teaching programmes. Cape Town's prized composer-conductor Alan Stephenson has similarly developed a keen interest in Brouwer's large-scale works, inspiring in 1998 a memorable rendition of Brouwer's acclaimed Elegiaco Concerto, performed by the talented soloist Christiaan Van der Vyver and the University of Cape Town Orchestra. In line with this, one of Brouwer's underlying goals has been to create works that are accessible to players of varying standards of performance. As a consequence, young, inexperienced, moderate, advanced as well as top internationally-acclaimed virtuosic players have all found some measure of contentment in performing Brouwer's guitar works. [The Afro-Cuban composer, guitarist and conductor Leo Brouwer is profiled at AfriClassical.com]

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