By Ted AYALA
Classical music immediately conjures up in the minds of nearly anyone – whether they’re familiar with the genre or not – the sounds of string instruments, namely bowed strings such as the violin and cello. Chances are, however, that whatever string instruments come to mind, the guitar isn’t one of them. And even when they happen to consider the guitar, it may be only for a single piece of music (paging Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez!”).
An instrument long synonymous with folk music and especially rock, the guitar has a long – perhaps the longest – history of all the string instruments. It was also an instrument that many of the great composers were familiar with. Schubert could strum on it. For Berlioz, the guitar was the instrument that was his doorway to music – an unlikely source for the composer who essentially created the sound of the modern orchestra.
Despite the delicate sound of the acoustic guitar, the breadth of the instrument’s repertoire is vast, with many of the leading composers of the 20th century and today having composed for the instrument.
A sampling of that repertoire will be heard at the Eagle Rock Public Library (5027 Caspar Ave, Los Angeles) when guitarist Taro Wayama presents a program of music by Alexandre Tansman, J. S. Bach, John Dowland, Dusan Bogdanovic and others on Saturday, July 12.
Wayama, a USC graduate, has earned a solid reputation as one of the region’s most versatile and virtuosic guitarists, winning several prizes and awards including first place at the 2003 Aron Green/American String Teachers Association Guitar Competition.
The concert begins at 3 p.m. and is free to the public. For more information, call the Eagle Rock Library at (323) 258-8078.