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The First Shanghai International Guitar Week


with: Fan Ye, Alberto Cuellar, Sergi Boadella, Gilbert Imperial, Cao Siyi, Julia Scheuffele, Lin Huanqi, Li Zhiqian, Michael Kern (Qian Yu), Shanghai RJ Big Band and Guitarshanghai!

Are the holidays too long for you? Hopefully not! But anyway: if you need some motivation for your guitar playing, you can join and listen to the concerts of the First Shanghai International Guitar Week.

Fan Ye, who is the founder of this event, just came back from his study abroad to offer such a nice idea to the Shanghai guitar lovers.

From the 12th till the 16th of August you have two guitar concerts a day. One is at the Shanghai Concert Hall (523 East Yan An Road) , beginn: 12.00 . And the other one is at the Chartes Dimanche Salon (246 West Fu Xing Road), beginn 20.00 . Alltogehter there are ten concerts with national and international guitarplayers.

Here you can download a pdf, with the full information about the artists and the programms: All musicians with both programm.pdf

The Guitar Symposium in Shanghai: Two lectures of Thomas Kirchhoff


From May 22th through May 24th there was a Guitar Symposium at the Conservatory of Music in Shanghai with a lot of excellent concerts and lectures. Ye De Min, the guitar professor of the Conservatory and organizer of the Symposium invited a lot of extraordinary guitarists – like the young special talented Kang Jun Hong and the Japanese composer and guitarist Shingo Fujii, but also the German professor and organizer of the Iserlohn Guitar Symposium Thomas Kirchhoff to teach.

I listened to two of his lectures and made a summary for you.
The first lecture was: “how to become a student for guitar at a German Music Academy”, the second lecture was: “how to develop a career with the guitar”
Thomas’ First Class:
How to study in Germany:

If you want to study guitar in Germany, you first have to find a Conservatory or a Music Academy and a teacher. You can find the website of each Music Academy by typing the www.hfm- (city of your choice).de. For example: If you want to study in Munich your address is:, or if you want to study in Detmold, the address is:
On the website of the Music Academy, you also can find a list of the guitar professors. It is strongly recommended to contact the teacher before the entrance examination. There are two times for entrance examinations each year. If you want to start in April (summer term), you have to sign up for the examination by December. The examination will take place in January. If you want to start in September (winter term), you have to apply by March and your aptitude test will be in June.
Before taking the test you should contact your professor. But please don`t give big gifts. This is not usual in Germany and will not help you. You can only give a small present like a box with Chinese tea or something like that, but that is of no importance and will not help you to get a better test.
Without playing the guitar, you need a second instrument and basic knowledge in ear training and music theory. And of course you have to understand and to speak German. The test for these subjects are different at each Academy, and some are easier, some are more difficult. You can find  more information on the website of your chosen academy.
The tuition fee in Germany is generally very low, so if you have around 1000 Euro each month you can live very well as a student. Students are allowed to work beside their studies too. Most of the guitar students have jobs as a guitar teacher at several music schools.
Foreigners are allowed to earn up to 400 Euro each month. For a German visa you also need to verify that you have a balance in a bank in Germany. The amount of this deposit changes from year to year, so please inquire about the current requirements.
A lot of Chinese think that it should be an advantage to study first in China, but for the subject “classical guitar” that is not true. The German guitar professors like to have young and flexible minds. You only need your high school preparation. But on the other side, there is no age limit in Germany. Theoretically you can study until you are a grandfather, if you find a professor who takes you. Sometimes this is easier or more difficult.
Sometimes there are 50 students who want to start at the same semester with the same professor, but only one place. And other times there are only four students who have applied for the entrance test, and three free places…that is luck…
Thomas Kirhoff`s second lecture: “how to develop a career with the guitar”
Most important beside good skills is your individuality. All the famous good players play differently. It is not necessary to win a lot of competitions to be a successful concert guitarist. People who can win the prizes in competitions are not always successful with playing good concerts. A lot of guitar players with great names never won any competition.
As important as your skills and your personality are “Vision and Will.” That means you need to have a vision of what you can give to the world and where you want to be several years later. You have to be realistic: are you made for the big international stages or more for to play in a restaurant?
If you know what you want to be, you need name cards, a website and a CD. It is better if you already have planned your second and third CD. And then you have two possibilities: one is to manage yourself and the other one is, to find a good manager to help with the details.
And it is very important not only to try once. If you really love what you are doing, you will try a lot of times and do not give up so fast. Being a musician takes persistence.
And if you want to make a living from concerts, you have to see what kind of other requirements you have. To become really rich playing guitar, is not easy or almost impossible. But if your requirements are not too high, it is possible to live a happy life with playing guitar.

Today! Guitar Concert in Heluting Concert Hall of the Shanghai Conservatory

Today, March 29th, at seven o`clock PM, some teachers of the Guitar Salon plus some other friends are giving a concert. The organizer is the Club of Shanghai Guitar Lovers, who sponsored this concert.

Unfortunately I am in Germany. Nevertheless please come and listen to them! So you can know some important Shanghai Guitarists and you can get an impression of the Shanghai guitar scene.

Hope you will enjoy the concert!

Ye Fan in the Concerthall of Shanghai


Yesterday my friend Ye Fan was giving a great concert in the almost sold concerthall.
Last year, you remember, he was my duopartner during a gig at T8 (XinTianDi) .

I was late and exhaustet, because I took our shuttle bus after teaching the whoole afternoon and the shuttle bus was stopped by a traffic jam on the highway. And I didn`t regret that I’ve rummaged through the rush hour. Fan Ye played a wonderful concert with a wise compiled program.

He started with some very wellknown pieces of Cardoso and Villa Lobos before he took up some modern high level pieces like the Four Seasons of Piazolla. After a break he started again with a very melodic and well known piece (Leo Brower, the 11th Novembre) before he played the Ginastera pieces. And then, at the end, he had some jazz and two pieces of Sergio Assad. The encore was a tango of Roland Dyens. It was a long concert with different musically high level pieces of mostly South American music.

Ye Fan went to Vienna Austria for classical guitar studies. Since 2009 he got two Diploma (Music education and Music Performance). He finished his Master degree in University of the Arts Berne Switzerland by Elena Casoli. Since 2011 he continue to pursue a Master Specialized Music Performance(Solist Diplom) degree. FAN Ye is an active guitarist in Asia, regularly giving concerts in Shanghai, Macau, Hong Kong, Austria, Switzerland.

An American Guest in the Guitar Salon

Shanghai is also culturally more and more developing and so the international musicians who want to settle down in Shanghai becomes more and more, too.

One of them is Luke Trimble, who has been living in Hawaii before and who is now living in Shanghai till July 2013. He currently teaches the guitar at the British School in Puxi.

At November the 7th he made a solo recital for invited guests at the Guitar Salon. Here his interesting program:

LEO BROUWER 8 Etudes from 20 Etudes Simples
(B. 1939)
HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS No Choro. 1, Tipico Brasiliero
(B. 1951) I. Moderato e molto sostenuto
Adagio e cantabile
III. Allegro vivace
Johann Sebastian Bach from Partita for Solo Violin No.. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002
(1685-1750) I. Allemanda
transcribed by LUKE II TRIMBLE Corrente
III. Saraband
IV Bourree
HAROLD ARLEN Over the Rainbow
arranged by Toru Takemitsu
LOU HARRISON Serenade for Guitar
(1917-2003) I. Avalokiteshvara
II Music for Bill and Me
III. Jahla
IV Beverly’s Troubadour Piece
Augustin Barrios Mangoré Julia Florida

Most exciting for me were the relatively unknown pieces of the American composer Lou Harrison and Bryan Johanson. Lou Harrison`s piece which is composed for guitar with percussion is also played by the famous guitarist David Tannenbaum. Luke played this piece without the percussions, but that didn`t destroy its beautiness. For probably most of the audience this piece was the highlight of the evening.

Luke, who is not afraid to use the notes during his performance, told me that the Americans like to make more informell and relaxed concerts. In America it is not usual to watch a well-dressed guitarist, who is silent and lonely fighting with his program. Much more welcomed are an easy going guitarist, who is relaxed and connects with the music and the audience – and is reading part of the program from the score.

I still believe that it is ideal to remember your pieces by heart. That is, because you should use your right brain during a performance, what is mostly impossible if you are reading the partiture. But I agree with Luke, that it is much better to look in the partiture during a concert as to play with stress and anxiety.

And Luke played relaxed and connected with the music and the audience! It was a nice evening. Thank you, Luke!

Morning Improvisation with my Ipad

Thia morning I recognized that it is very easy to make recordings with the software garageband of my ipad.
I was so faszinated of that possibility, that I ve made a small improvisation with my guitar. Wish you all a nice day!

Morning Improvisation with my Ipad

My new Altamira Guitar

Recently I bought a Altamira Flamenco Guitar, Modell N700f. Also this guitar is not so very expensive, I am feeling very comfortable to play it – and not only for Flamenco Style!

Altamira is a Chinese brand, but now available in other countries, too.

Here a video where I use my new Altamira guitar to perform a piece from Baden Powell: Canto do Xango:

and here on Tudou:



Barrueco in Shanghai on October 13th 2012!

Organized by Altamira Guitars Barrueco will give a concert at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center Concert Hall on October 13th 2012, 19.30 o`clock. Please don`t forget to order your ticket!

FIVE SHORT STUDIES by Giuseppe Torrisi(This is a Guest Post by Dario Bitetti)

A music that was in danger of never to be heard and of remain locked in a drawer.
The Sicilian musician, Giuseppe Torrisi, twenty years ago conceived his project Five Short Studies for guitar, first he wrote the first, third and part of the second.
Recently, the great guitarist Giulio Tampalini got hold these scores and something contained in these pages hit his own sensitivity; his deep conviction that give life to those notes has prompted Torrisi to complete his original project.
Five Short Studies are born from the desire to collect, edit and communicate a musical experience acquired over the years.
Soft melancholy so dear to Agustin Barrios, impetuosity of whirling motions characterizing the pages of Heitor Villa-Lobos; from the few lines of each piece shines a
bright, clean state of mind, a brief and concise description of a feeling that is not hard to be perceived by the listener.
An emotion contained in such a short and complex musical text inevitably requires an execution that can convey that message fully, despite the many technical complexities
to be resolved with a reasonable amount of risk.
Tampalini was able to surprise, highlighting every intention of the composer: the phrasing and the communicativeness of its second and fourth study, the impetus and strength
emitted by the first and third, the great virtuosity required by the fifth are masterfully rendered by acclaimed performer on this first world recording.

It happens, sometimes, that someone notices a hidden voice, understands its emotion and has a sincere enthusiasm to give it to others.

Dario Bitetti (a dear student of M° Torrisi)

Also see:

Giuseppe Torrisi’s

Watch Five Short Studies (Cinque Studi Brevi) on Giulio Tampalini’s YouTube

The studies are soon to be published by Les Productions d’Oz

Below is Studi No. 4

Concert during the Summer Holidays

This Friday, the 20th of July, the most popular Shanghai Guitarists will play Spanish Guitar Music in the Concert Hall (Xi Zang Road crossing Jingling Road).

If you are interested to know some Shanghai guitar players, please come and listen to:

Chen Hua Liang, Ren Lei, Chen Bing, He Shun Hua, She Chun Sheng, Zhao Rong, Jiang Da Min, Chun Cheng, Zhou Yi Qing and others…..