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Guitar Shanghai at the Conservatory of Music

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Last weekend there was a Guitar Festival at the Conservatory of Music in Shanghai with Leonardo Bravo, Oliver Fartach-Naini, Lee Song-ou, Shingo Fujii, Shunsuke Matsuo, Achim-Peter Gropius and some others. There were not only a lot of concerts, but also a competition and some masterclasses, too.

And I feel honored that the organisator Prof. Ye Deng Min used the name of my association and blog for this festival. So Guitar Shanghai becomes more and more wellknown in Shanghai and China!

After the festival I ve met with Achim Gropius the German guitar maker. He repaired my Gnatek guitar some years ago and I like his guitars. We made some sightseeing together and I showed him the old part of Shanghai with the Yuan Garden. We finished our tour at the Grand Hyatt highrise in Pudong, in the Cafe at the 54th floor.

Recently there are so many guitar festivals and competitions in China and Asia! The next three festivals I know are in Changsha (Hunan Provinz China) from 19th till 22th of July and the Tarrega Malaysia International Guitar Competition from 7th till 10th of August. And then there will be the big Altamira Guitar Festival and competition in Shanghai from 22th till 26th of August. The concert of Eliot Fisk on 23th of August is already selled out….yep…

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A Weekend with William Kanengiser

Last weekend (10th and 11th of May) William Kanengiser was invited from Altamira Guitars to come to the Shanghai Guitar Salon.

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(William Kanengiser with He Shun Hua on the way to the Guitar Salon)

On Saturday evening he played a brilliant concert in the Oriental Art Center of Pudong.
His program had very different pieces, which he played all with great musicality and virtuosity. I was very surprised about the amazing interpretation of some small Tarrega pieces. These showed the masters extraordinarily talent. And I enjoyed every piece on this evening. It was like a very, very good story teller tells you some very interesting story. So I was captured from this performance the whole time.

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(William Kanengiser played in the Shanghai Oriental Art Center)

Here the program in detail:

La Danza del Molinero Manuel de Falla (arr.W.Kanengiser)

Fantasie Elegiaque, op 59 Fernando Sor

Marieta, Lagrima, Maria Francesco Tarrega

Fantasia (Sevilliana) Joaquin Turina

Break

Sonata #1 “Las Campanas” Ernesto Garcia

Two Cuban Folksong Arrangements: Afro-Cuban Lullaby, Danza Characteristica Leo Brower

Preludio Cubano: Intermezzo Tropica Rumba Manuel Ponce

The Magic Serenade Bryan Johanson

Brookland Boogie Brian Head

and 3 Encores.

And I have to mention the three encores! One of them was a very Chinese sounding piece nobody has heard before. On Sunday I asked W.Kanengiser whether he could give me the score for that beautiful piece and he told me that there is no score, because this piece only exists in his head.

On Sunday W.Kanengiser gave masterclasses in the Shanghai Guitar Salon. We started early in the morning, because there were a lot of students who want to have a class. One of my students also had a masterclass with this master and I am sure it will be a big motivation for her and for everybody who came to the Shanghai Guitar Salon and attended the masterclasses. There was a big audience with some very young guitar students, but the audience was calm and with attention listening and watching the whole, long time!

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(the masterclass)

After all the students were finished, there was an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and there were a lot of questions! The people were very interested to know a lot of things like how to improve the sound of the right hand fingers and the coordination of both hands, how to relax the hands and the arms how to practice Bach…..and W.Kanengiser answered with patience.

I think such kind of activities are very important for the guitar students. It is a great motivation and also a good help for the regular guitar teachers. So I want to say Thank You to William Kanengiser and to the Altamira Guitar Company, who`s director spend a lot of money to organize events like this. They already invited many famous artists in the last few years, like Pavel Steidl, Irina Kulikova, Manuel Barrueco, the Amadeus Guitar Duo – just to name a few.

In October Altamira Guitar will invite David Russell to come to the Shanghai Guitar Salon! I am looking forward to see David Russell here!

And William Kanengiser will be in some other Chinese cities this week. Next weekend he will be in Shenzhen (on May 16th) and Chengdu (on May 17th).

If you have a chance to go to see him, please go. It is worth!

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(the teachers of the Shanghai Guitar Salon with the great master)

Alberto Cuellar and Sergi Boadella at Chartres Dimanche Salon

the first day of the Shanghai International Guitar Week was finished with a impressively concert of the Duo Alberto Cuellar and Sergi Boadella at the Chartres Dimanche Salon. Although this salon is not big and already full with around 50 people, it is an ideal place for chamber music and guitar concerts, because of its very good acoustic and beautiful, romantic enviroment. This evening there were too many people, so a lot of people didn`t find a seat and have to stand the whoole concert. But while listening to this beautiful and moving Spanish music we forgot our tired feed!

The guitarist Alberto Cuellar played with empathy and a colorful sound and the Cello was singing better than a voice! And the music of this concert was choosen very well. I mostly liked the Bulerias of Granaina and the songs of Manuel de Falla, but the Rodrigo and the Villa Lobos was wonderful, too.

Today the guitarist Gilbert Imperial will play at Chartres Dimanche Salon. It will be a great concert, too, thats sure.

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The First Shanghai International Guitar Week

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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

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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.
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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: www.hfm-munich.de, or if you want to study in Detmold, the address is: www.hfm-detmold.de.
 
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.
 

Ye Fan in the Concerthall of Shanghai

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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.

Holidays

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the Guitar Salon got a new poster at the entrance. Here a picture with the guitar teachers: Chen Bing, He Shun Hua and Julia

because of the summer holidays there will be a short break about two or three weeks before there are new activities in the Guitar Salon. See you then!

Playing Guitar in La Finca or the importance of making good backround music

From tomorrow Monday the 10th of Oktober till Saturday the 15th of Oktober every evening from 18.30 to 20.30 o`clock our guitarist Julia Scheuffele will play Spanish and Latinamerikan music for classical guitar in the Spanish restaurant la Finca in Shanghai, Xin Tian Di.

She will make the backround music for people who wants to eat in a high level enviroment. Good food needs good music, because the people who are coming to this place, mostly have a cultural backround and want to hear high level music during their dinner time.

I asked Julia why she agreed to play in a restaurant and she told me her philosophy:
It is very important which kind of music you have in your backround. Even if you eating and talking beside, the music will influence your mind and your feeling. Julia believes that her music can people make more peaceful and happy. So she decide to work as a backround musician.

The 11th Etudes of H.V.Lobos

more than videos i like to make sound files. The main reason is, that i think music is something to listen not to watch and the second reason is the fact that youtube is not available in China and all the other hosts offer very bad sound qualitiy.

As i still have a little space on my server i load up the Etudes number 11 from Villa Lobos. This piece is also one of my students pieces in Shanghai, who always wants me to perform their pieces. Sometimes that shows more than explanations.

Listen to my mp3`s is free, because of my philosophy: what you can give to the community, you should give. The internet is a big chance for more equal rights in learning and education. It is neccessary and good for everybody, if there is such a place with free information.

Heitor Villa Lobos: Etude Nr 11

Roland Dyens: Saudade Nr.3

Julia Scheuffele just recorded a new video with the Saudade Nr.3 of Roland Dyens. This piece is very wellknown in Europe.

Because the sound of the chinese Youku and Tudou is not as good as the sound of the youtube videos, I suggest you to listen to the Youtube Video, if you can.