Sunday, May 19, 2013

The San Diego Symphony Presents the Royal Family of Guitar

The San Diego Symphony presents The Romeros: Royal Family of Guitar from May 16th to May 19th, 2013. The Romero Quartet started in the 1960 based upon the idea of the father Celedonio Romero and his sons. After the group’s father passed away in 1996 he was replaced by his grandson to keep the family tradition alive.  The Romeros are a beautiful example of classical guitar that provides sweet sensation to the ears. You almost feel as though you are in Spain. Tapas anyone?

The Romeros are also known as The Royal Family of Guitar as their music delves into traditional Spanish style of strings. The New York Times states their opinion of the classical guitar group as "Collectively, they are the only classical guitar quartet of real stature in the world today; in fact, they virtually invented the format." They have traveled the world and sold out a great many performances.  Admirers include thousands of people ranging from Ed Sullivan to Pope John Paul II.

JahJa Ling was the music director of the evening. He is now an American citizen of Chinese descent. He began playing the piano in his toddler years, earned the Rockefeller grant to study music thereafter earning a master’s degree.  He founded the San Francisco Youth Orchestra as well as the Cleveland Youth Orchestra. At present, he is the music director at the San Diego Symphony. You can see his seasoned skill by the graceful movements of his baton.

The history of a quartet is an interesting one that ranges back to old Europe. Symphonies were designed for public consumption while chamber music was more for private audiences in wealthy aristocratic homes. At the end of the Eighteenth Century, string quartets emerged as a leading chamber music form. The use of string instruments was easy to transport as well as easy to manage.

Using string music avoided problems with blending multiple instruments into a single music chord. Having less than four players limited the types of music that could be played while using more than four players created acoustic blending problems. It helped to avoid monotonous tones stemming from using the same instrument over and over.  The quartet is more common today for public audiences as well as background music in restaurants.

You can see the presentation at the beautiful Copley Hall. It is worth visiting at least once in your lifetime. It maintains its old world charm with artistic design, style, and artisanship being apparent. Tiles in the ceiling, large hanging paintings, and an acoustically designed auditorium are part of its charm. If you seek a flutter of musical mastery then purchase your tickets for new shows.

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