Juan Leovigildo Brouwer Mezquida born March 1, is a Cuban composer , conductor , and classical guitarist. He is the grandson of Cuban composer Ernestina Lecuona y Casado. Brouwer was born in Havana. When he was 13, he began classical guitar with the encouragement of his father, who was an amateur guitarist.

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Normally known as a jazz bass player across several styles in the genre, Jayant has continued to explore his interests in the contemporary classical guitar.

At that time, I had largely been a rock-preoccupied guitar player for a few years, with only a vague idea about the world of the classical guitar. Yes, we knew it existed out there, like a luxury yacht wafting disdainfully past us mere scruffy fishing boats, bestowing upon us only a whiff of its grand being.

At that time, very little recorded music was available at all, and sheet music was almost completely inaccessible in Darjeeling where I grew up. My experience with classical guitar repertoire till then was limited to studies of easier Spanish and Italian pieces, and the odd Bach transcription, all of which had been laboriously hand-copied for me by my brother Jeta.

My cousin Anmole was a frequently pestered source for sheet music to copy, as well as for advice on guitar matters in general. Fortunately for me, I did have some listening exposure to Western classical music as such through a few dedicated, knowledgeable and well-intentioned music teachers at school. To be able to decipher written music at all, I had to repeatedly ask my sister Jaya for help, as she had been through several grades of piano at school.

But actually being able to memorise and play through these pieces was enough to tell me that yes, there is actually a bespoke luxury yacht out there in the dark open waters. And that you must have a footstool to even get a look-in. I was transfixed, as was much of the audience, though almost certainly not for the same reasons. I looked around me. Deeply appalled. For me, listening to Canticum was curiously reassuring.

I realised in a flash that classical guitar music was not only about the plink-a-plonk Carcassi and Carulli studies which I already detested then, or the sparse and clinical counterpoint of Bach, or even necessarily about the footstool though Condin did use one.

Classical guitar music — indeed, all real music — was about sonic texture. In subsequent years, I continued to play the guitar, generally preoccupied with jazz styles, with substantial exposure to rock and pop performances on the side.

Somewhere out there, the classical guitar yacht still cruised on. Sheet music remained near-impossible to buy, but the Xerox Corporation did make hand-copying redundant in s India. My brother made me a wooden footstool which was a big help. I played through it. It displayed everything I then expected a Brouwer work to be — dissonance, dynamism, complex timing — visceral texture.

I was intrigued with the indication for the second movement — obstinato and not ostinato. It seemed that Maestro Brouwer had a sense of humour, after all. Leo Brouwer began his career as a composer-guitarist in his teens.

An injury stopped his performing career, but as a composer and orchestral conductor he has continued to remain extremely active.

His compositional style itself has evolved, passed through transitions which continue even today, and has created a tremendous body of work, bristling with unique tonal innovations, which provides guitarists with a lifetime of study. These sessions were helpful in providing essential insights into interpretation.

This is despite the fact that he has prolifically composed for films, has written for guitar ensembles and has 11 Concertos to his name.

I obtained the sheet music for Concerto de Toronto out of sheer curiosity, including a piano reduction of the orchestral score by Daniel Toussiant. I even tried to sequence some of the piano score as a MIDI file just to hear what was intended, and realised that it needed a real pianist.

I welcome the opportunity that has finally arisen to perform the work with a pianist, with the kind support of The Poona Music Society. This blog will capture moments and changing perspectives from the musical journey that has now commenced, to culminate in the recital on 14 January, And, my classical guitarist friends might well ask, why Bill Evans?

He is known for his contribution to jazz piano, right?


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