Kazuhito Yamashita

Just as Franz Liszt created new repertoire and technique for the piano by transcribing Symphonies and Operas and then developing new techniques with which to play them, Kazuhito Yamashita took a similar path in the early 1980's and so revolutionised the world of possibilities on the guitar.

Yamashita: Bach Violin/Lute suites: BWV 1001-1006 - 2004
Yamashita: Bach Violin/Lute suites: BWV 1001-1006 - 2004

By transcribing well known pieces of orchestral music for solo guitar he has encouraged a trend which could make classical guitar much more appealing and accessible to concert programmers and the general concert going audience.

Truly these transcriptions should have shaken up the world of guitar pedagogy, but this apparently didn't happen. I know they shook up my world, turned me upside down and forced me to reassess my whole approach to the instrument. A good part of the sleeve notes to my 2005 CD "Late Night Lovers" is devoted to this.

The Yamashita Chronicles by Matanya Ophee - is a must read - these articles describe Yamashita's first appearances in the West and the subsequent politics which have probably prevented his wider recognition.

 Kazuhito Yamashita

He has realised the idea of guitar as a "small orchestra" more literally and vividly than anyone before. The training as an "orchestral guitarist" began with his father Toru Yamashita, founder of the Nagasaki Guitar Orchestra.

Biography

1961 Born in Nagasaki.
Studied guitar under:

  • Toru Yamashita
  • Kojiro Kobune
  • J. Thomas
  • Narciso Yepes
  • Andres Segovia
  • Toru Takemitsu.

Member of the Nagasaki Guitar Ensemble.
Married and with children, he often performs and records with his wife and children, who, not surprisingly are very competent guitarists also.

He has released over 80 CD's! A true virtuoso in the "big sense" he has a huge repertoire which he performs both effortlessly and musically. He has recorded all the Guitar works of Sor, Giuliani, Ponce and most of the standard Classical guitar repertoire.

Kazuhito Yamashita concert review, 1989

George A. Pepper's impressions of Kazuhito Yamashita's performance at the 1989 Texas GFA concert.

"Greetings Peter,

Love your site. Found it while looking up some info on Kazuhito Yamashita. Matanya Ophee and I were corresponding about him the past few days because I bought the De Fossa sheet music and Kazuhito's recording of it from him, and his articles do make for fascinating reading." (ed. note: read The Yamashita Chronicles by Matanya Ophee).

George A. Pepper - guitarist and composer, www.hucbald.blogspot.com
George A. Pepper - guitarist and composer, www.hucbald.blogspot.com

"I was at the 1989 GFA in Lubbock, Texas when Kazuhito Yamashita played the Dvorak New World Symphony.

Read more: Kazuhito Yamashita concert review, 1989

Review: In Friendship by Reza Ganjavi

In Friendship by Reza Ganjavi is a guitar album s characterised by a gorgeous guitar sound and an uplifting aesthetic.
In Friendship by Reza Ganjavi

Reza Ganzavi's first album "In Friendship" is characterised by a gorgeous guitar sound and an uplifting aesthetic.

The first track is possibly the most requested guitar piece in the world! I know it is at my acoustic gigs... the famous "Romanza", also known as "Spanish Romance", "Spanish Folk Tune", "Romance" and, who knows how many other names?

This lovely performance stands on it's own two feet - but what surprises and delights is the set of variations which follows. The guitar plays the standard Romanza arrangement again but acts as accompaniment to viola, violin, flute, mandolin, cello, oboe and voice as they play 'songs' of varying sentiment. The set would also make a nice piece played all on say violin and guitar or flute and guitar.

This effort gave me a fresh window into one of the guitar standards!

Read more: Review: In Friendship by Reza Ganjavi

Australian Premiere of 'The Peacemakers'

The Australian Premiere of "The Peacemakers" by Karl Jenkins will be performed at Macquarie Uni Auditorium next Sun Nov 2nd 2:30pm.

This is a wonderful piece full of engaging melodies and colourful orchestrations. As well as strings, wind and keyboard, the ensemble features some 'world music' colours with the Shakuhachi, Tin Whistle, Soprano Sax and Tablas. And guitar!

We had a great dress rehearsal on Sunday, with a fine 20 piece orchestra, under the baton of Sara Penicka-Smith and the 70-strong Macquarie Singers.

My Gerard Gilet concert classical guitar My Gerard Gilet concert classical guitar

I will be playing my Gerard Gilet concert classical. This is the first time I've had the opportunity to hear it in an orchestral setting. The guitar part by Jenkins was conceived as a fretless bass part which he transposes quite literally to the guitar. With the permission and oversight of the conductor Sara Penicka-Smith I took the liberty of adding more voices to some of the parts.

But what surprised me in rehearsal was how well the bottom three strings on this guitar sing melodically. The Gilet gives me awesome control of vibrato range and speed plus tone colour, and allows the guitar to blend in really well with the ensemble, speaking out when required.

So, be there or be square!

Bookings here