Ana Vidovic is an extraordinary talent with formidable gifts taking her place amongst the elite musicians of the world today. She is known for her beautiful tone, precise technique, well-defined phrasing and thoughtful artistry and musicianship.
Her international performance career includes frequent recitals, concerto engagements and festival appearances in most of Europe’s cultural destinations including Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, London, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Salzburg, Vienna, Warsaw and Zagreb. Her tours have also taken her to Australia, Brazil, Israel, Japan, Korea and Mexico. Equally impressive is the fact that she has recorded 6 CDs. Mel Bay Publications has released Ana Vidovic’s DVD entitled “Guitar Artistry in Concert,” a journey through the music of Torroba, Piazzolla and Pierre Bensusan, Sergio Assad, Stanley Myers, Villa-Lobos and Agustin Barrios Mangoré, and “Guitar Virtuoso,” a performance of works by Bach, Torroba, Paganini and Walton,
During recent seasons Ms. Vidovic’s prolific career has taken her to London where she has performed at King’s Place twice; Bordeaux and Paris, Carthage (Tunesia), Cuenca (Equador), Vienna’s Musikverein, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Avezzano and Pescara (Italy), Aachen, Ansbach and Ettlingen (Germany), Japan, Sao Paulo (Brazil), Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney (Australia), Hong Kong, Bulle (Switzerland), Uppsala (Sweden), Istanbul, Tel Aviv, in addition to the Canadian cities of Calgary, Edmonton Kitchener Toronto and Winnipeg, She has performed throughout the U.S. at major performance venues in Austin, Baltimore, Bethesda (The Strathmore), Boston, Champaign, IL (Krannert Center), Cleveland, Dallas, Dayton, Ft. Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Portland (OR), St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Fe, Seattle, Washington, DC and New York City where Ms. Vidovic has performed in recital at the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes College of Music, Baruch College as well as at the 92nd St. Y. Her dazzling concerto performances have taken place with the Asheville Symphony, Bangor Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Evansville Philharmonic, Glacier Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Idaho Falls Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, Knoxville Symphony, Missoula Symphony, Rogue Valley Symphony (Oregon), Westmoreland Symphony (PA), West Virginia Symphony, Wheeling Symphony Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra; and with the Slovene Orchestra and Zagreb Philharmonic. Festival appearances include Le Domaine Forget (Quebec), International Guitar Festival (London), Big Sky, Montana, Caramoor Festival (Katonah, NY), Colorado Music Festival and Lake Tahoe Summerfest.
Ms. Vidovic’s 2017-18 season included recitals in Germany (Baden-Baden), Jeunesse Musicale (Vienna), Hong Kong, Peoria IL, Chicago, Washington, DC (Marlowe Guitar Series), Los Angeles, and Jacksonville (FL) and a concerto engagement with the Idaho Falls Symphony, in addition to a tour to Japan where she performs almost annually. Her 2018-19 season begins with an appearance at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge followed by concertos with Washington, DC’s Apollo Orchestra and Orchestra Iowa. Further recitals take place in New York City (New York City Classical Guitar Society), Boston, Washington, DC,. (Dumbarton Oaks), Austin, Cleveland, San Francisco and the Hawaiian Islands in addition to London, Baden-Baden and a tour to Japan.
Ms. Vidovic has won an impressive number of prizes and international competitions including first prizes in the Albert Augustine International Competition in Bath, England, the Fernando Sor competition in Rome, Italy and the Francisco Tarrega competition in Benicasim, Spain. Other top prizes include the Eurovision Competition for Young Artists, Mauro Giuliani competition in Italy, Printemps de la Guitare in Belgium and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. In Croatia, the guitarist has performed Symphony Orchestra of the Croatian Radio and Television, as well as having been featured in three television documentaries by the eminent Croatian film director Petar Krelja.
Ana Vidovic comes from the small town of Karlovac near Zagreb, Croatia, and started playing guitar at the age of 5. At age 7, she gave her first public performance and at the age of 11 she was performing internationally. She became the youngest student at age 13 to attend the prestigious National Musical Academy in Zagreb where she studied with Professor Istvan Romer. Ms. Vidovic’s reputation in Europe led to an invitation to study with Manuel Barrueco at the Peabody Conservatory from which she graduated.
It was a pleasure having Ana, she is a fabulous talent!
Looking forward to another performance in the spring 🙂
Co Founder | Managing Member
(Le) Poisson Rouge
September 12, 2018
We had a wonderful weekend with Ana!
It was a pleasure to work with her and her playing was absolutely beautiful.
Amanda Meliosky, Artistic Planning Manager
North Carolina Symphony
June 23, 2018
Ms. Vidovic’s performance was nothing short of sublime. She demonstrated a complete command of the instrument, effortlessly ripping off long runs with great power and precision and juxtaposing them with the most delicate, feather light decrescendos and ritardandos. In between, she played every other nuance and subtlety imaginable. I had watched and studied many many hours of her playing on video and had been blown away. When I saw it all live from less than 10 feet away, it was hard to believe it was real. What power. What grace. What intricacy.
Personally, Ms. Vidovic was sweet as pie as we say in the South. Everyone was astounded at her amazing level of modesty. Not an ounce of arrogance. Not a drop of ego. She seemed genuinely uncomfortable accepting compliments, though I’m sure she’s received 10,000 of them or more. She introduced herself to my mother as simply “Ana” with such understatement that my mother thought she was just a friend of mine who came to see someone else perform. I got the fun of saying, “No, Mom, I don’t think you understand, this is the world’s greatest guitarist.”
Douglas W. Ackerman
May 11, 2018
Ana is AMAZING! People came from all over Florida, as well as Turks & Cacaos and Costa Rica to see her! Many of our patrons mentioned that this was one of the best Concerts of the Season – which ends the end of May. We are so honored that we had the pleasure of having Ana at Friday Musicale.
May 4, 2018
“The audience was amazed by the impressive talent of Ana and her humility, she is an amazing person and her concert was spectacular.”
International “Ricardo Castro” Festival
March 30 and 31, 2018
“We were so happy having Ana in Idaho Falls! She was so easy going and enjoyable to work with, I hope to work with her again in the future. Her masterclass was well attended and I thought she was able to offer unique insights into the students’ playing. She seems like a very natural teacher! With the orchestra we had a very easy time, the Rodrigo came together seamlessly due to her great musicianship and mastery of the work. The performance was flawless as far as I was concerned, it was deeply satisfying for me and I hope Ana enjoyed it, too. Our audience reaction was over the top, we have been hearing lots praise and accolades.”
Music Director and Conductor
Idaho Falls Symphony, Idaho Falls (ID)
Feb. 10, 2018
“The concert was very nice – the audience was amazed, from the playing of course and Anas pleasant presentation.
It was uncomplicated to work with Ana!”
Laura Hager, MA
Jeunesse – Musikalische Jugend Österreichs
November 24, 2017
“We were extremely pleased with the overall outcome. We knew that Ana would be amazing and charming as usual, but we didn’t know what type of audience we would get since we were still recovering from the storm. The concert was a tremendous success, it was completely sold out and people loved her performance. I also must thank both of you for agreeing to the TV interview, that meant a lot!”
Federico Musgrove Stetson, D. M. A.
President & Executive Director
Florida guitar foundation
October 26, 2017
“Huge success – she is a pro.”
October 21, 2017
“Thanks so much for spending time with our Bradley family last weekend. In the course of a short visit and much conversation, I forgot to say a simple thank you for a wonderful concert. All of us are very grateful for the concert experience and valuable insights from the master class.”
October 21, 2017
Everyone was blown away by the performance. Everyone! A number of people remarked that they had never heard such clear, precise playing, and such beautiful interpretation. She absolutely knocked this performance out of the park.
And she was wonderful with her coaching of the three students during the master class. Her comments were “spot on”. And she really connected with the three young adults. They listened, understood, and began to execute, which was great to see.
Please extend my very sincere thanks to Ana for her help in making this scholarship fundraiser a huge success. It was a pleasure to host her in Los Angeles.
Brian L. Payne, P. E.
EDM Services, Inc.
Simi Valley, California 93063
April 29, 2017
June 4, 2016
“The featured artist was guitarist Ana Vidovic. Born in Croatia, she is an international soloist based in the US. Her mastery of the guitar is mesmerizing. The sounds, rich and full in every dynamic from forte to pianissimo, captured the audience.
She played a varied program, much of it virtuoso guitar works and ending with the familiar such as Granada. I purchased one of her CDs and cannot stop listening to it.”
Dayton Public Radio – fundraiser
April 15, 2016
Ana Vidovic’s concert was stunning! We heard raves from the audience Friday night, and have received some wonderful emails praising Ms. Vidovic’s performance.
Performance Santa Fe
January 31, 2015
Ms. Vidovic’s concert was spectacular. She ended up having a sold out performance the week of – and I could definitely see why! The patrons were pouring in and I could sense that everyone’s expectations of the performance were high and those expectations were met by Ana’s performance.
I was so impressed by the ease of her conveying a wide range of dynamics, especially of softer and gentler passages which were plentiful in Torroba and Mozart. Her phrases were impeccable, every note was clean and precise, even during the most ornamental and technically demanding passages. I’ve never heard guitar music that was so convincing in bringing out artistic nuances that make classical guitar such a uniquely wonderful art form to experience – she really was the epitome of what classical guitar should sound like – I was blown away.
I also appreciated how poised and elegant she looked and in how she spoke to the audience after her first piece. She really made the audience feel comfortable and it was clear how much she valued stage presence and presentation and how that connection heightens the audience’s experience.
I do hope we bring Ms. Vidovic back for a future performance! The community loves her!
Corey Glenton, Marketing Coordinator, Northwestern University Bienen School of Music
Ana’a concert was mesmerizing, splendid, breathtaking – you name it. There are many superlatives that come to mind.
She is truly an artist with a deep sense of the matter – her Walton Bagatelles were my favorite – astounding interpretation.
Thank you for helping her to come to Sarasota again with hopefully many more visits in the future.
Thomas Koch, President, Guitar Sarasota
Ana was wonderful to our students and faculty. Her performance was brilliant. She is a consummate professional. Thank you for arranging her visit. I believe she is one of the truly elite players. Her presentation and master class were very classy and she uplifted the students with encouragement. Several faculty, staff and students have commented to me what a great impression she made on them. (September, 2013)
Michael Hull, Bradley University
Ana was simply wonderful.
Her playing was strong, confident, beautifully crafted and technically immaculate. She looked and sounded great.
She is also a genuinely nice person.
Tom Kerstens, Artistic Director & CEO IGF (International Guitar Foundation)
London Guitar Festival
Bath Guitar Festival
North East Guitar Festival
Ana was really lovely to work with. In the concerto she was a sensitive and astute soloist, with natural musical instincts. In addition to the musical work onstage, her appearance for the donor event exuded a warm spirit. Several people remarked about her openness and engaging personality. Ms. Vidovic proved a consummate professional. It was indeed the orchestra’s and my pleasure to collaborate with her during this special week in Wheeling.
Music Director, Wheeling Symphony
Ana was a DREAM to work with. She is a consumate artist first and foremost. I’ve played the Concierto de Aranjuez with many guitarists, including Angel Romero and Manuel Barrueco (Ana’s teacher), and no one has played it better than she. Not only was she rhythmically solid (NOT a given with guitar soloists!), but she played so musically — and technically flawlessly. I have never heard our audience as absolutely quiet as they were for the 2nd mvt of the Aranjuez – for the ENTIRE movement you could hear a pin drop. And, while I was offstage for her encore, I could tell that it was mesmorizing. Diane, Ana is the TOTAL package, and at a much more reasonable fee than the aforementioned guitartists. You should recommend her to all your conductors for starters — and feel free to share my remarks with any and all of them. We couldn’t have asked for a better opening night!
Thanks, Alfred (Savia)
It was such a pleasure to work with Ana in Knoxville. She was a joy to work with onstage, as well as in our pre-concert presentations to the audience and our interactions with donors and supporters at a reception following the performance. I was very impressed with her grace and poise, confidence, musicianship and warm collaboration. She brought the music to life and had strong opinions about the piece balanced with a good amount of flexibility and collaborative spirit. I certainly hope to work with her again – it was a pleasure.
Regarding the Ana Vidovic master class at Allied Music Instructors with the Knoxville Bella Corda. (The Knoxville Bella Corda is a performing group of advancing young guitar students at our school). Ana was wonderful with our students; she provided great technical pointers, encouragement, and her playing was a great inspiration to them. Every student gave very positive feedback about the experience.
Allied Music Instructors/Knoxville, TN (March, 2013)
I just wanted to let you know what a pleasure it was to have guitarist Ana Vidovic with us for our season opening concert this past weekend. This was our first opportunity to work with Ms. Vidovic. We found her to be highly professional, friendly, and accommodating. I asked her to attend a post-concert reception and meet with donors, which she did. She was gracious and warm to our Board and donors, and charmed everybody she met. Also at my request, she made a small stage announcement prior to her encore regarding an education program of the TSO this is in its 15th year this season. Finally, and most importantly, she is a fine artist. Her performance of the Rodrigo concerto was powerful, contemplative, and impeccable. With her playing, there is no nonsense, no flash, no histrionics – just a deeply talented artist who clearly loves her instrument and is completely absorbed in the task of musical expression. Her artistry is of a depth one would not expect in such a young performer. We were delighted to have her with us and ask that you pass on to her our appreciation.
— Sincerely, Andrew C. Buelow
Executive Director, Tacoma Philharmonic October, 2010
“Ana’s recital was a total pleasure, from her superb musicianship to her warm personality, which shined during both the concert and the post-recital conversation. The audience responded enthusiastically to each piece and kept encouraging her to continue after she completed the program and two encores.”
— Lockwood Hoehl
Baltimore Chamber Orchestra
Thank you for the work you did to bring Ana to Interlochen again this summer. She is, without doubt, one of the finest classical guitarists performing today. She has been recognized in the past for having incredible technical facility, which she still has, but now she has really emerged as a sensitive, thoughtful artist as well. Her performance of the Castelnuovo-Tedesco to open her concert was simply breathtaking! That is a very challenging work for both the performer and the audience and I have never heard it played better. To shorten the email, I will say the the rest of the program followed suit! Overall, I felt that her playing leaves nothing to be desired. Beautiful tone, precise technique, well defined phrasing, and extremely thoughtful artistry and musicianship. Then, she really added a lot to our panel discussion. She was there along with several seasoned performers and had responses to the audience questions that were well crafted, to the point, and very enlightening. She was the same in the masterclasses – all the students who performed were very impressed. Because she is young, I didn’t honestly expect the classes and panel discussion to be one of her strengths, but she was very comfortable and really had a great deal to offer.
So, she was a star in every facet of this festival. She will no doubt shine for many years in many concert halls and classrooms and I hope to bring her back to Michigan as often as is possible.
— Dr. Brad DeRochel
Music Department, Guitar
University Center, Michigan
Review: Ana Vidovic delivers flawless performance to open Fort Worth Classic Guitar Society’s new season.
FORT WORTH The Beatles have long been “classic.” But the opening concert of the Fort Worth Classic Guitar Society’s 2016-17 season, which featured Croatian guitarist Ana Vidovic, made them “classical.”
Sir Paul McCartney shared the bill with J.S. Bach in an outstanding recital at the Kimbell Art Museum’s Piano Pavilion that also trotted out works by a couple of Spanish greats and Bach contemporary Domenico Scarlatti.
The performance opened with Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1, lovingly transcribed by Croatian cellist Valter Despalj. Vidovic, who has been presented by the society twice before, musically floated, danced and mused as she glided through the six-movement suite. Perhaps most impressive was how well she articulated the myriad voices Bach wrote into this work for a single instrument.
Review – Catch a RisingStar, Discover Classical, Boonshoft Museum, June 4, 2016; DCDC. Street Beats, June 11, 2016.
The Discover Classical’s gala fundraiser, Catch a Rising Star, and the Jewish Cultural Festival shared an unique natural phenomenon. Saturday and Sunday of last week were both beset with strange weather. Drenching rain came suddenly, did its disturbance, and then like an uninvited guest, departed and all returned to normal. The Boonshoft Museum and all roads leading to it were inundated with sheets of rain. Nevertheless, Dayton Public Radio’s ardent supporters
The featured artist was guitarist Ana Vidovic. Born in Croatia, she is an international soloist based in the US. Her mastery of the guitar is mesmerizing. The sounds, rich and full in every dynamic from forte to pianissimo, captured the audience. She played a varied program, much of it virtuoso guitar works and ending with the familiar such as Granada. I purchased one of her CDs and cannot stop listening to it.
Illinois Phil begins promising new chapter in its history
November 16, 2012|John von Rhein | Classical music critic
The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra is somewhat ahead of the curve, having installed a new music director, David Danzmayr, in time to launch the orchestra’s 35th season last weekend at Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center in south suburban Frankfort. He succeeded Carmon DeLeone, who retired from the orchestra at the end of last season.
The gifted, 32-year-old Austrian conductor brings solid European experience to his post, including three years as assistant conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He inherited a good orchestra and clearly intends to make the Chicago southland’s largest performing arts organization even better. The musical yield at Saturday’s season opener suggested he is already on his way and confirmed the wisdom of the orchestra’s choice.
Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” proved a congenial solo vehicle for the talented young Croatian guitarist Ana Vidovic. Every guitarist plays this tunefully nostalgic tribute to Old Spain, but few make more of its dancing rhythms or bring out more of the dreamy, improvisatory haze of the slow movement. Ricardo Castaneda did well with the famous English horn solo.
EVANSVILLE — Saturday evening’s concert by the EPO, the first of the season, was an evening for revisiting old friends, music that is simply great fun to hear. Every concert can’t feature the Brahms 4th or the Missa Solemnis; there is a huge amount of perfectly wonderful music in the classic repertoire that exists just for the joy of hearing, and this concert was a full evening of it, all with a Spanish flavor. The centerpiece of the concert was guitarist Ana Vidovic’s nuanced performance of Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez,” the best known and most often played guitar concerto ever written. There is simply no other piece in the repertoire for guitar and orchestra which is familiar to audiences as this one is, so a soloist benefits from playing something which the audience wants to hear, but runs the risk that their version of the piece may suffer by comparison with other guitarists of note. Ms. Vidovic has nothing to worry about. It was quite wonderful. From the familiar opening strumming to the last note, Ms. Vidovic brought a warmth of tone and a tremendous expressiveness to the music, effortlessly tossing off the quicksilver runs and more than balancing her sound with the orchestra. For her encore, she played the ferociously difficult “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” of Francisco Tarrega, a piece which gives guitarists fits. It’s a standard piece for classical guitarists, but it demands superb technique and sensitivity like Ms. Vidovic’s to make it really sing, and sing it did. She could have repeated it over and over for the rest of the night, for my money. All in all, it was a real pleasure to hear Ms. Vidovic, and a nice way to kick off fall in Evansville. While gray skies and winter’s final chill were stubbornly resisting the onset of spring last weekend, inside the Tennessee Theatre was a different story altogether. TheKnoxville Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Kelly Corcoran were visiting sunnier climes, basking in the warmth and vitality of Spanish composers, Spanish dances, and Spanish flavor—and taking listeners on one of the more refreshing journeys of the season, complete with some truly sublime music-making. The featured soloist of the evening was Croatian-born guitarist Ana Vidovic, who joined Corcoran and the KSO for Joaquin Rodrigo’s 1939 work for guitar and orchestra, Concierto de Aranjuez. The Tennessee Theatre stage warmed considerably when Vidovic entered in a sun-yellow gown probably intended to augment the impression of a sun-drenched locale. In fact, though, her marvelous performance needed no help in achieving a stunning blend of virtuosic string effects, delicious guitar nuances, and solid, rich tone. The only help that was apparently necessary was amplification for the guitar, making possible a balance with the orchestra, albeit a bit unnaturally. Even then, I feared I might have missed some of Vidovic’s incredibly subtle muted string work.
By any standard, this was one of the most consistently fine performances put on by our local orchestra in modern memory.
The Missoulian May 9, 2011 JOE NICKELL
After the brief overture, the orchestra was joined by Vidovic, who glided onto the stage in a floor-length dress of swirling black and white. For much of the first movement of Joaquín Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez,” her playing seemed to reflect her color choices: high in contrast, sharp in definition. Her eyes cast down on her speeding fingers, she bobbed her head to the beat, at times overemphasizing the driving pulse of the music.
The concerto’s jaunty and melodically thin first movement calls for more than just good articulation – and the orchestra gave much in that regard, providing a colorful and nuanced accompaniment. Still, as seems often the case in performances of this piece, the movement ultimately seemed little more than a prelude to the justly famous second movement. But any sense of perfunctory playing in the first movement was completely swept aside in the ruminative, flowing music that followed. As Vidovic stretched and twisted the guitar’s dreamy melodies, the orchestra wafted around her like a halo. English horn soloist Jennifer Gookin Cavanaugh responded sensitively to Vidovic’s every searching gesture; and the orchestra’s strings provided beautiful echoes and elaborations throughout, climaxing in a gorgeous utterance of restrained longing before fading to breathtaking silence. Against that standard, almost any performance of the third movement – which, like the first, lacks for strong thematic material – would seem anticlimactic. Yet both orchestra and soloist gave it a strong reading, with snappy and seemingly effortless articulation of the tricky rhythms.
The ‘Wunderkind’ of classical guitar
9 March 2009 by Johabbes Hillje ISTANBUL – The audience at the opening of the “Guitar Days” at the Akbank Art Center in Istanbul on Thursday could see her passion without any doubt. One of the youngest and most talented virtuoso guitarists in the world, Ana Vidovic from Croatia, gave an outstanding performance. One of the youngest and most talented virtuoso guitarists in the world, Ana Vidovic from Croatia, opened this year’s “Guitar Days” at the Akbank Art Center in Istanbul on Thursday. The audience at the opening could see her passion without any doubt. Her face expressed the total surrender to her instrument as she presented her different styles. Having started with a Spanish repertoire including Federico Moreno Torrobo, Vidovic continued with modern pieces by William Walton and Rex Willis. She mastered all these styles with her sensitive treatment of the strings of her guitar. Vidovic started to play the guitar at the age of 5 and performed for the first time in front of an international audience when she was 11. Later she became the youngest student at the National Musical Academy in Zagreb and at the age of 21 she had already won an impressive number of prizes and international competitions around the world. These include first prizes in the Albert Augustine International Competition in Bath, England, and the Fernando Sor competition in Rome. To date, Vidovic released six CDs and one DVD. Musical family In an interview with Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Vidovic said her musical environment in her youth was a driving factor for her career. “My whole family was musicians, so things developed naturally from the beginning.” Soon, her older brother Victor, who is now a well-known classical guitarist too, became her idol. She said seeing him play inspired her to play her own songs. “At a certain point I had to make a decision,” Vidovic said. “Becoming a professional guitarist means no normal childhood, no going out and of course, lots of practice. But I felt that this is what I really want to do.” Introducing the new Although classical music is not particularly popular among European youth, growing up in Zagreb supported her musical development. “Classical guitar is quite popular in Croatia and therefore I could already visit many concerts during my youth.” At 28, however, Vidovic still faces the stereotype that classical music is just for a certain class and age. “I say, just come and listen. Classical music is not about education or behaving and dressing in a certain way,” she said. By presenting a repertoire that mixes styles such as blues and rock, Vidovic said she tries to bring something new to her genre and overcome these prejudices. “It’s a huge task, but through the way you act on stage, change is possible.” Since Vidovic moved to the United States and graduated from the Peabody Conservatory, where she worked together with the influential Cuban guitarist Manuel Barrueco, the petite guitarist has been touring the world. Having performed in most European countries as well as in South America and many places in the United States, recently Vidovic has been playing with orchestras. She said performing in Russia and more collaboration with orchestras are her future dreams. Vidovic’s desire for the guitar seems to be everlasting. “I cannot image not playing the guitar one day. It gives me something really special. When I’m playing, it feels like I’m in a different place,” she said.
Guitarist makes magic with Rodrigo Concerto
The Saturday Gazette-Mail Jan. 31, 2008 David Williams I have nothing bad to say about the way the usual combinations of soloist with orchestra work. In the 21st century, as in the 20th, a pianist or a violinist, sometimes a cellist, maybe — rarely — a violist or wind player, plays a concerto. The world is full of gifted soloists. The repertoire is stuffed with great concertos. No complaints. But when orchestras step into more unusual areas of the concerted literature, the results can be magical. Such was the case Friday night when the guitarist Ana Vidovic joined with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra in Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez.”
Vidovic muscled her way through the piece in the muscular way of ballet dancers: lithely and poised. The piece begins just with the guitar, in Spanish dance rhythm, so the soloist can really grab the audience and draw them in. She did it magically with a gorgeous sound and finely pointed rhythm. From there it was one wonder after the next. The conductor Grant Cooper had the orchestra playing transparently (Vidovic did use a small amplifier to boost the slight instruments sound), and the woodwinds and strings were particularly vibrant in playing against the guitarist’s nimble passagework and multihued timbres.
The slow movement sounded lush from Lora Snow’s initially English horn solo through the piquant modernity of the central section. The wide-ranging variations that Vidovic played of the opening tune were striking. The finale — think cubist-Stravinsky meets Bach in Madrid — had zest and dazzle from Vidovic. Cooper found extra clarity in the orchestra’s playing.
If Vidovic and the Rodrigo had been alone on the program, it would have been worth a ticket.
Cooper and the orchestra also played a brilliant performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Overture: “The Great Russian Easter” and a hearty account of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major.
|Castillos de España (Castles of Spain) Puertas de Madrid (Gates of Madrid) Preludio Vieja Leyenda|
Altiplanos (Pierre Benususan)