Grammy Award-Winning Classical Guitarist 'Plays' at Glema Center
Grammy Award-winning classical guitarist Jason Vieaux performs next Tuesday at 7:30 at Madisonville Community College's Glema Mahr Center for the Arts. At the age of 19, Vieaux won the Guitar Foundation of America's International Competition. He's also the first classical musician featured on NPR's Tiny Desk series, having fostered a long relationship with public radio from playing on Performance Today. He speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about his early training, his experience winning a Grammy and his upcoming show in Madisonville.
Jason Vieaux's mother bought him a 3/4 size classical guitar when he was five. At a young age, he constantly listened to his parents' records: modern jazz, soul, R&B, rock. A few years later, the Buffalo Guitar Quartet visited his school and his mother - who worked in the library at the time - asked one of the members if he would give her son private lessons. At the age of 7 or 8, Vieaux says, he began lessons and started to learn the language of classical music.
As an artist, he says he's drawn to the contrast between exuberance and calm. In his concerts, he tries to hit those emotional and volume extremes. With his Gernot Wagner guitar. he's able to reach a good range and tries to draw the listener in with the emotions he's able to express through the instrument.
Vieaux's album Play won the 2015 Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo. Since 2001, he's been the head of the Guitar Department at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2011, he co-founded the Classical Guitar Department at the Curtis Institute of Music. He's also involved in an artist works program online, teaching people how to play the classical guitar.
For his performance at the Glema Center, he plans to have a traditional classical program in the first half. In the second half, he'll be featuring things from Play, some music from his Latin American repertoire and some jazz arrangements.