This wunderkind’s fingers have been on a guitar since age 4.
by Richard Newsham, VMF consultant
25-year-old guitar prodigy Andrea Roberto from Foggia (in Southern Italy’s Apulia)—the Gold Medalist at the fifth quadrennial Parkening International Guitar Competition in 2019—returns to California to demonstrate the musicianship that won him this coveted title for the world’s preeminent guitar competition during the 2021 Ventura Music Festival live concert on Sunday, July 25, at 3 pm, at the Pacifica High School’s Performing Arts Center at, 600 E Gonzales Rd, in Oxnard.
This wunderkind’s fingers have been on a guitar since age 4, under his father’s tutelage, followed by admission at 9 and graduation at 14 from the Conservatorio di Musica Umberto Giordano under Sandro Torlontano. Andrea then followed teacher Aniello Desiderio from Naples to the International Academy of Koblenz in Germany. The young guitarist completed his studies at the Conservatory of Maastricht (Netherlands) with the teacher Carlo Marchione.
His artistic career includes performances throughout Europe, Mexico, South America and the United States, including the 14-guitar-festival tour of the European Euro String Project, radio broadcasts and first prizes at eight international competitions. In 2017 he recorded his first CD “El Viaje de la guitarra italiana” (JSG Records).
His ambitious and wide ranging VMF program opens with 19th century Italian guitar virtuoso Mauro Giuliani’s dazzling “Grande Ouverture, Op. 61” followed by five “Suite in D” dances from German Renaissance composer Michael Praetorius’ 300 piece collection “Terpsichore”; and three virtuosic dance tunes by Renaissance composer and lutenist John Dowland: “The Frog Galliard”—inspired by Queen Elizabeth’s last official suitor for marriage, the small pox disfigured but excellent dancer Duc d’Alençon—“Sir John Smith His Almain” and “Allemande” from “Pleasures of their Company” (Kathleen Battle and Christopher Parkening). Sublime transcriptions of Bach’s “Chaccone”—“one of the greatest pieces of music ever written” (says violinist Joshua Bell) and chorale “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” precede intermission followed by Spanish-inspired classical guitar repertoire masterpieces by Joaquin Rodrigo “Fandango,” Isaac Albéniz “Córdoba” and “Sevilla,” Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco “Escarraman” selections and Francisco Tárrega “Variations on Paganini’s The Carnival of Venice.”
Don’t miss this rare “rapt music” performance by a young guitar genius at the Ventura Music Festival’s Sunday matinee finale!
Tickets and details for this 100% vaccinated event at www.venturamusicfestival.org.