Cityscape
4:13 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Classical Guitarist Rafael Aguirre Makes St. Louis Debut

Spanish guitarist Rafael Aguirre is not yet 30, but has already won first place honors in 12 of the world’s most prestigious competitions.  He has also performed in many of the greatest concert halls around the world, including New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall, where he has performed twice. 

Another highlight was performing in Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, an important city in musical history as the home of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and Prokofiev.  Aguirre performed in front of 2,000 people in Moscow.  To calm his nerves, he called on his Spanish background, conjuring up the bravado of a toreador. 

“Once you go on stage you really need to forget who you are and just think that you are really a toreador and go for it [with] no fear and just 100% sure about what you are going to do,” Aguirre said.  “This is really the only way that people can actually enjoy your performance.”

Although Aguirre has made several recordings, he really prefers playing in front of an audience, believing that the audience plays an integral part in his performance.  The energy the audience exudes creates a synergy that enhances the performance.  When recording in a studio, Aguirre finds that in a desire to achieve perfection, it is easy to forget that he is playing for people.  And while he knows he needs to record, he feels performing on stage is “more authentic.”

Rafael Aguirre joined host Steve Potter to discuss his career and his St. Louis debut in a concert on the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society’s series on Saturday, March 23. 

During the conversation, Aguirre performed two works: a guitar transcription of Traumeri from Robert Schumann’s Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood) and Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tarrega, one of the most famous pieces in the guitar repertoire.

To conclude the conversation, Aguirre reflected on his career asserting that being a musician is not a job, but a way of life. About his musical goals he said, “If I keep the love for music as fresh as it was when I discovered and fell in love with music … if I keep this all the time, I think this will be the most wonderful goal I can achieve.”

Related Event

St. Louis Classical Guitar Society Presents Rafael Aguirre
Saturday, March 23, 2013
8:00 p.m.
Ethical Society, 9001 Clayton Road
(314) 567-5566

St. Louis Classical Guitar Society Website

Follow St. Louis Public Radio on Twitter - @STLonAir

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