Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer Festivals '09

It was quite a busy summer. I went to Europe twice within the course of 2 months, amongst a few other more local events. This last journey was quite a thrill. I went to Brno in the Czech Republic again for their festival; the second time I've been invited to go. It's a beautiful place with wonderful people.

my concert in Brno ...with Vladislav Blaha (middle) and friends.

Then on to the UK and the West Dean Guitar Festival with the Quartet. West Dean college is near the town of Chichester, about an hour's train ride south of London. I was completely taken by the surroundings of this estate, with some of the most beautiful landscapes and gardens one could ever see. I had a difficult time staying indoors. The weather was cool and breezy, and the sheep (numbering, I hear, around 2,000) were the perfect captive audience for practicing. I would go here again any time, and most certainly will!

West Dean College

Gerald Garcia trying out a guitar - John Dearman and Gerald, 2 iPhone masters!

my audience at intermission...

panoramic shot taken from my practice bench

Alfonso Montes and Gerald. I think they know each other.

with John Mills, artistic director of the West Dean festival

At the Chichester train station headed to London Stansted airport.

Then it was off to Hersbruck, Germany, and then to Poznan, Poland to round off the trip. All in all, great people, wonderful friends, incredible locations...but it's good to be home as well.

Hersbruck: Eli Kassner and Leo Brouwer, two legends in the guitar kingdom. Maestro Brouwer is celebrating his 70th birthday this year.

In Hersbruck with luthier Toni Mueller.