Grammy-winning classical guitarist Jason Vieaux can frequently be heard on 90.9 WGUC. He recently was featured on a new release from Naxos that contains music by Jonathan Leshnoff, including his Guitar Concerto. Jason recorded the piece alongside Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony – his first time with this orchestra. In a recent interview I had with Jason, he told me about how he prepared for this performance.
When I first heard this concerto, the second movement really stood out to me as something special. It’s meant to reflect the Jewish concept of Hod, or humility and features a very stripped-down orchestra so that the guitar soloist can really shine. Jason talked about working closely with the composer while rehearsing this movement in particular. When I listened to the third movement, I was reminded of music by Joaquin Rodrigo. I asked if Rodrigo provided any inspiration for the piece. The guitar is known to be difficult to compose for. We talked about some of his favorites from the traditional guitar repertoire. He first came to play the guitar at a very young age. Of course, I always love hearing the scoop on what these famous artists enjoying doing in their free time. Jason had a terrific answer. Jonathan Leshnoff’s Guitar Concerto featuring Jason Vieaux was recently heard on WGUC’s New at Noon. If you missed it, don’t worry. It’s sure to become a regular in the rotation!