Saturday, 22 October 2016 at 4pm
Cantref Church, Brecon LD3 8LR
Towards Bach and Beyond
Guitar evolutions – 600 years of plucked music
In this unique recital, Gerard Cousins will trace a path towards J.S.Bach through the lute music of the early Italian Renaissance, John Dowland and the Spanish Vihuelists. Following transcriptions of string music by J.S.Bach and Domenico Scarlatti’s keyboard music Gerard will perform some of his own contemporary compositions and works written specifically for the guitar by John Tavener and Villa-Lobos.
Duration approx. 90 min. with an interval
A graduate of the University of Leeds and Enschede Conservatorium (Netherlands), Gerard Cousins is a classically trained guitarist with a difference. Though trained with a meticulous approach to detailed interpretation and with a composer’s analytical eye for structure, his performances demonstrate a sense of improvisation and clearly communicate his love of the beauty of music and the sound of the guitar.
He has performed in many festivals and concert halls around the world, from the Purcell Room in London to Europe, South America and the Middle East. He has released 4 CDs on his own record label, each one focusing on a different area of music from the more traditional Spanish repertoire to Gerard’s own transcriptions of Welsh music and compositions.
HIs compositions have been featured in ‘Arthouse’ films and are beginning to be picked up by other guitarists around the world. His latest guitar arrangements of choral works by grammy award winning composer Eric Whitacre are due to be published by Chester Music soon.
“expertly played and unlike some unfamiliar music, instantly appealing.” Chester Guitar Circle
Gerard Cousins is a rare beast, a classical player who has broken free front he bounds of his training to make new music. He is technically remarkable… His nylon strings are played with precision and verve…the beauty of the tune and the playing are all that matters. HiFI+
“With The First Beat is the Last Sound, classically trained guitarist Gerard Cousins has taken inspiration from a huge range of influences both reflecting and fusing the traditional music of his homeland (Wales) with his love of Jazz, Indian Classical music and the compositional processes of the American minimalist composers Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Terry Riley. Gerard demonstrates a new style for the nylon strung guitar, instantly likeable but not shallow, reflecting a 21st century approach to writing which bonds different worlds of music not as gimmickry but as an authentic expression of a guitarist who has toured the world geographically as well as musically and wants to take his listneners on the journey with him exploring new sonic territories.” ‘Acoustic’ guitar magazine. Feb.2015
“we were intrigued…impeccable technique….a unique edge” Guitarist magazine
It was a magical experience and my vague doubts about a programme with too large a repertoire of your own compositions proved to be wholly unfounded. Wooburn Festival
Free for under 18s