Lauded as one of today’s most accomplished classical guitarists, multiple GRAMMY Award-winner Sharon Isbin expertly balances technical virtuosity and lyrical depth. She has played with over 200 orchestras at esteemed venues around the world. Isbin will perform the works of eight composers at the Ent Center for the Arts, including Tan Dun’s “Seven Desires for Guitar,” written for Isbin in 2002. Mary Lou Humphrey wrote for the piece’s premiere:
“The whimsical, multi-movement collage Seven Desires for Guitar (2002) is the solo piece spawned from Tan’s guitar concerto Yi2, likewise written for, premiered, and recorded by Sharon Isbin (Teldec Classics). Conceived as a ‘counterpoint of styles,’ Yi2 had blended and contrasted the different traditions, relationships, and characteristics of two plucked instruments- Spain’s flamenco guitar and China’s pipa (lute). A ‘cultural counterpoint’ developed within the concerto’s solo part itself, which was no longer coherent as either flamenco or pipa music; it had been transformed by the mingling and exchange of these distinct cultural traditions. Something entirely new had been created which didn’t echo tradition, but nevertheless retained the shadow of its roots.”
“In ‘Seven Desires,’ Tan spins this idea into a musical mini-drama: the guitar now “desires” to become a pipa. It emulates the pipa’s sound by bending pitches microtonally; it uses a wealth of articulation techniques to sculpt and color individual notes expressively, in a typically Asian manner. Metaphorically, the guitar desires not just to emulate the pipa, but to achieve oneness with it, perhaps even an erotic union.”
UCCS Presents is proud to bring Isbin’s extraordinary musical talent to the Shockley-Zalabak stage as part of the Artist Series’ first season. Tickets are still available for this Celebrity Recital performance, co-presented with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, on April 10.