Guitar Festival Brings 'Music of the Americas' to Radford University
"Music and Poetry of the Americas" is the theme for Radford University's 11th International Guitar Festival April 20-22 on campus. The free public event features seven internationally acclaimed guitarists and is expected to draw aficionados from across Virginia and neighboring states.
The festival theme with its south-of-the-equator flavor was born of a "confluence of synchronicities," said Robert Trent, director of guitar studies at the university and the festival's coordinator.
"My own professional activities and the discovery of several expert guitarists, poets and musicologists in the music of South America—and the availability of a superb saxophone and guitar duo from the U.S. —led to 'Music and Poetry of the Americas,' " Trent said.
A classical guitarist, Trent has performed in Venezuela over the past year and will be appearing on the midday WSLS-TV program "Daytime Blue Ridge" at noon Thursday, April 19. This summer, Trent will perform, teach and judge at two international music festivals, one of which is the largest of its kind in South America.
This year's Radford guitar festival highlights are Venezuelan poet and musicologist Alejandro Bruzual in a multimedia presentation of the music and poetry of his native land; Venezuelan guitarist Douglas Esteves; Brazilian guitarist Gilson Antunes; Peruvian guitarist and Naumburg Prize winner Jorge Caballero; the saxophone and guitar duo of Duo Montagnard; poetry readings by RU students; and a community guitar orchestra comprising students from Radford and beyond. The complete performance schedule is available online.
The guitar, Trent said, "is the great equalizer. It not only crosses borders, it also crosses cultural, ethnic, popular and arts-music boundaries."
"Maybe we should even have a guitar program at the United Nations," Trent quipped. "I am a strong advocate of cross-disciplinary learning. That's a primary goal of mine, to bring international scholar-artists into our community, to have them interact with our students and all citizens."
All festival events are at the Performance Hall in the Covington Center for Visual and Performing Arts. The festival is held in conjunction with Radford After Dark, the RU International Education Center and the RU English Club. Registration is required for participation. For more information, call (540) 831-5177.