Emory Report
March 21, 2005
Volume 57, Number 23


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March 21, 2005
Guitarists, violinist to play gypsy/folk program, March 24

By sally corbett &
Nancy condon

Internationally known guitar duo Sérgio and Odair Assad will join forces with daring violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg for a Flora Glenn Candler Series concert in the Schwartz Center’s Emerson Concert Hall on Thursday, March 24, at 8 p.m., marking the Southeast premiere of their highly acclaimed program of gypsy and folk music.

The trio’s wide interpretation of the genre, from gypsy song to tango rhythms, offers music from Argentina, Romania, and beyond. As Emory Coca-Cola Artists in Residence, the Assads and Salerno-Sonnenberg also will offer a free public lecture/demonstration earlier that day at 2:30 p.m.

As children, the Assads’ mandolinist father guided their discovery of Brazilian music. They soon discovered an uncanny ability to play guitar together and studied for seven years with classical guitarist and lutenist Monina Tavora (a former pupil of Andrés Segovia).

The Assads have been credited with reviving interest in both contemporary music for guitar duo and Brazilian guitar music, and for weaving a Brazilian influence into music from all over the world. (The musical virtuosity in the Assad family doesn’t stop with Sérgio and Odair; the Schwartz Center will present the duo’s younger sister, guitarist Badi Assad, during the 2005–06 season.)

The Assads dazzled Emory crowds in November 2002 when they performed with the São Paolo Orchestra in Glenn Auditorium. The brothers’ international career has been highlighted by a 1998 Grammy Award and a 2001 Latin Grammy. For additional biographical information on the Assads and to sample their music, visit www.nonesuch.com/Hi_Band/index_frameset2_alpha.cfm.

Known for her passionate and powerful playing, Salerno-Sonnenberg (www.nadjasalernosonnenberg.com) stands out among violinists. A risk-taker and an energetic presence, she burst onto the music scene in 1981 as the youngest recipient of the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition, and continues performing in the spotlight. She won the 1983 Avery Fisher Career Grant, the 1988 Ovations Debut Recording Artist of the Year and the 1999 Avery Fisher Prize. She is in Who’s Who of American Women and in 1999 received an honorary master’s of musical arts from New Mexico State University, the first honorary degree that university ever awarded.

The collaboration of the Assads with Salerno-Sonnenberg reveals a unique chemistry and amusing interplay. Together they recently released a bestselling album of gypsy music on Nonesuch records. To listen to National Public Radio “All Songs Considered” interview and musical selections by the collaborators, visit www.npr.org/programs/asc/archives/asc03/.

The Emory program will include Sérgio Assad’s Gypsy Songs; Bach’s Sonata in E Major, BWV. 1016; Argentinean Tangos by Piazolla; Ginastera’s Danzas argentines, Chaplin’s Medley; C. Assad’s Three Sketches; and Bartok’s Rumanian Folk Dances.

Tickets are $48; $36 for faculty, staff, alumni and other discount groups; $5 for Emory students. To order tickets or for more information, call 404-727-5050 or visit www.arts.emory.edu.