The Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo, praised by legendary Cuban composer Leo Brouwer as “one of the great duos in the world,” will perform a virtual recital of works by Brouwer, de Falla, Granados and Albeniz, on Saturday, January 30 at 8 PM EST. Presented by the Marlow Guitar International Series, the concert can be accessed through MGI’s website at https://marlowguitar.org/ and is free with donations accepted to benefit MGI, whose mission is to build community through music. Pre-registration is required.
The centerpiece of the recital is the Maryland premiere of Leo Brouwer’s new guitar duet, El Libro de los Seres Imaginarios (The Book of Imaginary Beings). The duo’s recording of this magical work was recognized by BBC Magazine as “a quartet of mythical beasts depicted by Brouwer with wit and imagination and played here with aplomb.” Composed in celebration of the 80th anniversary year of Brouwer, The Book of Imaginary Beings was commissioned by Raritan River Music and dedicated to Newman & Oltman. The four-movement work is based on characters described in Jorge Luis Borges’ The Book of Imaginary Beings. The program also includes Brouwer’s Musica Incidental Campesina – a collection of 4 vignettes combining Cuban folk music with contemporary musical influences, as well as Danza del Molinero by Manuel de Falla, Danza Espanola No. 4 (Villanesca) by Enrique Grandos and Prelude to “Cantos de España” by Isaac Albeniz. Audience members will be invited to participate in a livestreamed discussion/Q&A with the Duo immediately following the concert broadcast.
Hailed as a “revelation to hear” by The Washington Post, the Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo is recognized for their matchless technique, ensemble precision, and innovative programming, combined with their commitment to expanding the repertoire for guitar duo. Widely recognized as an influential ensemble both in the US and abroad, they perform a broad range of repertoire that spans baroque and classical works to Spanish and Latin American rhythms that showcases their diversity.
The Duo’s discography of over 10 titles, including their most recent, The Book of Imaginary Beings (Music Masters Classics 1001) includes the world premiere recording of the Brouwer works on the program. Acoustic Guitar Magazine praised the Duo saying, “Newman & Oltman haven’t lost a beat after four decades together. This vinyl audiophile LP is yet another high-water mark for the outstanding New York–based duo.” In addition to their phenomenal musicianship, they are dedicated to inspiring the next generation of guitar players through their many educational endeavors and are Directors of the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes. They are founders and Artistic Directors of Raritan River Music, which has commissioned works for them from Lowell Liebermann, Pulitzer prize winner Paul Moravec and Augusta Read Thomas among others.