A classic approach 

Daniel Bolshoy delivers classical guitar to new audiences

"You have access to music from hundreds of years ago right to music in this moment." Daniel Bolshoy on the classical guitar's fascination, photo submitted
  • "You have access to music from hundreds of years
    ago right to music in this moment." Daniel Bolshoy
    on the classical guitar's fascination, photo submitted

What: Classical guitar concert

Who: Daniel Bolshoy

When: Friday, Jan. 19, 8 p.m.

Where: MY Millennium Place

Tickets: $22, $19

By Nicole Fitzgerald

The guitar always fascinated Israeli-born Daniel Bolshoy.

He loved how the electric guitar was always front and centre in any of his favourite heavy metal bands.

“It really didn’t need anything around it,” Bolshoy said of the electric guitar. “It could stand on its own. (As a guitarist), you could do everything yourself. So I went from there… I really like the classical guitar because the music is very intimate and passionate at the same time. It’s varied. You have access to music from hundreds of years ago right to music in this moment. You feel like you are a part of something.”

Bolshoy will bring his classical guitar strummings to MY Millennium Place Friday, Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. as part of the Whistler Arts Council’s Performance Series.

Bolshoy is a solo and chamber music performer who has graced numerous orchestra stages. His recitals are regularly broadcast on CBC radio and he also performed at numerous prestigious recital venues, such as the Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts, National Art Centre and Vancouver’s Chan Centre.

Recent orchestral appearances include keeping company with the Mexico City Philharmonic, Toronto Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony, Vancouver Philharmonic, Peterborough Symphony, and the Manitoba and Ottawa Chamber Orchestras, just to name a few.

“I really like the variety of it,” said the current Montreal resident of his multiple musical partners.

Variety also means taking his classical guitar teachings into the classroom as both a guitar teacher at Concordia University and performance artist at elementary and high schools. Bolshoy will perform at Whistler schools in addition to his evening theatre concert.

“Because the guitar is not as well known as the violin or classical piano, I feel it is part of my mission to conquer new audiences for the instrument, and future audiences,” he said. “It was such a wonderful discovery for me. I want to give the same experience to school children and audiences that aren’t necessarily familiar with the classical guitar.”

In addition to the music, Bolshoy will also introduce information on the musical pieces, the composers’ lives and how scores came to be. Passion, humour and sincerity weave their way into the magical night of insight and music reverie.

“Daniel Bolshoy is a most engaging young guitarist,” said Eric Friesen of CBC Radio. “He’s a terrific player, an entertaining performer, with matinee idol good looks. He’s the whole passionate package.”

Bolshoy’s passions keenly tune into the strumming of Spanish, Brazilian, Italian and Latin American composers. Instead of flashy music, he opts for more personal and atmospheric tones.

“I really like those cultures,” he said. “When you think of Spain, you imagine a strumming guitar at a bull fight. It has the same influence in Latin America and Brazil. It’s a very musical country. They just came up with a lot of guitar music. What draws me to classical guitar, what draws me to Spanish, is the strong folk element to it. It’s not at all pretentious. It’s fun. I relate to that style. I can talk about it and not feel I am saying something wrong. It’s not academic at all. It’s popular and expressive.”

Just because the sound is modest and without ornate frivolity that doesn’t mean Bolshoy’s colossal finger work won’t shine and bedazzle.

“If you want to be intimidating, play another instrument,” he said. “Every popular music of every culture uses the guitar. It makes an immediate connection with audiences everywhere. When you add the level of development that classical music does, listening to music work its way out for 10 to 20 minutes, it’s really engaging, not intimidating. It’s not a full orchestra.”

Bolshoy will draw from a repertoire of lesser-known as well as mainstream gems for the show, although he admits that to most people classical guitar music is all lesser known.

“Our mainstream is still obscure,” he laughed. “When I put together a program, I include a combination of well known pieces with lesser known ones, but none of these are top 40 radio.”

He will play classical favourites by Agustin Barrios, Enrique Granados, Ernesto Lecuona, Clark Ross, Antonio Jose and Sergio Assad.

Tickets are $22 for adults and $19 for students and seniors. For tickets, call MY Place at 604-935-8410 or visit ticketmaster.ca.

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