After five decades of entertaining audiences around the globe, world-renowned classical guitarist George Sakellariou still loves making music. Sakellariou will share his immense talent in a rare Northern Nevada appearance on Saturday, April 26, through a partnership between Western Nevada College and the Brewery Arts Center.
Tickets are available at the Brewery Arts Center – box office at 449 W. King St. in Carson City. General admission is $12; $8 for BAC members, seniors and members of the military; and $5 for students. For more information, contact the BAC at 775-883-1976 or www.breweryarts.org.
The 69-year-old native of Athens, Greece, has entertained audiences around the world. He began playing the guitar as a youngster, then trained at the Conservatory of Music in Athens, graduating with honors. By time he was 20, Sakellariou joined the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
He has shared his music with concertgoers from Singapore to Hong Kong, and from Toronto to Rio de Janeiro. He has also appeared at the Kennedy Center concert hall and privately performed for the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
Sakellariou plans to play several new pieces and also offer a tribute to his mentor and protÃ©gÃ©, AndrÃ©s Segovia, during his performance at the BAC. â€œItâ€™s absolutely magical and a tribute to a great master,â€ said Sakellariou. His 2014 concert tour also marks the 50th anniversary of his study with Segovia.
Sakellariou will perform a variety of music from his broad repertoire, including prelude No.1 and Ã‰tude 11 by H. Villa- Lobos, Barcarole and Ã‰tude by Felix Mendelssohn, Gnossienne and Je Te Veux by Erik Satie, Three Spanish Pieces, Serenata Espanola by J. Malats, Petenera by Regino Sainz de la Maza and Asturias by Isaac Albeniz.
â€œI look forward to learning new pieces and perhaps playing old pieces differently, and maybe changing back to the way I played it when I was 25,â€ Sakellariou said.
Segovia was able to play into his 80s, something Sakellariou will do if his health allows.
â€œFor me, Iâ€™m very realistic about life and health. As long as my hands are in good shape, I want to perform,â€ Sakellariou said.
â€œI have a regular set of exercises that stretch out the hands, warm up the hands. I know exactly what I have to do to play well,â€ he said.
Like his mentor Segovia, Sakellariou is giving back to a younger generation of musicians. He teaches at least one day a week to students ranging from beginning-intermediate guitarists to advanced pro guitarists.
The artistâ€™s visit to Carson City is due at least in part to his friendship with Henry Weiner, a recently retired adjunct English instructor at WNC. The two have been friends since the early 1970s, and Weiner has helped arrange concerts for Sakellariou in several states.
Weiner still recalls the day in 1970 when he first heard Sakellariou playing the guitar at Dominican University in San Rafael, Calif.
â€œIt was when he was practicing. I happened to walk by, and I thought it was a visit from God. I had never heard the guitar played like that,â€ Weiner said. â€œOne thing people can expect from George is a quality performance from one of the best in the world in classical guitar,â€ he said.
â€œIâ€™m always excited to try something new, not only for the audience but for me,â€ Sakellariou said. â€œThat keeps me on my toes. Sharing music is so wonderful. When you perform for a community, the audience gets to know your inner soul and feelings.â€
Sakellariou lives in San Rafael, with Margarita, his wife of 47 years.