Classical 91.5

Classical Guitar

Bus driving guitarist looks back on career with many turns

Apr 30, 2018

  

Guitarist Lawrence Johnson recorded the complete works of early-nineteenth century composer Fernando Sor – using equipment that the guitarist got in a trade for a Volkswagen.  He recalls, "I found out this guy and this girl, they were married – and he decided he didn’t like her anymore and he left her and took her car. But he was also a recording nut, and so he had this Revox 77.  So I said: I got a car if you want it, but I need that Revox 77. So, I got it." 

Lawrence Johnson: classical guitarist, retired city bus driver, composer, and passionate civil rights advocate.

To have a conversation with Lawrence Johnson is an opportunity to become acquainted with a fascinating person, while also getting an overview of the evolution of classical guitar in American musical life during the second half of the 20th century.  The impact of Segovia, the ways that many classical musicians didn’t take the guitar seriously, and the change in the approach and appreciation of classical guitar music – that’s all in there, along with trading a Volkswagon for a tape deck, late night bus runs with a guitar, and Greenwich village in the 1960s.

Whether you have a few minutes to spend with him...

Guitarist Thomas Viloteau just finished his doctorate at the Eastman School of Music about a week ago, and now this week, he will be heard on the radio across the country, as a Young Artist in Residence on Performance Today.

You can hear him on Performance Today on Saturday morning on WXXI Classical 91.5

“Mompou is evoking in music the silence…and the silence is music.”  

When guitarist Rafaella Smits visited Rochester, she played and spoke about music by Catalan - French - Spanish composer Federico Mompou (1893-1987).

I think it’s fair to say Mompou is one of the composers with a “cult” following – he’s not mainstream famous, even among those who routinely listen to classical music, yet his music is beloved and revered by those who are in the know.  

Petar Kodzas as new Associate Dean to the ECMS

May 11, 2017
Michelle Martorell

On February 27, 2017, it was announced that guitar teacher Petar Kodzas was named Associate Dean of the Eastman Community Music School (ECMS).   “I am deeply honored to have an opportunity to contribute to [Rochester’s] musical future through my role as an Associate Dean” Kodzas says.  His vision for the future is to make music more relevant.  Growing the ECMS programs and keeping them healthy and successful, Kodzas’ hope is to find new ways to involve more people in music making and music listening.  

Musicians of Rochester: Petar Kodzas

May 3, 2017

As new Associate Dean to the Eastman Community School, guitarist Petar Kodzas’ vision for the future is to make music more relevant.  By growing the ECMS programs and keeping them healthy and successful, Kodzas’ hope is to find new ways to involve more people in music making and music listening.

Seemingly a broad task, one might wonder how this could be accomplished.  But in an interview with WXXI, Petar Kodzas explains and recounts his own personal musical history.