Flamenco Austin, by Sebby Soenen

FlamencoAustin, by Sebby Soenenflamenco austin

On the evening of Thursday September 13th 2012, the Austin Classical Guitar Society hosted its much-anticipated Flamenco event in Austin, Texas. The highlight of the show was a concert performed by world-renowned Flamenco guitar genius Grisha Goryachev.

Originally from the Russian city of St. Petersburg, Goryachev first performed in Austin 2 years ago. Witnesses to that performance loved it so much that they begged to see Grisha return in the future. The hard work of the Austin Classical Guitar Society made Grisha Goryachev’s return a reality. It was a dream come true for anyone fortunate enough to see him. At the end of his show, Grisha was joined on stage by incredibly talented Belgian guitarist, Jerome Mouffe. Check out the Fretbuzz interview of the duo here

Before the concert, attendees were treated to Tapas (little snacks meant to accompany socializing). Next, Austin’s star Flamenco dancer Pilar Andujar gave a fantastic performance. Then a youth guitar orchestra comprised of students from around Austin surprised the audience by kicking off the show with a performance of the popular piece “Palladio”, composed by Karl Jenkins in 1996.

Check out pictures of the event here.

I was lucky to have the opportunity to play in the student ensemble. The experience was fantastic! Ensemble participants attended 3 rehearsal sessions to prepare for Thursday’s performance. After a lot of difficult and careful practice, the group really came together and developed the confidence to set the stage for Grisha. Check out this picture, by Arlen Nydam, of all of us right after we finished performing at the Long Center.

First concert in the first season of "Flamenco Austin"

The ensemble performance was a success. There were no major flaws, and the audience seemed to really enjoy it. After our performance we packed up our guitars backstage and joined the audience in anticipation of Grisha.

Grisha Goryachev’s concert was definitely THE sight to see. He breathed new life into each of the musical masterpieces he played. The crowd reveled in his trademark precision and speed, which was rewarded with thunderous applause. Anyone hearing Grisha for the first time was treated to a great surprise!

- Sebby Soenen is a junior at Anderson High School.  He has been studying classical guitar privately for eight years.

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