The World of Women in Classical Music

By Anne K. Gray | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWELVE
PART E

Other String Attached

Liona Boyd

Annette Degenhardt

Alison Gould

Sharon Isbin

Eleftheria Kotzia

Virginia Luque

Wu Man

Anoushka Shankar

Myrna Sislen


The Guitar

Forerunners of the guitar—lute, lyre, and like instruments—were played by women before Greek and Roman times. The history of the guitar dates back 5,000 years, having been played in the time of Egyptian pharaohs. The conquering Romans brought it to Spain, where by 1500 it had become the national instrument under the name vihuela. The conquistadors brought it to Mexico. Early Spanish composer Louis Milan (1500–61) wrote a book with playing instructions and sixty-eight pieces for the guitar. The instrument became known in other European countries during the baroque period. It was adopted in the French Court of Louis XIV, and appeared in many famous paintings. In the 1920s, the guitar replaced the banjo in American jazz. Electric guitars became the mainstay of rock and roll beginning in the mid-1950s. It was Andrés Segovia (1893–1987) who brought the instrument into the concert hall with his transcriptions of Bach and other classicists. The unique Romero Family—Celedonio (1913–96) and his three sons, Celin, Pepe and Angel, and now the grandsons, Lito and Celino—have brought further popularity to the classical guitar, as did Brazilian Laurindo Almeida (1917–95). Flamenco artists Carlos Montóya (1903–93) and Manitos de la Plata graced the concert stage with another unique dimension of this instrument. There is still a scarcity of compositions for its classical role, especially as an orchestral instrument. Three of the most popular concertos written for guitar are by Joaquín Turina (1882–1949), Mario Castel-NuovoTedesco (1895–1968), and Joaquín Rodrigo (1901–99).

In our century, two feminine names were unearthed in 1995 from old 78-rpm records. Luise Walker, born in Vienna, 1910, studied with Catálan guitarist Miguel Llobet (1878–1938) who was a pupil of the great Spanish composer Francisco Tárrega (1852–1909). French-Italian Ida Presti (1924–67) had a major career concertizing as duo-guitarists with her husband Alexandre Lagoya. The two women also performed together. Today, several women have made careers as both classical and crossover guitarists.

Composer/guitarist LIONA BOYD has developed a musical style encompassing classical, pop, jazz and Latin music. Born in London, her family moved to Canada when she was six. She asked her parents for a guitar when she was fourteen, and took private classes with some of the top artists in the world: Andrés Segovia, Allrio Diaz, Narcisco Yepes and Julian Bream. After her bachelor's in music performance from the University of Toronto, she studied for two years in Paris with Alexandre Lagoya. Upon returning to North America, she recorded her first album and made her debut at Carnegie Hall.

She has performed with orchestras and participated in festivals around the world, from New Delhi to Istanbul to Edinburgh, Seoul and Tokyo. Breaking from classical tradition, she toured with Gordon Lightfoot and Tracy Chapman, and made numerous appearances on television, including the Tonight Show. As a soloist, she was the first performer to appear at the new Paris Opera House.

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The World of Women in Classical Music
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Dedication iii
  • Other Books by Anne K. Gray iv
  • Table of Contents v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Chapter One 3
  • Chapter Two 19
  • Chapter Three 28
  • Chapter Four - Part A 47
  • Chapter Four: Part B 73
  • Chapter Five: Part A 99
  • Chapter Five: Part B 119
  • Chapter Five: Part C 150
  • Chapter Five: Part D 159
  • Chapter Five: Part E 169
  • Chapter Six 179
  • Chapter Seven 185
  • Chapter Eight 205
  • Chapter Nine - Part A 217
  • Chapter Nine - Part B 236
  • Chapter Ten 292
  • Chapter Eleven - Part A 301
  • Chapter Eleven - Part B 315
  • Chapter Eleven - Part C 364
  • Chapter Eleven - Part D 377
  • Chapter Eleven - Part E 386
  • Chapter Eleven - Part F 415
  • Chapter Twelve - Part A 422
  • Chapter Twelve - Part B 474
  • Chapter Twelve - Part C 482
  • Chapter Twelve - Part D 512
  • Chapter Twelve - Part E 528
  • Chapter Twelve - Part F 532
  • Chapter Twelve - Part G 566
  • Chapter Twelve - Part H 583
  • Chapter Twelve - Part I 604
  • Chapter Twelve - Part J 608
  • Chapter Twelve - Part K 614
  • Chapter Twelve - Part L 672
  • Chapter Twelve - Part M 695
  • Chapter Thirteen - Part A 699
  • Chapter Thirteen - Part B 715
  • Chapter Thirteen - Part C 736
  • Chapter Thirteen - Part D 750
  • Chapter Thirteen - Part E 791
  • Chapter Thirteen - Part F 805
  • Chapter Thirteen - Part G 819
  • Chapter Fourteen - Part A 830
  • Chapter Fourteen - Part B 870
  • Chapter Fifteen - Part A 898
  • Chapter Fifteen - Part B 921
  • Chapter Fifteen - Part C 937
  • Chapter Fifteen - Part D 943
  • Chapter Fifteen - Part E 949
  • Chapter Sixteen 957
  • Chapter Seventeen 976
  • Afterword 999
  • Appendix 1002
  • Abbrevations 1007
  • Bibliography 1010
  • Selected Discography 1015
  • Photo Credits 1020
  • Author's Biography 1031
  • Index 1033
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