On Sunday 21st October selected pupils from the guitar class set off to Shanghai for a concert with the Spanish guitar virtuoso Pablo Villegas – and what a treat we were in for! Before the concert we had dinner at the Park View hotel next to the concert hall and here we had our first encounter with the performer. When waiting for the food he came up to us, introduced himself and spent some time chatting with all of us, thanking us for coming all the way from Changzhou and welcoming us to his concert.
The concert itself was truly inspiring, for pupils and teachers alike. His programme was a nicely balanced mix of serious classical guitar works and lighter numbers, pieces that we had been working on in Saturday Workshop weeks prior to the occasion. Maestro Villegas gave soulful introductions throughout the concert that gave us a good insight and background to the music played. His playing is nothing less than world class – when many modern guitarists tend to sound technical and flat Villegas gave us a true lesson in what an array of sounds the instrument can produce, from the softest pianissimo to fiery rasgueados, all carried out with great finesse and taste.
Before the last piece Villegas even mentioned and thanked us at Wycombe Abbey for making this journey to come to his concert, and after the performance Villegas took his time posing for photos with us and signing tickets and CDs.
It was a long day and a late return to school, but we are all very happy to have been able to experience this and it’s something that we will remember and that will keep inspiring us for a long time.