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March will bring two very different guitar recitals on a single night

I have recently been writing about the fact that March will be a month in which serious listeners will have to wrestle over making some very hard choices. It turns out that this proposition will extend even to those with specialized interests. Even in the middle of the week of the middle of the month, guitar lovers are going to discover that they will have a choice to make.

Flamenco guitarist Tomatito
courtesy of the Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts

On the one hand the next concert in the 33rd Dynamite Guitars season, organized by the Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts, will be a special event presented in association with The Flamenco Society of San Jose. This will be the San Francisco debut of the renowned flamenco virtuoso Tomatito (José Fernández Torres). He will be performing with his sextet, whose other members are guitarist El Cristi, singers Kiki Cortiñas and Simón Román, percussionist Lucky Losada, and featured dancer Paloma Fantova. The program will feature a diverse selection of flamenco approaches to different forms of song and dance.

This concert will take place on Wednesday, March 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Palace of Fine Arts Theater (3301 Lyon Street). Ticket prices are $65, $55, and $45. They may be purchased online through the event page for this concert on the Omni Foundation Web site. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 415-242-4500, which will also provide further information.

In a totally different style, John Zientek, currently in the Master’s program in classical guitar at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), will be giving a diverse recital that same evening. On the classical side he will perform the first of Mauro Giuliani’s “Rossiniana” compositions; but the remainder of the program will be far more modern. Of greatest interest will be an arrangement of Toru Takemitsu’s orchestral composition “To the Edge of Dream” for guitar and piano. This arrangement was prepared by Joseph Colombo on commission from Zientek, and the pianist will be Keisuke Nakagoshi.

For the second half of the program, Zientek will perform with percussionist Elisabeth Hall. The first selection will be a partita by Paul Lansky. This will be followed by “Ghosts of the Alhambra” from the first volume of George Crumb’s Spanish Songbook. The vocalist will be Efraín Solís, currently an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera.

This concert will begin at 8 p.m. in the SFCM Recital Hall. The venue is located at 50 Oak Street, a short walk from the Van Ness Muni station. Admission is free, and neither reservations nor tickets will be required.

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