Philadelphia Chamber Music Society - LA Guitar Quartet

Sunday, November 05, 2017 09:38AM
6abc Loves the Arts. Karen Rogers reports during Action News at 7 a.m. on November 5, 2017.


A Grammy Award-winning guitar quartet known worldwide for their unique sound and style is coming to the Kimmel Center, marking the first time the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society is presenting an all-guitar ensemble.

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, formed in 1980, is one of America's first ever guitar quartets.

The group has a wide repertoire, but they're best known for taking classical favorites written for a big symphony orchestra and rearranging them for four guitars.

"I mean they've been together for over three decades. They've played in small venues, large venues with pop stars, jazz stars," says Miles Cohen, Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, "and the reason that these guys are so well-known is they all were trained classically but at the same time they can do anything."

For this performance, they'll play everything from classical and jazz to Renaissance music and Brazilian Samba.

"You're like, oh, I know Samba; I've danced to Samba," says Cohen. "But then you'll hear it with four guitars and you'll be like okay that's pretty cool; that's a lot different than what I was expecting."

The concert will be an acoustic performance with the musicians playing on nylon string guitars, creating the illusion of a variety of instruments.

"They're all playing the exact same style of guitar, but it's just tuned in different ways," says Cohen. "This is going to be all about how the gentlemen bring out different colors and sounds from four instruments that look the exact same."

They'll also perform two pieces that were written specifically for them, one by 20-time Grammy Award-winning guitarist Pat Metheny.

"Pat Metheny was out in Big Sky, Montana, at a festival and he decided he was very inspired," explains Cohen. "He said I'll write a piece for my own instrument guitar, but I'll write for four of them."

The one-night-only concert is in the Kimmel Center's intimate 600-seat Perelman Theater.

"A lot of times people think of classical music and they get a little bit intimidated by that. This is four gentleman on stage playing guitars," says Cohen. "It's very down to earth."

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet performs November 17th at 8pm.

For tickets, visit The Arts in Philly.
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