Pepe Romero opens our International Series on Saturday, October 15th.

The maestro has been honored by kings, heads of state, and major institutions – he has personally communicated the richness and beauty of the classical guitar to millions of people throughout the world.

When I think of Pepe Romero I am reminded of several experiences:

We were at a master class in Brownsville, Texas.  Pepe was teaching.  A man in another state had ordered a hand-made guitar but had unexpectedly passed away before the guitar could be delivered.  His widow asked the maker to please donate the instrument to a deserving student, and so the maker drove to the festival with instrument in hand.

Enthralling as always, Pepe taught six fine students in the course of the class.  The room was packed with students, parents and audience members eager to hear his insights.  When the class finished, the director of the festival brought a young man and his parents to the front of the class.  He looked terrified, I think in part because he didn’t know what was happening – but he knew he was standing next to a great man in front of a room full of people.

It was then that the maker brought forward the new hand-made guitar and gave it to Pepe.  The director announced that this young man had distinguished himself through hard work and dedication, that he had been chosen to receive this wonderful gift, and that Pepe had graciously agreed to make the presentation.

Pepe talked about Celedonio, he talked about communication with music, about musical lineage from parent to child and from teacher to student, he talked about the responsibility that comes with receiving a gift such as this.  There was not a dry eye in the room.  While for most of the presentation the young man and his parents looked at the floor, when he was handed his new guitar – by Pepe Romero – he stood visibly taller, and I knew it was a moment he’d never forget.

On another occasion several years later we were in a live radio interview in Austin and the host asked Pepe about how he came to the guitar.  Pepe said that when he was born, his father welcomed him into this world by playing for him on the classical guitar.  (They went through their lives in music together, of course, with Celedonio founding “The Romeros” with himself, Pepe, and Pepe’s brothers Celin and Angel.  They would become the most important guitar quartet in the world for decades.)

Pepe then went on to describe how, at the end of his father’s life, Celedonio reminded Pepe how he was brought into the world on the wings of music.  He asked then if Pepe would in turn play for him, so that he may leave the world, transported by his son’s playing.  And that’s exactly what happened.

We hope you can join us to experience this remarkable artist on October 15th. Tickets available here, or call (512) 300-2247.

 

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