Thibaut Garcia at Oberlin
Thibaut Garcia, the startlingly young winner of the Guitar Foundation of America's 2015 International Concert Artist Competition, came through Oberlin last week on his winner's tour. He'll play some 56 concerts in the US and Canada, a remarkable experience for someone just out of school, and a fitting career launch for a musician so talented and expressive. Raised in Toulouse, and currently a resident of Paris, Thibaut proved himself already expert at communicating in English, including in humor and the use of colloquial Americanisms. This ability served him well when he spoke to the audience from the stage, and in our master class both. He was my houseguest for a night before moving to the Hotel at Oberlin and, charming and easy going, was a gracious guest.
He played a splendid program of varied material, much of it unusual. It was a pleasure to hear the entire Weiss Suite L'Infidele. Thibaut's management of this highly idiosyncratic Baroque lute music rendered it natural and elegant on the guitar. He included the lovely Aire Vasco of Manjòn, Invocation et Danse of Rodrigo, The Four Seasons of Piazzolla, David Crocket's Fanfare Studies and a couple of Llobet's Catalonian Folksong arrangements. He played the lovely Roland Dyans Eb major arrangement of Edith Piaf's hit Hymne à l'amour for an encore and received a well-deserved standing ovation. His program is reproduced at the end of the post. Here he is on stage in Oberlin's Kulas Recital Hall:
During the master class, Thibaut discussed both technical and interpretive issues. Here, He works with Aidan Lippke on a Giuliani Variations set.
Rebecca Klein played the Baroque guitar for him: a Chaconne by Le Cocq:
Brian King played the third movement of Berkeley's Sonatina:
Jonathan Bodian played Mertz's An Malvina:
Finally, Mohit Dubey played India from Dyens' Libra Sonatina:
The entire gang retired to the Feve after the class for food and drinks. Thibaut was good company: he played an unforgettable concert and gave all the students sturdy ideas and strategies for elevating their playing. Good luck on the rest of your tour, Thibaut, and thanks for your contributions here in Oberlin!