The tonebase Classical Guitar Podcast, with David Steinhardt

Season 2 Episode 10: Ben Verdery (Part 1)

An episode of The tonebase Classical Guitar Podcast, with David Steinhardt

By David Steinhardt
Classical guitar fanatic? Casual hobbyist? Segovia disciple? Regardless of your diagnosis, the tonebase Classical Guitar Podcast with David Steinhardt has the cure for you!

Tune in every other Sunday for in-depth conversations with some of greatest minds in the classical guitar world. Guest artists include Scott Tennant, Judicael Perroy, Bill Kanengiser, Eliot Fisk, and Pepe Romero to list a few. Topics range from pedagogical philosophies, upcoming CD releases and performances, composing, arranging, all hosted by the by the entertaining personality and wit of David Steinhardt.
More places to listen
Classical guitar fanatic? Casual hobbyist? Segovia disciple? Regardless of your diagnosis, the tonebase Classical Guitar Podcast with David Steinhardt has the cure for you!

Tune in every other Sunday for in-depth conversations with some of greatest minds in the classical guitar world. Guest artists include Scott Tennant, Judicael Perroy, Bill Kanengiser, Eliot Fisk, and Pepe Romero to list a few. Topics range from pedagogical philosophies, upcoming CD releases and performances, composing, arranging, all hosted by the by the entertaining personality and wit of David Steinhardt.

More places to listen

S3 E5: Ben Verdery Part II
Join David for an exciting conversation with Ben Verdery! In this installment of the two-part episode, Ben spoke of his 20th year teaching at his Maui Masterclass and as Professor of Guitar at The Yale School of Music for 35 years. Last year, Thomas Donahue published the book Benjamin Verdery: A Montage of a Classical Guitarist. Ben spoke about his contribution writing an extensive essay on his thoughts/approaches to performing, composing, arranging, teaching, and recording. Ben was humbled from all the colleagues who wrote reflections of their friendship and inspiration. He felt this book portrays the extraordinary classical guitar scene of New York City. Ben tells the story of how he used to be neighbors with master luthier Thomas Humphrey. One day Humphrey called Ben and said you *have* to come downstairs immediately. He ran over to find the Assad Brothers playing in Humphrey’s studio, right before their New York debut: a life changing moment! Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) Scenes from Ellis Island (Verdery) -Ben Verdery/Simon Powis guitars, Guilherme Monegatto cello, Hawa Kasse Mady Diabate vocals Leonard Bernstein Sonata for Clarinet and Piano Mov. 1, Grazioso -arranged for Guitar and String Quartet (Verdery)
November 10, 2019
S3 E4: Matthew McAllister
In today’s episode, David is joined by the entertaining and talented Scottish guitarist, Matthew McAllister! A week away from the Big Guitar Weekend (in partnership with BBC Radio 3), Matthew spoke of his work with the festival along with this year's exciting lineup of artists. He also discussed the direction of his own festival, Classical Guitar Retreat: a beautiful week on the Island of Cumbrae. As explained by Matthew, the acoustics of Cumbrae’s cathedral are perfect for the classical guitar: he in fact has chosen to record several CDs on location over the years! McAllister’s recordings are conceptually programmed, producing a meaningful record that steers away from a “Greatest Hits” styled CD. Matt explained his approach to choosing repertoire for both recordings/concerts, and how his programmatic choices sometimes differ while touring in China. Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) Spatter the Dew (McAllister) String Quartet No. 3 VI. Mishima-Closing (Phillip Glass) -McAllister, Neave, Baric, Savaloni
October 27, 2019
S3 E3: Kai Narezo
In today’s episode, David is joined by our second flamenco guitarist on the show: Kai Narezo! Along with being a great performer, Kai is a dedicated teacher and talented recording engineer. Throughout their conversation, Kai spoke about his approach and philosophy on teaching the flamenco guitar. He has recently published a new method, Flamenco Explained: The Guitarist’s Survival Guide and has started one of the first university flamenco programs at CSU Dominguez Hills. As a producer, Kai has recorded every video for Guitar Salon International’s extensive library. He spoke about his microphone choices and mixing techniques to produce a clear, realistic, and beautiful sound to help reveal the true character of each instrument. While there is no official Guinness World Record, it is believed that Kai has recorded the most classical guitars out of any engineer! Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) Bulerias De Kai Marchena (Sevillanas)
October 13, 2019
S3 E2: Mark Eden
While visiting London, David had a chance to sit down with Mark Eden of the Vida Guitar Quartet and Eden Stell Guitar Duo. Throughout their conversation, Mark discusses his approach to arranging, ensemble programming, and directing The Winchester Guitar Festival (which takes place October 3rd-7th)! Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) S. Assad Pintoe (Eden Stell) Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 (arr. Eden): Aria: Cantilena (VIDA Quartet/Amy Green)
September 29, 2019
S3 E1: Stephen Goss
Join David for an exciting conversation with the Welsh composer/guitarist Steve Goss for the season 3 premier of The tonebase Classical Guitar Podcast! Throughout the interview, Steve discusses his compositional approaches/techniques and recent commissions with guitar legends Aniello Desiderio, Zoran Dukic, and John Williams. Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) Goss: Park of Idols Mov I. Jump Start (Annie Jacobs-Perkins/David Steinhardt) Goss: Theorbo Concerto Mov IV. Finale (Matthew Wadsworth/Scottish Chamber Orchestra) Goss: Guitar Concerto Finale: Allegro Molto (John Williams/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
September 22, 2019
Season 2 Episode 10: Ben Verdery (Part 1)
In the first installment of a two part episode, David sits down with recording artist and professor of guitar at the Yale School of Music, Ben Verdery. Ben speaks about his exciting, contemporary collaborations with the 2016 American Beatboxing Champion Mark Martin and Andy Summers (of The Police). He also talks about his video productions, and how he captured a magical performance of Bach's Chaconne despite weather postponements and having his car towed the day of the shoot! Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) From Aristotle (Martin/Verdery) Bach Cello Suite No. 4 Prelude (BWV 1010)
May 29, 2019
Season 2 Episode 9: Mak Grgic
In today's conversation, David is joined by the Slovenian guitarist Mak Grgic. They discussed Mak's current projects including duets with Adam Del Monte (Duo Deloro), his microtonal record Makrotonal, and his founding of the organization Euro Strings.  Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) Dahab-Jaleo (Del Monte) Lute Sonata No. 23 in A Minor (Weiss)
May 15, 2019
Season 2 Episode 8: Gohar Vardanyan
After visiting Leisner in Manhattan, David had a chance to sit down and speak with the Armenian guitarist Gohar Vardanyan. Vardanyan studied with Isbin and Barrueco before embarking on her international career, concertizing throughout the US, Mexico, Panama, Italy, Canada, and Argentina. In today's conversation, Gohar spoke about her (4!) books released by Mel Bay Publications, her current program, and how she tours with only a guitar and a backpack!  Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) La Vida Breva (de Falla) Cordoba (Albeniz)
April 29, 2019
Season 2 Episode 7: David Leisner
While visiting New York, Steinhardt had a chance to meet up with the acclaimed guitarist, David Leisner, of the Manhattan School of Music.  Throughout their conversation, Leisner discussed his newly released book, Playing With Ease: A Healthy Approach to Guitar Technique. As a musician who recovered from focal dystonia, Leisner brings a unique perspective on injury prevention and performance longevity. Leisner also discussed his teaching, composition, and transcription approaches, along with his current tour with duet partner, Eduardo Fernandez.  Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) Etude No. 10 (Villa-Lobos) Arpeggione Sonata in A Minor, Mov. III (Schubert) -Zuill Bailey, cello -Leisner transcription 
April 8, 2019
Season 2 Episode 6: Matt Palmer
Join David for a conversation with tonebase artist Matt Palmer on a discussion of A-M-I scales, upcoming CDs, and Matt's metal guitar heroes!  Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) Ты Поди Моя Коровушка Домой (Vysotsky) Lament for the Death of his Second Wife (Gow)
March 27, 2019
Season 2 Episode 5: Nicholas Goluses
In today's episode, David interviews Nicholas Goluses of the Eastman School of Music. In their conversation, you'll hear Nick's philosophy on chamber music, his studies with Andres Segovia, and his approach to transcribing the Bach violin sonatas. Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) Bach Fugue BWV 1001 Adler Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra Mov III. Fast with Good Spirit
March 12, 2019
Season 2 Episode 4: Thomas Viloteau
 While visiting Baltimore, David had a chance to catch up with one of our favorite tonebase artists, Thomas Viloteau! Over the course of the hour-long conversation, Thomas shares the details behind his new gig as professor at Peabody Conservatory and his life with the guitar leading up to his new appointment. The conversation begins on the topic of Thomas's past teachers including his time studying with lutenist Paul O'Dette who helped him create a truly unique interpretation of Bach’s masterpiece, the Chaconne, which can be heard at the end of the episode. After this, Thomas goes on to share the intricate process behind his two latest CD’s, both of which he produced. He also shares the story of how Suite Brasileira 4, which can be heard on his most recent album, was written for him after hanging out with Sergio Assad at a party and casually asking the question, “Hey, would you write me a piece?” Tune in to this conversation with Thomas to experience all this and more, and be sure to check out his many insightful lessons on tonebase! Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) Triaela, Mov III. Clown Down (Dyens) Chaconne (J.S Bach)
March 3, 2019
Season 2 Episode 3: Marc Teicholz
This week on The tonebase Classical Guitar Podcast, David is joined by San Francisco-based guitarist Marc Teicholz. The two begin with a casual discussion about guitar building preferences which leads into Marc sharing his experience recording his CD Valseana with Guitar Salon International. From there, Marc shares stories of his close relationship with Sergio Assad who was a fellow teacher at San Francisco Conservatory for many years. The episode ends with both David and Marc's thoughts on the state of the classical guitar community and the importance of spreading music through outreach.  Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) Usher Valse (Koshkin) Les Folies d'Espagne (Sor)
February 11, 2019
Season 2 Episode 2: Adam Del Monte
This week on the tonebase Classical Guitar Podcast, host David Steinhardt is joined by the brilliant flamenco guitarist and composer Adam Del Monte.  Having recently completed his flamenco opera Llantos, Adam describes his detailed compositional process - everything from the libretto (or story) to the actual orchestration - which took many years of dedicated work to complete.  Over the course of the podcast you will here sample recordings from this work which will actually be receiving its first performance on January 30th at the 2019 Tucson Desert Song Festival. In addition, to the opera, Adam also talks about his musical upbringing which consisted of his parents dropping him off with a Gypsy family in the caves of Spain at 7 years old - literally! Adam also shares the somewhat unique moment that made him decide to become a guitarist for life…   This podcast is dedicated to the great Sabrina Vlaskalic whose tragic passing last week will be felt in the classical guitar community for many years to come. At the opening of the podcast, David shares a recording of her playing Leo Brouwer’s Sonata. Lucky for us, Sabrina’s music is a gift that shall never cease to comfort and amaze us. Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) Brouwer Sonata Mov. 3 (Sabrina Vlaskalic) Buleria, Asi lo Siento (del Monte) Aria of Biboldo (del Monte)
January 28, 2019
Season 2 Episode 1: Pepe Romero
 In the first episode of Season 2, David sits down with a living legend of the classical guitar, Maestro Pepe Romero. Over the course of a half-hour conversation, they discuss topics related to Pepe’s long history with the instrument and his deep love for music. In addition, Pepe shares his teaching philosophy, specifically the way he is able to release the true musician inside every student and help them find a way to express themselves through the guitar. Later on, Pepe talks about his upbringing as a member of “The Royal Family of Guitar” and what it was like studying with his father who to this day has been his one and only teacher.  About the artist: Pepe Romero has been surrounded by music and the classical guitar since the minute he was born - literally. After a lifetime of dedication to the instrument, Pepe has been the recipient of many honors including the prestigious title “Order of Isabel la Católica” and a knighting from the King of Spain. Pepe has an honorary doctorate in music from the USC Thornton School of Music where his is an adjunct professor. “Pepe Romero makes his guitar talk to itself … [he] never just plays a piece, never just makes it sing. He creates a conversation with it, a conversation between the musical parts, a dialogue on one instrument.” - Los Angeles Times Intro Music: Couperin Les Sylvains (Scott Tennant) Rumores de la Caleta (Albeniz) The Miller's Dance (de Falla)
January 13, 2019
Season 1 Episode 8: Eliot Fisk
Join David for the season finale featuring the renowned virtuoso, Eliot Fisk. Learn about Eliot's close work with famous composers Robert Beaser and Luciano Berio, along with his innovative approach to Paganini's 24 Caprices.    "I consider Eliot Fisk as one of the most brilliant, intelligent and gifted young musical artists of our times, not only amongst guitarists but in all the general field of instrumentalists." - Andres Segovia   Intro Music: Sonata in A Major K. 322 (S. Tennant)  Paganini Caprice No. 24  Shenandoah (Beaser)
December 23, 2018
Season 1 Episode 7: Richard Savino
While David was visiting tonebase HQ up in San Francisco, he was able to last minute track down Richard Savino for an interview on the podcast. In this episode, Richard shares with us some of the fascinating stories from his long career as one of the foremost early music instrumentalists such as his recent project recording 25 soundtracks to accompany a specific collection of Rembrandt paintings. Topics also drift to technical aspects such as why he chooses to use nails even though most of his time is spent playing gut-string instruments including the 19th century guitar, lute, and theorbo. About the artist: Richard Savino is a Grammy nominated guitarist and lutenist who has recorded extensively boasting a catalog of over 35 commercial recordings. In addition to his busy career as a recording and performing artist, Richard is also an avid writer and music researcher. A professor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Richard passes down knowledge he has learned from his long list of legendary instructors which include Andres Segovia, Oscar Ghiglia, Eliot Fisk, and many more.
December 9, 2018
Season 1 Episode 6: Jorge Caballero
In this week’s episode, David is joined by Peruvian guitarist Jorge Caballero for a discussion on guitar repertoire and how he manages to perform marathon arrangements such as Kazuhito Yamashita’s version of ‘Pictures at an Exhibition.’ On the topic of Mussorgsky, Jorge shares how he began working on this piece when he was a child - just 12 years old! In addition, Jorge discusses his own arrangements of J.S. Bach’s Partitias and why he still chooses to play the Chaconne exactly like Andrés Segovia, almost finger-for-finger. About the artist: Jorge Caballero is a winner of the prestigious Naumburg Award, an honor that is comparable to the Pulitzer Prize for musicians. He is widely known for his incredible performances of orchestral pieces by composers such as Mussorgsky, Dvorak, and Korsakov. Caballero is a native of Peru where he grew up in a musical family, his mother being a famous singer in his home country. Music: Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky (Jorge Caballero)
November 25, 2018
Season 1 Episode 5: David Tanenbaum
In this episode, we hear from one of today’s most avid commissioners of new guitar works and current chair of the guitar department at San Francisco Conservatory, David Tanenbaum. The conversation dives deep into David’s experiences working with legendary composers of the last decade including Toru Takemitsu, Steve Reich, and Hans Werner Henze. One fascinating story David shares is how Henze asked him to construct many of the chords in his Guitar Concerto by initially providing him with 10 notes and saying, "I kind of like all these notes, you make the chords!" David also talks about the importance of actively commissioning new works for the classical guitar and ways to get modern composers excited about doing so. Intro Music: Brandenburg Concerto 6 (J.S. Bach) - LAGQ Electric Counterpoint (Steve Reich) - David Tanenbaum
November 11, 2018
Season 1 Episode 4: Bill Kanengiser
Bill Kanengiser tells the thought-provoking story and inspiration behind a newly commissioned piece by Sergio Assad titled “The Walls.” Over the course of four movements, this piece for solo guitar and guitar orchestra portrays four historic barriers that were once built to separate people - Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall, Berlin Wall, and Israeli West Bank Barrier. Listen to sections of each movement and hear Bill discuss how Sergio musically communicated their meaning on this week’s episode. Intro Music: Piazzolla Primavera Portena (Vladimir Gorbach) Bogdanovic Kaleidoscope Mov III. Allegro Ritmico Assad The Walls Falla Danza Ritual del Fuego (LAGQ)
October 28, 2018
Season 1 Episode 3: Xavier Jara
Xavier Jara met up with David in tonebase HQ to discuss, among many things, the experience of recording his NAXOS album with the legendary Norbert Kraft, his learnings from the year-long GFA tour, and his passion for Hauser guitars! About the artist: A winner of the coveted GFA competition, Xavier Jara recently completed his 50 concert North American tour. He now resides in San Francisco where he is continuing his studies with Judicael Perroy and playing concerts across the country. Xavier is an Augustine Strings artist. Intro Music: Sonata No. 1 in G Minor Fugue BWV 1001 (Nicholas Goluses) Mysterious Habitats (Bogdanovic) Sonata No 3 Mov. 4 (Bogdanovic)
October 14, 2018
Season 1 Episode 2: Judicaël Perroy
In this episode, David sits down with world-renowned pedagogue and performing artist Judicaël Perroy to discuss topics including his experience of first winning GFA and now teaching many GFA-winning students, the short list of guitarists whose playing he admires, and the future of classical music as a whole. About the artist: Judicaël Perroy is a highly sought-after pedagogue and performer around the world. Perroy currently resides in San Francisco, CA where he teaches at the SF Conservatory. Intro Music: Les Barricades Mystérieuses (Scott Tennant) Tango No. 1, Enrique Núñez Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826 (arr. T Manoukian), J.S Bach
September 30, 2018
Season 1 Episode 1: Scott Tennant
Enjoy an entertaining conversation with the Grammy Award-winning guitarist, Scott Tennant on his Segovia and French Baroque CDs under the label Guitarcoop. About the artist: a founding member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, author of Pumping Nylon, renowned soloist, faculty member of USC Thornton School of Music, and 3-time Customer of the Week at Pasadena Peets Coffee. Intro Music: Juan Trigos Partita for Guitar: V. Quinto Movimento (Dieter Hennings) François Couperin Les Barricades Mystérieuses Segovia Macarena
September 10, 2018
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