On December 1, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert featuring classical guitarist Andrew Wilder. Andrew will present music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Juan Antonio Sanchez.
The concert will be in the Auditorium. Thanks to anonymous friends of the series for helping to make this performance possible.
Much of classical guitar’s repertoire is transcriptions. One of the two Mozart pieces Wilder will play was originally written for clavichord, a stringed keyboard instrument. Another was written for the glass harmonium which uses a series of spinning bowls and finger friction to make pitches.
Bach transcribed some of his own cello suites for a guitar-like instrument, but not Suite No. 3 which is on Thursday’s program. Even without an original version for guitar, Wilder said it works very well on the instrument.
Wilder said he is inspired by Bach’s devotion, not only to his faith, but also to his attention to detail and his groundbreaking counterpoint style. Counterpoint is basically multiple independent melodies happening at the same time. “It’s amazing writing,” said Wilder, “I listen to Bach almost every day.” Wilder said Bach had a great ability to see his strength in writing this style, and didn’t stop writing it even after other Baroque composers had moved away from it.
A senior now at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music, Wilder said that as a freshman he met Chilean guitarist Jose Antonio Escobar when Escobar visited the school as a clinician. Through that contact, he became aware of the music of still-living Chilean composer Juan Antonio Sanchez. Sanchez wrote “Sonata Para Guitar” for Escobar.
Escobar is a virtuoso, and Wilder said Sanchez’s “Sonata” is extremely difficult. Wilder has wanted to perform it since he heard the piece. “I was obsessed with it,” he said. He would listen to it over and over again. Three years later, he has taken it on for himself, and has received good feedback from the composer who heard a recording online.
Wilder said “Sonata para Guitarra” is new, difficult, and obscure. Besides Escobar, Wilder said he is the only person playing it right now. But he hopes listeners won’t hear the difficulty. He said it is full of singable melodies, percussive Chilean rhythms and jazz influences.
Wilder was born into a musical family with 10 brothers and sisters who have all studied classical music extensively, and with parents who are both professional classical musicians. He has performed and studied throughout Europe, the United States, and South America.
As a soloist, Wilder has been the recipient of awards including first prizes in the Senior Guitar competition of the Society of American Musicians, the International Tennessee Guitar Competition, and the Art of Strings international competition.
He was a prizewinner in the East Carolina University Guitar competition and the Troy University Guitar competition and was a recipient of the Koch Cultural Trust grant.
JCSM After Hours
Separate from the noon series is another music offering at the museum. Each Thursday night, the museum’s cafe, exhibitions, and gift shop are open from 5-8 pm for JCSM After Hours. Live music is featured each week, often with the house band being the jazz trio, Cullars improvisational Rotation.
This week instead of jazz, the Auburn University Cultural Music Society will perform a mix of music. In addition to traditional Indian music and Indian-Western fusion, the group will bring in American gospel, blues, and old-time folk. Its members will present some original songs and spoken word pieces.
The Society is an Auburn University student organization that was founded in spring 2014 with the mission of bringing awareness to the Auburn community about the importance of cultural diversity through music. It was formed with the understanding that each culture has a different perspective on the uses of music and the sounds produced by its instruments. Members are guided by the idea that music has a way of unifying people with different nationalities and ideologies.