Tonight I was privileged to hear Christopher Parkening in concert. He is a classical guitarist. I first heard about him when I was in college and started taking guitar lessons. My teacher was very heavy on theory and classical music. He told me about Andres Segovia. Through time I learned about Parkening as well.
In 1993 or 94 my wife to be and I went and heard him in concert in downtown Pensacola. David Brandon was traveling with him at the time.
The concert that we heard back then was phenomenal. I think he played 4 encore songs. He got a standing ovation after each one.
Tonight was a great experience as well. He was asked by the concert organizers to explain the pieces and a bit about the guitar. This concert was put on by a college and many of the attendees would not necessarily be guitarists. I did not think to look at how full the auditorium was, but it seats 8,000 people and the whole bottom floor was filled.
I thought he played well tonight. I did, however, sense that he was working hard to play the pieces. When I saw him before, it was obvious that he was enjoying being on stage and performing for the crowd. Tonight he seemed to be very engrossed in the technique of the music. Particularly early in the evening he seemed to be a bit stiff at the guitar.
However he put on a great performance with the mic. As I mentioned, he explained the music he was playing. He also just got very personable and shared a few stories. He really connected with the audience.
My family and I got a chance to meet him afterwards and chat very briefly.
If you have not read his book, you might want to check out my review of it. You either have to love classical guitar music or just really be into biographies to enjoy the book.