NPR: Performance Today -- Live in Studio 4A

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Live in Studio 4A
Our showcase for artists invited to perform on the program and talk about their music
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Our list of 50 essential classical CDs
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Bruce Adolphe's "name that composer" piano quiz
Live in Studio 4A:
Manuel Barrueco and Franco Platino
Manuel Barrueco One of the world's leading classical guitarists, Manuel Barrueco (left) first met Franco Platino six years ago while teaching a masterclass in Italy and was impressed with the young man's talent. Platino, already impressed with the master, equated the meeting to an audience with the Pope.
Soon after that first encounter, Platino moved to the U.S. from Italy to study with Barrueco at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland. In the summer of 2002, the duo toured Europe and the U.S., performing the Spanish guitar music of Sor, Granados, Albéniz and Piazzolla. At the tour's end, the guitarists visited with PT guest host Lisa Simeone in Studio 4A.

The entire hour is on-demand below, as well as selected music from the visit and brief biographies of both artists.

Listen to the entire hour
Includes performance by the guitarists and their discussion with Lisa Simeone.

Franco Platino
Selected Music

Fernando Sor Fantasia
Enrique Granados Spanish Dance No. 2 "Orientale"
Isaac Albéniz "Orientale" and "Bajo Palmera"
Astor Piazzolla Tango Suite

Manuel Barrueco
Manuel Barrueco is recognized internationally as a leading figure in the guitar world today. His artistry has been continually described as that of a superb instrumentalist and an elegant musician, possessing a seductive sound and uncommon lyrical gifts.

Manuel Barrueco
His international tours take him to some of the most important musical centers in the world each season. Recent appearances have included New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Rome, Copenhagen, Athens, Seoul, Taipei, Singapore, and Hong Kong. He also has just completed his ninth tour of Japan.

This past season, he appeared at the famous BBC Proms Concerts at The Royal Albert Hall in London with The BBC Concert Orchestra and performed with The Royal Philharmonic in Madrid to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Joaquín Rodrigo's birth.

He has made well over a dozen recordings for EMI. Of his most recent, ¡Cuba!, was called "an extraordinary musical achievement" by the San Francisco Chronicle, while his recording of Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez with conductor/tenor Plácido Domingo and the Philharmonia Orchestra, was mentioned as the best recording of that piece in Classic CD Magazine. His latest release, Nylon & Steel, is a collection of duos with guitar greats Al Di Meola, Steve Morse (Deep Purple), and Andy Summers (The Police), further demonstrating his outstanding versatility and imaginative programming. His commitment to contemporary music and to the expansion of the guitar repertoire has led him to collaborations with many distinguished composers such as Toru Takemitsu, Roberto Sierra, Steven Stucky, and Arvo Pärt.

Manuel Barrueco began playing the guitar at the age of eight, and he attended the Esteban Salas Conservatory in his native Santiago de Cuba. He emigrated with his family to the United States in 1967, later completing his advanced studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music.

Mr. Barrueco also shares a commitment to teaching. He is on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, MD, where he also conducts a yearly master class in June which is attended by students from all over the world.

Franco Platino
Franco Platino The young guitar virtuoso Franco Platino, has already established himself as one of the brightest and most exciting new stars in the guitar world. Platino is a frequent soloist in concert halls throughout Europe and the US. His solo recitals and concerto appearances take him to such countries as Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Luxembourg, Germany, Mexico and the U.S.

This past summer Mr. Platino toured Europe with his maestro and mentor Manuel Barrueco for a series of duo recitals and master classes. Their concerts were broadcast on radio in Germany and in Italy, and in the US, they performed live on NPR's Performance Today. After the tour they entered the studios to record a duo album which is to be released next season.

Mr. Platino's debut recording on Naxos Records (8.554344) received rave reviews by music magazines in Japan, Italy, England, Germany, France and the US, and Gramophone magazine wrote: "This is one of the finest records of guitar playing I have encountered in many years. It is of star quality in every respect and, given the stylistic range and difficulty of the music, that is an accolade not to be taken lightly."

Mr. Platino began to play the guitar at the age of 10. Six years later he made his debut for the Italian television station RAI, performing in a series of live broadcasts, which reached an audience in excess of eight million people. Since then, Franco Platino has been a prize winner in a number of international competitions, such as the Stotsenberg International Competition; the International Music Tournament and the Mauro Giuliani International Competitions in Italy; as well as being the winner of the Naxos Recording Prize at the 1997 Guitar Foundation of America International Competition. A graduate with high honors from the Conservatorio Statale di Musica G. P. da Palestrina in Italy, Mr.

Platino also graduated from the "Graduate Performance Diploma" and the distinguished "Artist Diploma" programs at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, MD, where he studied under the guidance of world renowned guitarist Manuel Barrueco. Mr. Platino is on the faculty of The Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C.

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