Classical Guitar in the Modern Day

                                                              Pic Courtesy - Calcutta Classical Guitar Society

Noted as, “a talented guitarist and an artistic proponent of the Spanish culture”, Jose Manuel Dapena performed a classical guitar concert commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Spanish composer Enrique Granados at  the 7th edition of the Calcutta International Classical Guitar Festival. José Manuel made his Carnegie Hall debut in February 2008 and most recently at Columbia, Miami, Kiev, Madeira, Mexico, Sao Paulo, Bangkok, Kirov, Túnez, New Delhi, Moscow and Shanghai guitar festivals. Recently he recorded two CD´s: "Rincón mágico: Complete Turina works" and "Al pie de una guitarra: Guitar music inspired by poetry of Miguel Hernández".Since Dapena first began studying the classical guitar he took classes in Spain with David Russell who had a great influence on his conception of the instrument.

                                 Photo by "Guitarreo"
When were you introduced to classical guitar?

I was introduced by Román González my first guitar teacher in Vigo Conservatory, Spain.

You took classes with David Russell who had a great influence on your conception of the instrument. Could you share your thoughts?

At the age of 14, I received my first guitar lesson from David Russell who shape my nails and when I was an elementary student and put me in the good way for the guitar. I think his teaching influence all guitar world but I was lucky he married María Jesús from Vigo, where I am from, so I had more opportunities to receive his advice.

Are there any composers you’re particularly fond of or inspired by?

Bach is one of my favourites but last years I am focusing in Spanish composers. I will try to be an specialist of these music playing the anniversaries of great Spanish composer like I did with Granados this year.

What is the toughest part of being a classical guitarist?

Practice every day and dealing with office and marketing emails with computer. Also, if you want your transcriptions well publish, engraving music is hard and recording even more.

                                                 Photo by Adolfo Enríquez
What are some of your memorable experiences?

Carnegie Hall debut in New York was one of the most wonderful experiences in terms of career development, an artistic moment difficult to not remember.

Does the internet play a role in your career? And how do you utilise it?

Yes, of course. I also do online lessons and publish all my recordings with iTunes, Amazon etc. Facebook, YouTube are today the only way to be in touch with classical guitar fans.

What piece(s) of advice would you give the guitarists just emerging from the conservatories around the world and what realities do they need to face?

The best they can do is securing a position as classical guitar teacher in a conservatory or in a private studio. Something that you can pay your apartment every month. Then try to concertise as much as you can and carve a niche in any genre of music you like. Chamber music is a good option too. A lot of work can be done accompaniment singers and this music use to be done with piano only. Go to competitions if you like but It takes more than talent to succeed in music. Cultivate an entrepreneurial approach and understand the business side of the profession.

What are your forthcoming projects?

Recording the complete 12 dances by Granador for the 150 Anniversary of the composer.

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