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The Nuances of the Blue Guitar

Sunday 21 May, 6 pm

Welcome to a classical guitar recital with poetry and art. Axel Krogness will perform music from Brazil, England, Sweden, and Spain, while art is displayed on the stage. Poetry will also be part of the program, read by Rupert Wickham. In this afternoon concert, Axel will perform works by Michael Tippett, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Eduardo Sainz de la Maza, Wilhelm Peterson-Berger as well as original compositions

Most of the compositions are inspired by the art and poetry, and the rest has been carefully selected to work well with the character and history of the piece of music. The combination of music, visual art, and poetry is a successful blend enhancing the expression and giving a full experience of the three art forms together. The combination of several art forms is something that has been successful before and is therefore not new, but it is rarely seen in a classical guitar recital. It's a great opportunity to experience and make accessible the mysterious, meditative, and little-known world of the Classical Guitar.

Michael Tippett composed The Blue Guitar after the poem The man with the blue guitar, written by Wallace Stevens. Stevens wrote the poem after Picasso's painting The Old Guitarist. Tippett was a pacifist during his life and refused to carry out some war-related duties during the Second World War, so he was even sent to prison for a short while because of that. 

Villa Lobos has been described as the most significant figure in 20th-century Brazilian art music. He was exploring Brazilian culture and nature with his 5 Preludes and each one of them is dedicated to something special to him.

Eduardo Sainz de la Maza was a classical guitarist from Spain. He had a great influence with his compositions for the guitar and his piece Campanas del Alba is an important part of the standard repertoire. His brother was Regino Sainz de la Maza, who premiered the famous Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo in Barcelona in 1940. Rodrigo dedicated the concerto to Regino. 
Wilhelm Peterson Berger was an important Swedish Composer and music critic. He was born in 1867 and completed his music studies in Stockholm and Dresden. His work Stemning (Danish spelling) was the first of his eight songs, op.11, and with a text by the Danish novelist and poet Jens Peter Jacobsen. 

Rupert Wickham is an actor, whose credits include Henry V at the National Theatre, Journey’s End in the West End, the film Mission Impossible V, and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet at Regent’s Park, directed by Dame Judi Dench.  He narrated Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader for Radio 4, where he has also been a regular reader for Poetry Please.  Rupert also coaches poets on how best to put their own works across in public. 

Axel Krogness is a Swedish classical guitarist living in London. He completed a Master's degree in classical guitar performance from the Royal College of Music in London, a Bachelor's degree from the Malmö Academy of Music in Sweden and Conservatorio Superior de Música in Córdoba. 
Previously Axel has performed at St James’s Church, Piccadilly and at the Bach Festival in St Giles-in-the-Fields, London. He has performed extensively throughout Europe, including concerts in Sweden, Denmark, Spain, and the UK. During the last couple of years, Axel has participated in masterclasses with renowned classical guitarists including Marcin Dylla, Zoran Dukic, Alvaro Pierri, John Mills, Laura Snowden, and Mats Bergström. 

His postgraduate studies at Royal College of Music were supported by scholarships from:

• Helge Axson Johnson Foundation

• Makarna Lindeqvists Donation

• Rune Ljungdahls Donation

• Crafoordska Foundation

• Therese Kamps Foundation

• Kempe-Carlgrenska Foundation

• Thora Olssons Foundation (Swedish Church in London)

• Stallfåglarnas Foundation

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