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From Spain to Tango

Guitarist and ensemble

Guitarist and Jacobs School of Music faculty member Petar Jankovic has recorded a CD with a string quartet titled From Spain to Tango. They'll be returning from an extensive tour to perform music from the CD in Auer Hall, Saturday March 31 at 8 pm.

The Music

Although Jankovic was a successful soloist he says that something was missing. "I felt that guitarists missed so much by not being an integral part of chamber music. I never felt that there was enough challenging repertoire for that. So, I came up with the idea, of arranging music myself." Although Jankovic has done some of the arranging he's quick to also  thank composer Elliott Bark.

The next question was of course what ensemble to arrange the music for. "I did try arranging in trio and duet combinations, but I love the string quartet. For me it is the ultimate chamber form. So at one point I said ‘forget it.' The string quartet is what I want."

The Ensemble

The next step was creating the Petar Jankovic Ensemble. "My quartet members are all students in the Jacobs School that I reached through their teachers. With this ensemble they get exposed and real touring experience. I felt when I was growing up that I needed something like this and I'm very happy to be able to offer it to them.

The quartet's first violinist is Sophie Bird, a doctoral candidate from New Zealand. "Petar contacted me through my teacher, Mark Kaplan. He told me about this guitarist who wanted to put together an ensemble with guitar and string quartet to play Spanish and Latin American music. We e-mailed, got together, kicked ideas around and it sounded like fun."

The Fun

"Fun, " is a key work when Bird talks about the group. "When you see us, it's not in basic black. We're pretty colorful. We wanted to do something that seemed more contemporary, something that appealed to younger audiences as well as the regular classical audience and really just to be a bit of fun."

"Fun" also appears when she talks about the music. "We do plenty of regular playing, but there are also little tricks and extra techniques as we try to conjure up sounds and experiences that are Latin American and Spanish and Gypsy, and really just be a bit of fun. "

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