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Benjamin Bonanza

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Composer and Guitarist (he's a lot of other things besides that, but don't get us started) Bejamin Dwyer managed to catch our attention with his outstanding Vox21 new music ensemble and the delightful news that he had been awarded the position of curator of the "Viva la Guitarra!" festival. Now, there's even more to celebrate.

On September 11th, his piece "Scenes from Crow" (an allusion to the so-called "Crow Poems" by Ted Hughes) received its premiere as part of a multi-media performance that included "disturbing and often poignant visuals" courtesy of David Farrell. Hughes was a difficult poet for many to understand (more less so, apparently, to appreciate) and the show seemed to try to allow the listener/spectator enter his mind with as little filters as possible. The Irish Times and other news papers were full of praise and it can only be hoped that mainland Europe will soon be treated to this haunting experience as well.

Then, there's a commission by the NSO for Dwyer to compose a Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra (his second one). That's great news but it is made even more spectacular by the fact that Brazilian Guitarist Fabio Zanon will be playing the part of Soloist (and his Guitar as well). Zanon shot to international fame in 1996 by winning the two most prestigious awards for his instrument worldwide in just a few weeks time. The most fascinating thing is that all of this happened after he had basically withdrawn from the scene for a few years to finish his studies - despite having already won everything there was to win for a young musician. His previous musical partners include artists such as Nigel Kennedy and a plethora of famous Orchestras. So what are we trying to say? Only that this promises to be the meeting of a great composer and a fabulous instrumentalist and hopefully of a fruitful and long-lasting co-operation.

And finally, Dywer will present the new CD "Evolution" with his partner in crime Mike Nielsen. Nielsen is one of Europe's best Jazz Guitarists, which should make for an intriguing encounter. So do come by the Odessa Club in Dublin on October 24th at 8pm, if you can. Or enter your local record shop alternatively, which should have the disc available from November.

Homepage: Benjamin Dwyer
Homepage: Mike Nielsen

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