Cambridge guitarist Daniela Rossi will perform pieces written for her by composer Dušan Bogdanovic

Acclaimed Cambridge-based classical guitarist Daniela Rossi will perform in person three pieces written especially for her by one of her musical heroes, Swiss-Serbian American composer Dušan Bogdanovic.

Daniela Rossi. Photo: Keith Hepell

Daniela, originally from Argentina (she studied at the Conservatory of Bahía Blanca, her hometown), will also delight the public at Impington Village College this Friday, March 4 with works by English composer John Duarte and will share the stage with Kevin Loh , an up-and-coming talent from Singapore.

Kevin will play a work by Bach and the duo will end the concert with some duets.

Dusan Bogdanovic.  Photo: Josif Raspopovic
Dusan Bogdanovic. Photo: Josif Raspopovic

Explaining how he came to write for Daniela, Dušan – addressing the Cambridge Independent from her home in Geneva, Switzerland – says: “Daniela was already playing my music and I saw that she was playing my Sonata No. 1 in four movements, which is really a difficult piece…

“His teacher, Eduardo Isaac from Argentina, recorded this piece first – it’s actually the first recording of this piece. I think Daniela heard him play or whatever; anyway, she discovered this piece and she recorded it, made a video and played it.

Guitarist Daniela Rossi.  Photo: Keith Hepell
Guitarist Daniela Rossi. Photo: Keith Hepell

Daniela notes that she played it “everywhere” for about four years. “I saw her play that and was so impressed with the quality of her playing, with so much expression and temperament,” Dušan says. “It’s a difficult piece; I never fully played it! I just said to myself: “I’m waiting for a virtuoso or someone who really knows how to play it” – I am above all a composer.

Dušan continues: “When I saw that she was playing so well and so well, I decided to write this piece for her, and in fact before that we met in Spain. [in summer 2021] at the Francisco Tárrega International Guitar Competition. I was on the jury so I had the opportunity to hear him perform again, so I was inspired to write something.

The play he was inspired to write is called Nightingale, named after Daniela and also the French word for nightingale. “So I sent it to her and then she was working really hard and she recorded it and played it.”

Daniela, who kept busy during the confinement by giving concerts online, is naturally flattered that a piece is written especially for her. “To have a play written by one of your heroes is like a dream, it’s amazing – it’s a huge honor,” she says. Daniela has been a fan of Dušan’s music since she was a teenager.

One of the other pieces Dušan wrote for Daniela is a version of the ballad by Billie Holiday God bless the child. “In fact, it was a big challenge for me because even if I listen to jazz and I listen to blues, it’s not at all something that I used to play”, admits Daniela .

Daniela Rossi.  Photo: Keith Hepell
Daniela Rossi. Photo: Keith Hepell

Dušan notes, “My idea was to help Daniela soak up a little more of other idioms, to play something more in the style of blues and jazz – so that was another aspect of that.”

The last piece that Dušan wrote for Daniela is called Winter variants. “The plan is to record a CD with only Dušan tracks,” Daniela reveals.

Daniela Rossi will appear with Kevin Loh in the Brackenbury Hall at Impington Village College this Friday (March 4). For tickets, visit https://bit.ly/36GVFOl. To learn more about Daniela, go to danielarossiguitarist.com.

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