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A true talent for classical guitar

In 1998, Paul Galbraith's recording of the "Complete Bach Violin Sonatas and Partitas" (Delos) was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Solo Instrumental Album. This 2-CD set was also chosen as one of the two best CDs of 1998 by Gramophone Magazine, which called it "a landmark in the history of guitar recordings." It received a "Four Star" rating in Stereo Review and reached the Top 10 on Billboard's classical charts.

The Jefferson Classical Guitar Society will present a concert featuring Galbraith at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 10, in Southern Oregon University's Music Recital Hall, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

Born in Scotland, Galbraith has lived in Malawi, Greece, London, and, for the last five years, Brazil. He was a founding member of the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, playing until the summer of 2003. His principal teacher, since 1983, has been the Greek conductor, pianist and philosopher George Hadjinikos.

Galbraith was 17 when he won the Silver Medal at the Segovia International Guitar Competition. Andrés Segovia, who was present, called his playing "magnificent." This award helped launch an international career including engagements with some of the finest orchestras in Britain and other parts of Europe. He toured the U.S. as soloist with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, and performed in Prague's Dvorák Hall with the National Chamber Orchestra of Chile.

In 1989 at the Edinburgh Festival, Galbraith first demonstrated his guitar design and revolutionary playing position. A metal endpin, similar to that of a cello, rests on a wooden resonance box and supports his guitar. The guitar itself, designed in collaboration with the late luthier David Rubio, has two extra strings; one high, one low. Both the guitar's extraordinary design and Galbraith's playing style are considered ground-breaking developments in the history of the instrument, increasing its range to an unprecedented extent.

In March 2003, Galbraith and the St. Petersburg String Quartet gave the World Premiere at Stanford University of a new work, "Rhapsody for Guitar and String Quartet," that they co-commissioned from Georgian composer Zurab Nadarejshvili.

Galbraith is currently recording a video of the Bach Cello Suite #4, Mozart Sonata K.280, Britten Nocturnal, and Ravel "Mother Goose" Suite.

Tickets are $15 general admission and $5 for students. Children under 12 are admitted free. Tickets are available in advance at CD or Not CD, Ashland or at Central Arts Supply, Medford and at the door. See www.JeffersonGuitar.org or call 552-9515.

International-touring guitarist Paul Galbraith has developed a unique guitar design to enhance his playing.