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Guitar duo carry exotic sounds around Japan

by Mariko Kato

Kiyoshi Shomura and María Esther Guzman, renowned guitarists from Japan and Spain respectively, perform their guitar duo recital across Japan from Sept. 15-30. They promise to entertain with an exotic blend of European Mediterranean repertoire from various periods.

Having recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of his debut, Kiyoshi Shomura is regarded by some as the leading guitarist in Japan. With frequent international tours and innovative collaborations with a range of other instrumentalists, he is a well-known personality on stage and on television. In 1963, he met the celebrated guitarist Narciso Yepes, who was on tour in Japan and who invited Shomura to study with him in Spain, where Shomura’s love and flair for Spanish music was cultivated.

Shomura is a perfect complement to Sevillian guitarist María Esther Guzman. Since studying at Conservatorio Superior de Musica, Guzman has won numerous prizes in national and international competitions, and has been a regular performer in Japan for nearly two decades.

The duo open the program with a couple of guitar masterpieces by Baroque composers Handel and J.S. Bach, and the Classical Italian composer Cimarosa. They soon pick up a more vivacious pace as they pay tribute to two of Spain’s most popular composers, Enrique Granados and Manuel de Falla, and the concert dances to a close with a joyous homage to Schubert by French composer Poulenc and “Tango Suite” by 20th-century Argentine tango composer Piazzolla.

Kiyoshi Shomura and María Esther Guzman will perform their guitar duo recital at Amour Hall, Kanagawa (Sept. 15, 3 p.m.); Kirishima International Music Hall, Kagoshima (Sept. 17, 2 p.m.); Tokyo Daiichi Hotel Shimozaki, Yamaguchi (Sept. 18, time tbc); Sanyo Onoda Shiminkan Bunka Yamaguchi (Sept. 19, time tbc); Airef Hall, Fukuoka (Sept. 21, 7 p.m.); Hamarikyu Asahi Concert Hall, Tokyo (Sept. 22, 6 p.m.); Toyonaka City Aqua Bunka Center, Osaka (Sept. 23, 2 p.m.); Miharu Koryukan, Fukushima (Sept. 24, time tbc); Saitama City Bunka Center (Sept. 27, time tbc); Parnasus Hall, Hyogo (Sept. 29, 3 p.m.); Tachikawa City Shimin Kaikan (Sept. 30, 3 p.m.). Ticket prices vary at each venue. For more information and tickets, call 0570 06 9960 or visit kajimotoeplus.com.