The Guilfordian

Guitarganza 2019 showcases music, performance by Silviu Ciulei

On Friday, February 8th Guilford College was treated to an incredible guitar concert from visiting musical artist Silviu Octavian Ciulei.

Despite the cold weather Friday evening, the inside of the Carnegie room was filled with warm chords and excited voices as visitors gathered for a unique evening full of beautiful music.

Born in Constanta, Romania Ciulei began practicing guitar at the age of six before moving to the US in 2004 where he has been performing and teaching since. A guitar professor at both Wake Forest University and Furman University, Ciulei proved that he is as much of an educator as he is a talented musician. The event was open to the general public as a part of Guitarganaza 2019, a weekend of performances, workshops, and lessons hosted by the Piedmont Classical Guitar Society.

As the kick off event, the Carnegie room had a nearly full audience, packed with traditional Guilford and Early College students, local musicians as well as fans of Ciulei’s music.

The evening was composed into two segments as Ciulei demonstrated the full range of his skill, playing both a set of challenging classical guitar pieces and a full set of traditional Flamenco music to close the night. Ciulei opened with three french pieces from prominent artists, performing versions he adapted for the guitar as well as paying tribute to the icons of the movement before him.

His performance of Django Reinhardt’s piece Nuages in particular was a deft show of skill, style, and creativity as Ciulei’s fingers flew across the fretboard to strum out the multitude of intersecting chords.

The insight and conversation the artist offered after each piece was particularly a nice touch, and there was as much an element of education in his show as there was skillful playing.

This educational element was most prominent during his performance of the Suite Espanola, a collection of pieces composed by Isaac Albeniz inspired by the cities and countryside of Spain in the late 19th century.

Ciulei provided a vast amount of insight in particular around the second song of the suite, Asturias which he criticized for its inaccurate representation of the titular location.

As much a music historian as a captivating performer, Ciulei led the audience through the history of Albeniz’s intentions before declaring what he thought to be a more accurate title for the piece as he began the next song.

Workshops were given by Amanda Caporicci (“Practicing with Purpose”), Mark Mazzatenta (“Harmony Hipness”) and Aaron Matson (Jazz for the Classical Guitarist”).

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