As part of Community Music Center’s Shenson Faculty Concert Series, Duo Symphonious will wow audiences in the Bay Area with their genre-bending arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s holiday masterpiece. Something truly special happens to this music when it’s voiced by two classical guitars. When you distill a monumental work of 80 or 90 instruments down to a mere two, strange and miraculous things occur. There’s no room for anything more than the true essence of the work, so you have to pare all that beauty into its simplest form.
What’s more, when an orchestra becomes two guitars, new colors emerge; personalities are transformed. They have found a tinge of country in the Chinese Dance, Latin overtones in the stately ‘Waltz of the Flowers,’ even some heavy metal in ‘Mother Goose of the Clowns’ (of all places). It’s still Tchaikovsky, without a doubt. But it’s also something else entirely.
The concert and Portable Nutcracker CD release takes place Friday, December 21 at 8:00pm in Community Music Center’s auditorium located at 544 Capp Street in San Francisco. Admission is free with donations being welcomed.
The duo will also perform a family-friendly matinee with dramatic storytelling on Sunday, December 16 at 1:30pm., at St. Albans Episcopal Church located at 1501 Washington Ave. in Albany, CA. Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 children, and $20 for a family of four.
Mike Roberts and Zac Selissen joined forces in 2006 as graduate students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. They discovered not only a shared history as electric guitar-wielding classic rockers who developed a passion for the classical guitar, but also a common interest in a wide range of music, from Scarlatti and Tchaikovsky to Joplin and Jobim. They possess a growing body of original compositions and arrangements, and frequently incorporate improvisation into their repertoire.