Here’s 16-year-old Jonathan Pryde, who was in town with his family for the Parkening Young Guitarists Competition, playing Maurice Ravel’s ‘Empress of the Pagodas’ on a new 2015 Tobias Berg with a spruce top and African rosewood back and sides.

Jonathan started playing just three years ago when he attended his first Parkening Competition and decided he wanted to compete next time around. Since then he’s been studying with Jonathan Roth. He has also been touring and recording with his family’s band, The Reconciliation Band, since 2010.

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5 Responses to “Jonathan Pryde – Empress of the Pagodas”

  1. Dave McLellan says:

    nicely done. Love it. and Crikey I wish I had a left hand that size.

  2. This was a fantastic performance and a very difficult piece. Jonathan Pryde is surely going places, and to execute this composition at 16 years old is a reflection of the dedication and commitment he has toward the instrument. I wish him all the best! Oh, and by the way the guitar emits a beautiful sound. A tiny bit of reverb on the piece would be nice too.

  3. Three years!?!? I give up………

  4. The last performance of this transcription I heard was in the hands of the great Christopher Parkening who really ‘Tore it up’ in his debut in the 70s and his recording. This kid will be a terror ( he all ready is! ). He has it all at his command: great tone, perfect technical execution, deep musical awareness. This is extremely difficult to pull off and you need a left hand of steel! This young man also has an excellent delicate touch for the gentle impressionistic measure that required balance of artificial harmonics and unified bass notes. This kid is an exceptional talent and I hope he gets a great following because he deserves it. This instrument is clean and bright. After listening to this great performance, kudos must go to this Luthier who has produced a highly receptive instrument. The ability to execute clean legatos and juicy artificial harmonics tells the tale of an excellent concert instrument. I’d enjoy playing this instrument myself!!!! This instrument has a wide tonal pallette. Thanks for recording this great performance by a young exceptional kid and that ending smile of his shows that he knows he ” nailed it “. I know that feeling. It’s having an ” aural orgasm “. I just love these young wiz kids. What a great way to start my day!!! I’m 65 and still performing great here in New York and this performance is the type of performance that curled my toes. Totally under control!!

  5. Michael says:

    WOW, this is a hard piece and to play with such authority at age 15 is scary.

    I also heard this piece first played by Parkening, and fell in love with it.

    Ironically, Jonathan looks like a young Parkening!


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