Advanced Keys to Flamenco (w/CD)


Author: Dennis Koster Publisher: PJN Publications
Category: Instructional/Method


ITEM: 03632
Price: $39.95


The AIG Flamenco Library series approaches the study of flamenco in the same "organic" way one learns it in Spain: beginning with the basic chords and techniques, then applying them to the songs and dances which are a part of daily life. As one's skills grow, the same flamenco forms are played with more complex technique and subtlety of expression, and advanced forms and techniques are gradually added to the guitarist's repertoire. As the series progresses, earlier examples are combined and expanded to become full-length solos utilizing the full range of flamenco style.

Part One, "The Keys to Flamenco Guitar", begins with the fundamental rhythms and techniques. Each lesson is designed to be useful for both the novice guitarist and advanced player. The techniques developed in Part One are rasgueado (strumming), golpe (tapping), pulgar and alzapua (thumb techniques), ligado (left hand slur technique), arpegio (broken chords) and picado (scale technique). These techniques are applied to the rhythms of soleares, alegrias, farruca, tangos, tientos, bulerias, siguiriyas, and verdiales. Extended solos are developed in most of these forms.

Part Two, "Advanced Flamenco Guitar", explores the virtuoso techniques of solo flamenco guitar: tremelo, advanced arpegio and ligado, alzapua, and rasgueados. The musical examples are drawn largely from the work of past and present flamenco maestros. In this volume new flamenco forms are introduced, many of which cannot be played without these concert techniques: sevillanas, fandangos, granadinas, malaguenas, and tarantas. Also, more comlex variations of the basic forms in Part One are developed, and the solos expand in breadth and difficulty.


Along with his success as a concert artist, Dennis Koster has been one of New York's most respected and sought after teachers for over twenty years. He has been on the performing artist roster of Affiliate Artists and the Lincoln Center Institute and the faculty of Long Island University, the National Guitar Summer Workshop and for the past decade at the American Institute of Guitar. He has lectured and performed at the Julliard School, the Peabody Conservatory, the American String Teacher's Association and the New York Bach Gesellschaft. Born and raised in New York City, Dennis Koster began his career as an accompanist with local Spanish dance companies while still in his teens, studying during this time with the great flamenco master Mario Escudero. Two decades later Koster had the rare opportunity to study with the legendary Sabicas, who called him "an exceptional interpreter of my compositions".

Koster began classical guitar studies with Jose Luis Rodrigo in Madrid, later working with Julio Prol and Jerry Willard in New York. His 1975 Carnegie Hall debut was hailed in the New York Times as "a considerable success...a brilliant, aptly fantastic performance". He concertizes extensively throughout the United States, has toured Japan and been heard on numerous radio broadcasts. Koster's unique programs combine classical guitar masterworks, his own transcriptions, "classical" flamenco and the artist's original flamenco compositions.

Aside from solo concerts and teaching, Koster enjoys fruitful collaborations with a number of outstanding musicians. An association with the young Mexican composer Samuel Zyman of Julliard has thus far produced two major works, the "Sonata para Guitarra" (1988) and "Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra" which Koster premiered with the Westfield Symphony under Brad Keimach in 1990. Since a 1985 Carnegie Hall duo concert with the outstanding 'oud virtuoso George Mgrdichian, they have made many appearances together exploring the fusion of flamenco and Middle Eastern music.

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