Assad brothers blend classical with Brazilian heritage on Nov. 10

Photo by Fadi Kheir.

October 15, 2012

Legendary classical guitarists Sérgio and Odair Assad perform Saturday, Nov. 10, 8 p.m., at Emory¿s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. The Brazilian-born brothers¿known for their guitar innovation, ingenuity, and expression¿present a concert that blends classical music with their Brazilian heritage.

The first half of the program features selections from European composers, such as Fernando Sor and Jean-Philippe Rameau. Selections from Rameau¿s ¿Pièces de Clavecin¿ are transcribed for guitar by Sérgio Assad.

The second half of the program, titled ¿Journey of the Brazilian Guitar through History,¿ presents music by seven Brazilian composers, and features classical influences, waltzes, chôros, jazz and bossa nova. The program opens with ¿Batuque¿ by Ernesto Nazareth, acknowledged as the first pillar of Brazilian music. Other highlights include ¿Abismo de Rosas¿ (Abyss of Roses) by Américo Jacomino, considered the first masterpiece composed for the guitar in Brazil; and ¿Manha de Carnaval¿ (Morning of Carnival) by Luiz Bonfá, a jazz and bossa nova piece, made famous by the 1959 film ¿Orfeo Negro¿ (Black Orpheus).

The Emory program:

Fantasia, Op. 54 F. Sor (1778-1839)
Selections from Pièces de Clavecin J. Rameau (1683-1764), arr. S. Assad

Prelude and Fuge No. 7 in C-sharp minor
Prelude and Fugue No. 17 in B Major

M. Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968)
Contos de Cordel: 7 minatures for two guitars E. Gismonti (b. 1947)

"Journey of the Brazilian Guitar through History"
Batuque E. Nazareth (1863-1934)
Abismo de Rosas A. Jacomino "Canhoto" (1887-1923)
Interrogando J. Pernambuco (1883-1947)
Manha de Carnaval L. Bonfa (1922-2001)
Medley A. Sardinha "Garoto" (1915-1955)
Dois Destinos D. Reis (1916-1977)
Tempo Feliz B. Powell (1937-2000)

About the Assad Brothers:
Their exceptional artistry and uncanny ensemble playing come from both a family rich in Brazilian musical tradition and from studies with the best guitarists in South America. In addition to setting new performance standards, the Assads have played a major role in creating and introducing new music for two guitars. Their virtuosity has inspired a wide range of composers to write for them including Astor Piazzolla, Terry Riley, Radamés Gnattali, Marlos Nobre, Nikita Koshkin, Roland Dyens, Jorge Morel, Edino Krieger and Francisco Mignone. Now Sérgio Assad is adding to their repertoire by composing music for the duo, and for various musical partners both with symphony orchestras and in recitals. They have worked extensively with such renowned artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Fernando Suarez Paz, Paquito D¿Rivera, Gidon Kremer and Dawn Upshaw.

The Nov. 10 concert is part of the 2012-2013 Flora Glenn Candler Concert Series, hosting world-renowned solo artists, chamber groups, and orchestras in the Schwartz Center¿s Emerson Concert Hall. Event and ticket details at


Celebrating 10 years, the Donna and Marvin Schwartz Center for Performing Arts is a place where teaching, learning, and performance merge to create a vital arts presence for the entire community.