Monday, 15 August 2011

School's Out!

Listeners may have noticed that, apart from the summer festivals - and the Dartington Summer School of course, there are very few concerts going on in Devon. We can look forward to more when everyone gets back from holiday.

One person who is giving one of his rare concerts is guitarist David Cottam. He will be at the Exeter Central Library music room right after this week's 'Classical Journey', at 1.30pm on Tuesday.

David will be 'borrowing' one of Crediton Luthier Shaun Newman's hand-made guitars for the concert. The beautiful instrument is made with one of the very last panels of Honduran rosewood - a very rare instrument. After the concert the instrument will be returned for sale, so this is a one-off opportunity to hear this combination of man and instrument.

Anyone interested in buying the guitar - or ordering one to their own specifications - can contact Shaun at this workshop in Crediton (01363 774416) or visit his website

Tomorrow's lunchtime concert won't quite be a one-off. Last week David took the guitar to Mike Gluyas' recording studios (where he has been recording a new album with 'cellist Hilary Boxer) and joined some other 'off-duty' musicians for some impromptu music making. Mike's wife Wendy kept up the party spirit with drinks and food, while Mike kept the microphones running - and possibly picked up a few more gems!

David Cottam and Shaun Newman's rosewood guitar
(it's the back panel that's rosewood, by the way)

Playing one of his own compositions

Visiting Dutch pianist Fred Gest
joins in on keyboard

. . . and is joined by the bass voice of Patrick Taylor
in a rousing Schumann song lampooning the Kaiser

. . . and the tenor voice of baroque violinist
and music lecturer Peter Alsopp
(formerly Exeter University, now Beijing)
in Tosti's 'worst ever' song

. . . and Phonic FM presenter Lily Neal
playing the modern fiddle

Patrick takes over with a medley of his own

Peter Alsopp demonstrates his technique
on a 'modern' violin - only 100 years old
(His baroque fiddle is now four centuries old)
David Cottam's recital will be at 1.30pm tomorrow, 16 August, in the music room of Exeter Central Library. Tickets £10 (concessions £8).

Listen out for David on tomorrow's 'Classical Journey' when he will give details of his programme of pieces some time between 10 and 11am.

Details of all Guitar Festival concerts at

Later in the show two other guitarists, Clive Betts and Henry Dunn, will appear on the show to discuss a concert series starting in Wonford Chapel in September.

Next week we shall have Dutch concert pianist Fred Gest as our special guest on the Classical Journey, from 10am till 12 on Tuesday 23 August.

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