With an impressive background in transcribing symphonies and orchestral arrangements into solo classical guitar pieces and a long list of awards from international competitions, Kazuhito Yamashita has been an inspiration since the beginning of his career.

Known by many as one of the most brilliant and influential musicianskazuhitooct3 of our time, he are honored to host him for the second time here in Austin. Yamashita’s concert, and the opening of our 25th  season, is one week from Saturday.

Tickets and information are online here, or call 512-300-2247

One of our favorite guitarists of all time is Jorge Caballero.  We knew Yamashita was a huge influence on him, and we asked him to share a few words with us.

This is what he had to say:

“It is difficult to describe the fascination and astonishment I felt the morning I heard Yamashitas Pictures at an Exhibition for the first time. My teacher pulled out from his vast collection of guitar records a black cassette case, opened it with the familiarity of constant use, and after rewinding it, we listened. A myriad of sounds unfamiliar to my ears ensued. “I know people who quit playing the guitar after hearing this,” he said, between breaks and stops to fast forward through the tape. “And why not? This recording is like a crossroads.”

The genesis of the guitar version of Pictures dates back to the end of the 1970s, when the now legendary Japanese guitarist Kazuhito Yamashita first devised, interpreted, and published it. Historically speaking, this arrangement is— along with Yamashita’s subsequent performances of it, similar to the Pioneer anomaly in astrophysics: the paradox it created between the theoretically possible and the hypothetical forcibly exposed the limits of our knowledge.

In my twelve-year-old mind I could see this paradox, hanging on a delicate balance of simple definitions: “What is the guitar?” This question spun in my head as I heard my teacher’s remarks on Yamashita’s playing in the background. My own mind was busy. “Is it the instrument of Segovia, the one I more or less knew? Or, is it really something else? Can it be ultimately defined?” These questions took on the form of a persistent puzzle, one that my greatest imaginative effort could not resolve.

After the lesson was over, I asked my teacher if I could borrow the music, a spiral bound photocopy of forty-plus pages. Once I got home, I opened it to the first Promenade, guitar in hand, and began reading. Although even the opening phrase, its odd time signature and its fingerings seemed already illogical, I hoped that someday my curiosity would reward me the benefit of understanding it, and that is how I began learning Pictures, slowly, taking a page here and there and trying to play it, without responsibility beyond my self imposed obligation, but moreover, I sought to understand its meaning in order to quench a desire for knowledge, so as to resolve a riddle, to learn.”