Mixed programme

FORFAR Arts Guild will welcome guitarist Simon Thacker to its concert in the East and Old Church Hall in Chapel Street on Thursday, March 21.

Simon is Head of Guitar at Napier University, having been an Honorary Fellow in Music at Aberdeen University from 2009-2012; he was artist in residence at Buxton Festival last July, as well as soloist with the RSNO in November. He also led a newly-commissioned programme with virtuosi Indian musicians in the Southbank Centre in London last April.

Simon returns to Forfar as solo guitar to the East and Old Hall, where the acoustics have been highly praised from every performer, thus promising an evening of wonderful resonant guitar music.

Simon is described as a ‘guitar soloist, composer and leader of ground-breaking ensembles’, but the actual extent of all his work is mind-boggling. He plays, or has played, with the Hebrides Ensemble, the Paragon Ensemble, Edinburgh String Quartet, is in residence at guitar festivals in Britain and South America, as well as teaching.

His London debut as soloist at the Purcell Rooms led to great acclaim, and he has been nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society Music award.

But his real love is his work with three different groups; Camerata Ritmica, a fusion of classical, jazz and world music; the Nava Rasa Ensemble, which explores the meeting of Asian and Western musical cultures; and also Svara-Kanti, which combines two of the world’s most diverse musical cultures, the west and India.

His programme for Thursday is as mixed as could be expected, ranging from Bach’s great Chaconne BWV 1004, de Falla’s ‘Homenaje pour le tombeau de Couperin’, Cuban Leo Brouwer’s ‘Variation on a theme of Django Reinhardt’, to Benjamin Britten’s ‘Nocturnal after John Dowland’, a piece commissioned by Julian Bream, and still regarded as the greatest piece written for guitar.

All are welcome on Thursday at 7.30 p.m,, adults £7 and children £1