Berta Rojas, one of the greatest living classical guitarists, tributes pioneering female guitarists at the 92nd Street Y in the Upper East Side on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 8pm. From $20. 92y.org 🇵🇾
Tickets are available for both the in-person performance and a livestream, so you can enjoy this concert from home.
The program highlights the compositions of French guitarist Ida Presti (1924-1967), and Argentina guitarist María Luisa Anido (1907-1996). Rojas also performs works by other composers that pay tribute to these women, including an homage to Anido by Sérgio Assad of the Brazilian Assad Brothers, today’s preeminent guitar duo.
Ida Presti was a child prodigy who has been called “the greatest guitarist of the 20th century, and possibly of all time” by “Classical Guitar” magazine.
María Luisa Anido’s compositions often channel Argentina’s rich folkloric traditions. It’s the land of the gaucho, the Argentine cowboys who were Indigenous European. Folkloric traditions still live in Argentina where they are much loved.
The excellence of these female musicians should be no surprise, because while men often take the spotlight, women are the guardians of culture. These artists are even more exceptional when you consider the period in which they worked. Even today Latin women are discouraged from having their own careers. Back in the day, it was much harder.
Berta Rojas is a multi-Grammy nominated Paraguayan classical guitarist who performs on the world’s most respected stages including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
She is known for the emotional intensity of her playing. In classical music, it’s one thing to play the notes correctly. That’s nice. But playing with passion takes the music to another level. It’s the difference between artists and legends.
The “Washington Post” called Rojas “Guitarist Extraordinaire.” “Classical Guitar Magazine” named her a “Classical Guitar Ambassador.”
Rojas’ album with Paquito D’Rivera, “Día y Media – A Day an a Half” (2012), an album of Paraguayan music, was nominated for the Best Instrumental Album Latin Grammy. They toured Latin America and the Caribbean together for four years.
Her “Salsa Roja” (2014) was nominated for the Best Classical Album Latin Grammy.
Her “Historia del Tango” (2015) with Camerata Bariloche, the Argentine chamber ensemble, was nominated for the Best Tango Album Latin Grammy.
Paraguay Has a Strong Guitar Tradition
Paraguayan classical guitarist Agustín Barrios (1885-1944) is regarded as one of the guitar’s greatest composers and performers. He was the first classical guitarist to make records. Barrios was part Guaraní which was one of the main Indigenous groups of Paraguay.
Seeing Berta Rojas perform just might inspire you to begin your own guitar studies at the 92nd Street Y. 92y.org