Saturday, August 15, 2020

Julian Bream, RIP

It’s a safe bet that Julian Bream, who died on Friday at 87, would be remembered if he’d never done anything but play guitar. After Andrés Segovia, he was the best-known classical guitarist of the 20th century, a player of limitless sensitivity who could hold an audience spellbound simply by plucking a few quiet notes on his unamplified instrument—but who also tossed off more technically demanding pieces with the panache of an old-time barnstorming virtuoso.

Yet Mr. Bream did much more than merely play guitar. He doubled on the lute, the guitar’s ancestor, and was responsible in large part for the postwar revival of interest in that long-forgotten instrument. He led his own ensemble, the Julian Bream Consort, one of the first period-instrument groups....

Julian Bream’s epitaph will not be hard to write: He ranks alongside Jascha Heifetz and Vladimir Horowitz as the classical musician who more than any other defined the musical horizons for his instrument, and his name will always be recalled with warmth....

Julian Bream: Spellbinding Talent, Inquisitive Taste - WSJ

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