Charles Mokotoff concert, Dec 1

WTBE presents Charles Mokotoff, classical guitarist, in a concert at TBE, 7:30

Charles Mokotoff is a classical guitarist based out of the Washington D.C. area.

I started like everyone else, playing electric guitar in a rock band, pretty young, something like 13 or 14. I kept that up right through to college, playing in one not so great band after another. When I hit college at 17 I met someone playing classical guitar, and that was it. She was working her way through the Six Lute Pieces of the Renaissance you know the Chilesotti works…and I was totally awed by it. I picked up a classical guitar somewhere and just kept on plugging. Lucky for me there was a fantastic teacher in my area who had worked with Yepes for years. She was very strict with me and laid the groundwork for my further study.

I also had an enormous capacity for practice. I just kept on improving and my family was very encouraging. It was all pretty surreal now that I look back at my college years, graduate study and resulting career, because, at around 15 years old, I lost a lot of hearing. But I just put on some blinders, ignored the apparent futility of it, and kept at it.

I studied with Edward Flower at Ithaca and also Carlos Bonell in London. Then I went on to do some work in early music on the lute with, among others, Paul O’Dette. But my real mentor was Michael Lorimer, who showed me what it was to be a pro. He knows the guitar, music and the business very well and has a way of guiding that is unlike any other teacher I have ever had, in any discipline.

I did my New York Debut at Carnegie in 1987, but leading up to that had quite a lot of work in New England and also overseas. When I came back from some concerts in the Far East, I knew I just had to do some recording. We laid down the tracks on the CD Autumn Elegy in the summer of 1986 at a church inside Harvard Yard in Cambridge. We recorded at night so we could take advantage of the great acoustics but minimize ambient noise outside. Keeping that up for about a week, I learned what it was like to do the graveyard shift!

Coming back to the guitar after a long break was a complicated experience. Over all of it was relearning the music, my hands seemed to move like always, just a bit slower, but I didn’t recall anything to play. Reading music came right back of course, but I grappled with scales, arpeggios, tone production, LH slurs, like anyone does. It all came back faster than I could imagine.

From: Classical Guitar Blog
Tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for students (with student ID at door)

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Concert will be in Sanctuary. Dessert reception will follow

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