Classical guitarist

Many musicians dream of a chance to perform at Carnegie Hall.

Classical guitarist Peter Fletcher has played at the historic concert venue in New York four times. His most recent show, in March 2010, was sold out.

Fletcher will take a different stage when he performs the music of Bach and many other composers at the Scott County Public Library at 7 p.m. May 26.

Fletcher said he does not approach a library performance any differently from a performance in a prestigious music hall. Audiences will leave his performances with a similar sample of his musical talents, but might experience more.  

“I do the same performance I would do at Carnegie Hall as I would in a library,” said Fletcher. “I might talk a little bit more about the music.”

The guitarist, originally from Atlanta, said he knew at an early age he wanted to play guitar.

At 7, he began strumming guitar strings. At 15, he made his formal debut as a performer. Today, Fletcher has recorded six albums and has performed at venues of all types across the United States and in Europe.

In January, the recording artist began a four-month tour across the country with 68 stops, including one in Georgetown.

His performance at the library includes music from four centuries of classical guitar, Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic and Modern.

Fletcher makes an effort to be a unique classical guitarist. He has taken well-known classical music and transcribed the music from one instrument to another, making it possible to be played on the guitar.

“I do play the standard repertoire people have heard before,” said Fletcher. “That might be 60 percent of the program. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, by Bach, is one piece I know everyone is going to recognize.”

“I like to expand the guitar repertoire by transcribing mostly piano music. This allows me to present music that other classical guitarists are not playing.”

Fletcher uses two Hippner guitars in performances. The cedar top guitar is used when performing French and Romantic period pieces for its sweeter tone. The spruce top guitar is used for Baroque style and offers more clarity for earlier pieces with multiple melodies.

“I like to use different tone colors,” said Fletcher. “You can produce different tones with playing styles. If you play toward the bridge of the neck, you get a bright sound. If you play toward the sound hole, you get a warm-sweet sound. It gives the concert a three-dimensional feel.”

The two guitars are one of many discussion points Fletcher will engage the audience in. He also discusses composers and his hobby of transcribing musical pieces to guitar.

With each performance, Fletcher strives to make a musical connection with the audience.

“The connection takes place when everyone gets quiet, and everyone is thinking about nothing else but the music,” said Fletcher. “It’s almost like you forget someone is on stage.”

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