Leonard Turnevicius: Guitar festival opens with a Cuban flourish

Click your heels together three times and say, “There’s no place like home”?

No, gracias. Because pretty much all Rene Izquierdo needs to do is place his classical guitar on his lap, and presto, he’s already halfway to Havana. Which is about as close to the Cuban capital as he’s going to come. At least, for the foreseeable future.

Izquierdo, who opens Emma Rush’s three-day Hamilton International Guitar Festival with a solo recital Friday (July 7) at 8 p.m. in the Hamilton Conservatory, 126 James St. S., defected from Cuba in 1995 and has never returned. Since 2004, home has been Milwaukee where Izquierdo is associate professor of classical guitar at the U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. However, it’s his native Cuba that he’ll spotlight in the first half of his recital.

“I wanted to do a recital of lesser known Cuban pieces from the folk tradition, showing a different light by playing pieces from Cuban 19th-century piano repertoire and arrangements,” Izquierdo wrote in an email to The Spectator last Saturday from Boston.

Read the full article at The Record