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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Guitarist grew up in artistic home

    David Russell, a Grammy-award winning classical guitarist, grew up on Minorca, one of the Balearic Islands. Listen to his Spanish-influenced tunes when he plays at Holsclaw Hall in the School of Music on tomorrow and Sunday.
    David Russell, a Grammy-award winning classical guitarist, grew up on Minorca, one of the Balearic Islands. Listen to his Spanish-influenced tunes when he plays at Holsclaw Hall in the School of Music on tomorrow and Sunday.

    Most people don’t have the privilege of doing professionally what they have a passion for. Grammy-winning classical guitarist and Spain native David Russell is not like most people.

    “”I get to do exactly what I wanted to do when I was 12 years old,”” he said.

    Russell, who grew up on Minorca, one of the Balearic Islands, recalls picking up a guitar at the ripe age of three with help from his family and “”being quite natural”” with music as well as with the guitar.

    “”My parents are both artists, and so we had a very artistic home,”” he said.

    Russell first experienced stage fright in his teen years, when people tend to be most unsure of themselves.

    “”Today, it’s not that I walk out on stage bored by being there. Of course there’s a tension and an excitement,”” Russell said. “”(The excitement) is what makes the challenge worth trying to overcome.””

    It wasn’t much later in Russell’s life when he realized he would be able to perform and study music professionally. He began to see his career unfold around age 25, as his tours became bigger.

    “”I enjoy playing for other people,”” he said. “”I’m lucky enough to be able to do that.””

    Russell found himself highly attracted to the works of classical guitarist Andres Segovia at a young age, as well as classical music in general.

    “”I see classical music as part of our culture and part of our history,”” Russell said. “”Just like a student studies history of the world, or other cultures, I think music should also be part of life.””

    He practices guitar for three to five hours daily.

    “”For a musician, it’s very similar to an athlete in some ways,”” Russell said. “”If you really want to maintain best, top level, you really have to dedicate all your time to it.

    “”It’s a full-time occupation.””

    Russell describes his career as “”a very satisfying life.””

    “”All my time, in some ways, is my own,”” he said. “”I don’t have to go into an office and follow other people’s orders.””

    He views music as an opportunity everyone should try to have in their lives.

    “”As we get older, to have music in your life of any sort, I think, is an important contribution to the richness of your life,”” he said.

    Russell’s performances at the UA Friday and Sunday will consist of pieces from Spain, the Baroque period, Paraguay and a piece titled “”Now and Ever”” by American composer Benjamin Verdery.

    When asked where he puts the Best Instrumental Soloist Performance Grammy he won in 2005, Russell said that he has it at home.

    “”It’s too heavy to carry around,”” he said, laughing.

    Russell will perform at Holsclaw Hall in the School of Music at 7 p.m. tomorrow and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. General admission is $35.

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