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From Italy to Saturn

Fabio Federico

Italian guitarist Fabio Federico gives a recital at the Saturn Club

ulius Caesar began his classic account of his Gallic War campaign with the now famous phrase “All Gaul is divided into three parts.” Anyone writing a history of contemporary Buffalo might similarly begin the account of our fair city thusly: “All Buffalo is divided into two parts, one tiny part being made up of members of the exclusive Saturn Club, and their guests, with the other, gigantic part being made up of the rest of us, who have never crossed its threshold.” J

If you are one of the many who have admired the club’s 1922 Tudor Revival style building at 977 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, designed by Duane Lyman, once known as the dean of Western New York architecture, you might enjoy the opportunity to take a rare tour of the building, listed since 2005 on the National Register of Historical Places.

On Friday, October 25 at 7pm, Buffalo State architectural historian and Camerata di Sant’Antonio violinist Martin Ederer will lead an architectural tour of the Saturn Club, to be followed by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, preceding a solo recital by one of the premiere Italian guitarists of the 21st century, Fabio Federico. The event, which is a fundraiser for the Camerata di Sant’Antonio, is hosted by Lucia Ederer, Vice Consul of Italy for Western New York.

A native of Rossano in Calabria in southern Italy, Fabio Federico graduated with distinction from the International Academy of Lorenzo Perosi of Biella, tutored by the guitar player/composer Angelo Gilardino. He has actively promoted the guitar repertoire of 19th- and 20th-century Italian composers in his recitals and live radio broadcasts, both in Italy and throughout Europe and in Australia, Guatemala, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, China, and the US.

Federico has been hailed by Guitar Club, the leading Italian guitar magazine, as “one of the most interesting virtuosi on the new national guitar scene,” while Italian composer Angelo Gilardino has observed that “his sound, his mental clarity, his memory, and presence make him a concert player who always gives the exact impression of knowing what he wants to do with the music he plays, and knows how to do it with precision and nonchalance.”

His recital will include a pair of well known early 19th-century works, the 1811 Variazioni, Op. 45, by Mauro Giuliani, the prolific composer and guitarist considered by many to be one of the leading guitar virtuosos of the early 19th century, and the 1822 Gran Solo in D Major, Op. 14 by Spanish composer Fernando Sor. Lesser known works include Adelita by the late 19th-century Spanish composer Francisco Tarregà and the Rondò by the virtually forgotten composer Dionisio Aguado (1784-1849). The big work on the program is Federico’s arrangement of the Grand Sonata for guitar and violin in A major by Niccolò Paganini, the first superstar violinist, who, by all accounts, also played a mean guitar.

Tickets are $40, with seating by reservation only. Call 856-3626.

Slee Sinfonietta Goes Mainstream

On Tuesday, October 29 at 7:30pm the Center for 21st Century Music welcomes back guest conductor Robert Treviño along with clarinetist Garrick Zoeter, bass clarinetist and faculty member Jean Kopperud, and counter bass clarinetist Ken Thomson for the second Slee Sinfonietta concert of the season in the group’s home in Slee Hall on the UB Amherst Campus. While the big work on the program, Donald Martino’s Triple Concerto for clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet and chamber orchestra may not be familiar to many local classical music lovers, two of the other works on the program are far more familiar to any serious listener, albeit mainly by way of recordings.

French composer Darius Milhaud was captivated by the jazz music that he heard in Harlem when he visited America in 1922, and the next year he was the first classical composer to incorporate jazz into a symphonic work in his music for the ballet La création du monde. The ballet itself was more of a succès de scandale in Paris than a genuine success, but the music eventually became very popular in the concert hall. While the infectiously seductive work is often played and requested on classical radio stations, it has only been programmed once by the BPO, back in 1998 under the baton of Max Valdes, so this is a rare local opportunity to hear the work live. The same case might be made for another work on the program, Stravinsky’s Octet for an unusual combination of brass and woodwind instruments, a work most listeners encounter only via recordings. The area premier of Pulitzer Prize winning composer Donald Martino’s unusually scored Triple Concerto makes for a program of 20th-century music that should not be missed.

For tickets and information, call 645-2921 or visit

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