On Nov. 3, classical guitarist Nemanja Ostojic performed at Trinity University’s Ruth Taylor Concert Hall. Ostojic recently won first prize at the 2009 San Antonio International Classical Guitar Competition.
The San Antonio International Classical Guitar Competition was organized by Dr. Matthew Dunne, assistant professor of music advertisement, guitar and jazz at UTSA. The competition invites classical guitarists all around the world to gather talent at one place. Ostojic won a grand prize of $5000 for the competition.
Before the recital began John Toohey, president and executive director of ARTS San Antonio, and Dr. Dunne gave a warm introduction and were proud to present Nemanja Ostojic.
Ostojic started the recital by tuning his guitar. Comfortably and gracefully he readied the instrument for his first piece, “Tre Rondo Brillianti.” The song had Spanish influences. And towards the end of the composition it filled the auditorium with great sounds.
While tuning his guitar for the next composition, Ostojic told the audience, “eighty percent of the time guitarists spend on the guitar is tuning.” The audience laughed. “The other twenty percent is spent on playing on a badly tuned guitar.”
His next piece was Sonata for Guitar by Antonio Jose. Ostojic gave a brief history about the writer, explaining that Jose would have been “the composer of the century” if he hadn’t been assassinated during the Spanish Revolution.
The sonata began with a dreamy theme. The piece later transcended into very fast picking and powerful strumming. Finally, the song exited with a grand conclusion.
The third piece was “Jazz Sonatina” by Dusan Bogddanovic, a song with many Balkan influences. The second etude was mellow and beautiful. In this piece, Ostojic tapped on the body of the guitar while playing, blending percussive rhythm with the sounds of the guitar string.
The song overall was enjoyable and it ended on a sudden and comedic plopping sound of the top string of the guitar.
After a short intermission, Ostojic played “Four Pieces for Guitar” by 20th century Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. Ostojic defined the composition as “a radical piece according to today’s musician,” but he explained that the piece was “a very romantic composition and enjoyable.” He also warns the audience that the piece is difficult to appreciate because it has “no distinguishable theme.”
The next song complemented Four Pieces for Guitar. A friend of Takemitsu, Leo Brouwer wrote Hika In Memoriam Toru Takemitsu. This piece began slowly and was characterized by spurts and jumpiness.
The final song of the program, another piece by Leo Brouwer, had a comedic “coocoo” theme. At its conclusion the audience gave Ostojic a standing ovation.
On response, Ostojic played an encore. Everyone in the recital hall was pleased, and gave another pleasant applause.
At the end of the show, Ostojic sold his first album, which debuted on Oct. 30, outside the recital hall, and autographed them. He shook hands and took pictures with the fans.