Average Solo Guitar Concert Length

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Average Solo Guitar Concert Length

Postby simabacedron » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:03 am

I'm just wondering what the average length of a solo classical guitar concert is.
Actually, more specifically, how many minutes worth of music is expected to be performed by a soloist, in general?
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Re: Average Solo Guitar Concert Length

Postby Kjetil Heggelund » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:46 am

I'm sure performers make their programs on different principles and will not be of equal lenght. I like programs that are 70 minutes if there is an intermission, and shorter if not. A real heavy duty program is 90 minutes. My fiancee thought I killed my audience with my 2nd half tonight, playing Bachs bwv 1002...
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Re: Average Solo Guitar Concert Length

Postby Nick Cutroneo » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:50 am

I try and make each half around 30 minutes of music. With a 10 minute intermission and speaking in between pieces, the concert will last about 90 minutes or less. I think that's the perfect length for non-big time soloists. Someone like Williams, or Barrueco, or Russell will probably (definitely) have longer concerts.
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Re: Average Solo Guitar Concert Length

Postby brianvds » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:20 am

Nick Cutroneo wrote: With a 10 minute intermission and speaking in between pieces,


As an aside, I very much like it when musicians speak to the audience, telling them a bit about what they are about to play, who the composer was, what to listen for etc. Lots of people in the audience will have no clue about such things otherwise. Classical musicians should consider not just playing music at an audience, but also educating them.
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Re: Average Solo Guitar Concert Length

Postby Nick Cutroneo » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:07 pm

brianvds wrote:As an aside, I very much like it when musicians speak to the audience, telling them a bit about what they are about to play, who the composer was, what to listen for etc. Lots of people in the audience will have no clue about such things otherwise. Classical musicians should consider not just playing music at an audience, but also educating them.


Agreed. I recently saw a concert, which I was disappointed at the lack of interaction with the audience. No explanation of the pieces, and the only talks was to say what piece he was playing, which was printed clearly in the program. Then his encore wasn't even announced. The encore piece was great, but I would have liked to know what it was. Now the performer wasn't American, and English wasn't his first language, so I'm sure that had something to do with it. But given the amount of concerts he was doing in the states, I think more of an effort could have been made. Speaking to him after the concert, he had a good command over the language, and watching him in the master class he was able to communicate well with the students. I can honestly say that if there was more spoken parts about the pieces he was playing I probably would have enjoyed the concert as a whole a lot more.
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Re: Average Solo Guitar Concert Length

Postby drew p » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:14 am

yeah an hour worth of material is pretty standard, plus 10-30 minutes of intermission/programmatic fluff
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Re: Average Solo Guitar Concert Length

Postby wardguitar » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:03 pm

Many big time artists who do a lot of different types of gigs create programs of different length to suit the occasion. I know one in particular who has a 20 minute program and a 45 minute program for school visits (like a high school), and a 90 minute and 2 hour program for other types of performances (I assume that includes talking and intermission).
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Re: Average Solo Guitar Concert Length

Postby Gruupi » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:31 pm

It seems most of the big name concerts I go to last almost 2 hours including a long intermission. Most of the time that is pushing the limits of my attention span, but the really great performers can hold my interest that long.

As far as talking about the piece or composer, if a person is a natural good speaker and entertaining, then yes it helps. But just as often I am put off by someone with out a good stage persona who's talking detracts from the performance. If you are playing to an audience that speaks English, and your English is unintelligible, then you should keep the jabber to a bare minimum. If you don't speak loudly enough for anyone to hear, then it frustrates anyone towards the back. Some performers sound like they are giving a lecture with all the dryness of a boring professor. Some people talk almost as much as they play, and even someone with a good delivery will turn me off if they don't shut up and play.

So what I am saying is that more often than not, talking detracts more from the performance than adding to it. I wouldn't say that there should be no banter at all, but classical guitarists would probably do better to spend more time working on how to interact with an audience. It is an important part of how people will receive your music. I'm sure it is hard for a soloist who spends many hours/days/years locked away in a practice room to also have an outgoing personality, but it needs to be mentioned.
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Re: Average Solo Guitar Concert Length

Postby woodenhand » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:38 am

brianvds wrote:
Nick Cutroneo wrote: With a 10 minute intermission and speaking in between pieces,


As an aside, I very much like it when musicians speak to the audience, telling them a bit about what they are about to play, who the composer was, what to listen for etc. Lots of people in the audience will have no clue about such things otherwise. Classical musicians should consider not just playing music at an audience, but also educating them.


Yes, indeed. 100% agreement here. Interaction between the performer(s) and audience makes a recital so much better. Here in Japan audiences generally expect the performers to address them directly, except at stuffy classical performances. Which is all the more reason for classical musicians to engage their audiences. The composers may be long dead, but their music is very much alive. Still, people may well perceive the music is likewise dead if the performer says little or nothing and just charges through the program.

As for concert length, I would say that an hour (not including intermission) is fine, though programs by big names will have 90 minutes or more of performing time.
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