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Cover and Interview on the classical guitar magazine "Gendai Guitar"

Gendai Guitar Magazine, Riuji Matsushita (Japan)

 

I have seen many concerts of top-level foreign artists, but when I saw the great musicality of Leonardo and his very balanced technique, I realized that he was truly one of the top guitarists in the world, and that really surprised me.

 

Japan debut concert report Gendai Guitar Magazine, Shingo Fujii (Japan)

 

Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Who is he?” Leonardo Bravo is an Argentinean guitarist who performed at Airefu Hall in Fukuoka, Japan.

Last year he told me about his desire to move to Japan in order to develop his artistic career. At first, I thought it would be very difficult to make that move to Japan, but after listening to his performance, I realized that there was no risk in his decision. For me, and I think also for everyone who attended this recital, it is a real joy to welcome this huge talent. The recital was on March 18 at Hakata Airefu Hall. The hall has excellent acoustics, arguably one of the best halls for guitar concerts in all of Japan. He started the recital with music from his home country of Argentina, with pieces by Atahualpa Yupanqui and Eduardo Falú. While his sound demonstrated great purity and sensibility, what surprised us was his technique, which was impeccably balanced.

This was clearly demonstrated when he played Koyumbaba and Fandango by Rodrigo. Though they are very difficult pieces, they seemed so easy in his hands. This music, which requires a highly skilled technique, was played perfectly and the hall was filled with a storm of bravos!!! Maybe it seems odd to say, but the audience behaved in an unusual way compared to normal audience reaction in Japan. I heard many people screaming their appretation,which was evidence of the success of the concert. The applause seemed endless and the guitar fans could not contain their excitement.

The second set started with 3 Argentinean pieces (composed by Leonardo Bravo), 3 traditional Tangos, 2 Piazzolla Tangos and Cielo Abierto. By that point, we were completely enchanted and felt ecstatic. After that, people clapped even more with the desire to hear more.

In Argentina, Leonardo Bravo has been awarded many prizes and has many years of teaching experience at Rosario National University. But if we compare him to other guitarists of the same generation who have won many international prizes, his career is not so impressive. (In fact, his personality is the opposite of the imagine seen in the promotional picture. He has a warm smile and a very gentle speaking style. His humbleness really makes him not seem like a musician...) But his performance is boundlessly full of life, passion and creativity, along with a sophisticated sensibility and a great technique. On stage, he makes no exaggerated movements; the music itself was enough to make us feel so good. I take my hat off to him. 

Leonardo told me that he only recently started to compose his own music, but the pieces had the sound of a mature composer, especially the one dedicated to his wife, called "Fukuokena". This piece developed over an exquisite harmony and a fascinating melody. The Chacarera "El Guarmimunachi" was new music full of youthful energy.

I just happened to be in Hakata for a rehearsal, but was fortunate enough to stumble upon this kind of concert He will start teaching at Forest Hill Music Academy and from now will be a big influence on young guitarists in Japan. I hope that from hakata, Fukuoka his reach will extend to all of Japan and the world.  This is a hope from the bottom of my heart.

 

 

Gendai Guitar Magazine, Itsuko Ikeda (Japan)

 

In his debut in Tokyo, Leonardo Bravo played pieces by Murcia, Sor, Granados and Castelnuovo Tedesco during the first part of the concert. While listening to him, I realized that he was an excellent guitarist with a highly skilled technique, offering a performance that was polished and accurate.

 

When the second part started, consisting of music from his home country of Argentina, the feeling of the performance changed completely and the music became full of passion. Playing Carlos Aguirres`s composition, he was like a fish in water, effortlessly maneuvering his way through the piece. 

Quique Sinesi's "Cielo Abierto"(Open Sky) was marvelous. This piece requires a special technique for the percussive part and Leonardo played it splendidly. His performance was clear, vivid and dynamic. The audience applauded frantically, as if the skies were indeed opening!

I thoroughly enjoyed this recital.  Bravo!!!

Comments​
Eduardo Falú, (Argentina)

"Leonardo Bravo is an Argentinean artist. I have the best concept of him  both as  an a performer and as a composer"

"Bravo is a real guitarist in his own right , who plays marvellously this hollow piece of wood that sings and weeps"

José Luis Rodrigo. (España)


"Great natural conditions, with an enormous work capacity, we are facing a great professional of the music."

Magazine Circulo Guitarristico Argentino (Argentina)


"He does not draw back from difficulties, he values each sound and gives it its proper measure. As is his custom, Bravo imposes himself in grand manner."

Eustaquio Grillo (Brasil)

"He is someone who manages to bewitch audiences with his music and his guitar, no doubt he is a great guitarist and a great musician."

 

​CD reviews

Critic about the CD "El entrevero". Magazine : Classical Guitar Magazine (January 2006) England



'El Entrevero' are Leonardo Bravo and Marcelo Coronel and this recording is a consequence of playing several years together when Bravo recorded a complete CD of Coronel's compositions (El Alma en la Raiz, number 25 in the catalogue of EPSA Music's 'Guitarras del Mundo' series): after that project they found they had an empathy for each other's style and the performances on this new release illustrates their wonderful musicianship and technical skill. For lovers of South American music played in the 'traditional' way this music is wholly enchanting and deliciously likeable and the whole programme is a delight to listen to from start to finish.
Highly recommended.

Steve Marsh


Critic about the CD "El entrevero".   Words by the composer Walter Heinze



"When the performers capture the harmony, character, and expression of a particular style - that is, what lies "beyond the written"- and have the necessary means to express it with ease and sensitivity, the result is one of immediate joy on the part of the listener. This is the sense I get from this recording of the Duo El entrevero. It is pure grace and truth built upon a delicate aesthetic work of creation and an ensemble of great maturity. I have not doubt that the diffusion of this CD will make a significant contribution to the musical panorama of contemporary guitar, in our country and wherever it is heard. All that remains is for me to thanks Leonardo and Marcelo for including two of my compositions, one of wich (El prometido) is dedicated to them, and lastly to wish them the success that they so rightly deserve"
Walter Heinze, Parana  January 2005

Critic about the CD "El alma en la raiz". Magazine: Cahiers de la Guitare  (France)

"The Collection Guitarras del Mundo has had, once again, the good taste to disclose two unknown talents: The Argentinean Leonardo Bravo plays here 13 pieces of his compatriot Marcelo Coronel, developed from gato, chamarrita, cueca, vidala, chamamé, galopa... The performance soaks up the culture of the North of Argentina perfectly mastered in a classic style with pure sound and well fluent. It seems that after each introduction some poet from Misiones´s region would start to declaim. In the style of the Flores brothers.

Critic about the CD "El alma en la raiz"  Magazine: Classical Guitar Magazine (England)
   
"El Alma en la Raiz" is number 25 in the catalog of EPSA music's "Guitarras del Mundo" series and features two outstanding musicians. One is the composer, Marcelo Coronel, who has proved with a single CD alone that he is worthy of international fame and throughly deserving of any fame which this recording may bring him. Without exception, the music is wholly enchanting and the musical interest never wanes with the compositions varying moods and complexities. The other is the performer, Leonardo Bravo, who, working closely with Coronel, interprets this lovely music with grace and panache. He has a refined and delicate touch but when something more aggressive is needed he has the equipment to handle it.
Altogether a delight from start to finish and a recording that I can thoroughly recommend.


Steve Marsh