Concerto for Two Guitars
Musicians Eduardo Costa, left, and Gabriel Navia will join the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s “Concerto for Two Guitars.” courtesy photo

Eduardo Minozzi Costa and Gabriel Navia will join with maestro Linus Lerner and the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra (SASO) in two performances of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s “Concerto for Two Guitars.”

The first concert will take place on Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. in SaddleBrooke’s DesertView Performing Arts Auditorium and on Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Oro Valley.

This concert opens with Chabrier’s “Espana Rhapsody,” a fiery and vibrant work on Iberian folk themes. Following intermission, the orchestra will perform a Beethoven masterpiece, his Symphony No. 7 in A major.

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968) was born in Florence, Italy, to a prominent family. His teachers of piano and composition were Del Valle de Paz, Cesi and Pizzetti. Composer Alfredo Casella championed his works, making it possible to have his compositions performed throughout Europe.

Many of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s works were inspired by great literary figures, such as Virgil, Keats, Whitman, Garcia Lorca and Shakespeare. His Violin Concerto No. 2 was for a request by Jascha Heifetz in 1931, and after meeting Andres Segovia in 1932, he composed his Guitar Concerto No. 1.

Following the fascist Mussolini’s attacks on artists, the composer appealed in 1939 to Arturo Toscanini to sponsor him as an immigrant to the United States. Heifetz helped him settle in Los Angeles and obtain a contract at MGM as a film composer. He worked on a multitude of films and was hired by Rita Hayworth in 1948 to score her film “The Loves of Carmen.” Composers Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams were pupils. His catalogue includes concertos for guitar, violin, piano and oboe; three operas and numerous guitar compositions.

Brazilian Eduardo Minozzi Costa will be one of two soloists to be featured. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Guitar from The University of Sao Paulo and is now working on advanced degrees at the University of Arizona. A winner of various prizes in guitar performance in Latin America, Europe and the United States, Costa is a highly sought-after artist.

Joining Costa will be Gabriel Navia, a native of Bolivia who also graduated from University of Sao Paulo. He continued his guitar studies at Universidade Livre de Musica, also in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In addition, he has studied in Cuba, Bolivia and in the United States at the San Francisco School of the Arts and The Jazz School at California Berkley, and he was awarded Outstanding Musician at Berkley School of Music in Boston.

In 2007, he studied flamenco with Manuel Granados at Conservatori del Liceu in Barcelona, Spain. He also is a graduate student at University of Arizona where he, like Costa, is a teaching assistant. Costa and Navia formed the guitar duo Brazukas in 2008.

We look forward to another season next year. The dates are:

SaddleBrooke at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 8, Nov. 19, Feb. 11, March 24 and May 19. In Oro Valley at 3 p.m. on Oct. 9, Nov. 20, Feb. 12, March 25 and May 20.

For more information or to submit comments on SASO programs, please visit or call 323-7166.

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