FALL MUSIC RECITAL SERIES
FIVE CENTURIES OF THE GUITAR ~ Robert Wetzel, Classical Guitar
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Robert Wetzel belongs to that small generation of gifted former students of the legendary Romeros family guitar dynasty from the period between 1972-1985 who has succeeded as a professional musician. Devoted to the classical guitar, he has continued with his primary vocation, maintaining a busy schedule of practicing, performing, recording, teaching and arranging music to this day.
He made his formal concert performance debut by sharing the stage with his mentors, the legendary Romeros, as the fourth member of the performing guitar quartet at the August Moon Concerts of the Napa Music Festival in 1977. His status confirmed alongside Celin, Pepe and Angel Romero, he performed the lute and guitar parts of their father, the great Celedonio Romero who was vacationing in Spain that summer. The Napa concert that Robert participated in was a special rare program by the Romeros that featured ensemble performances on lutes, vihuelas and guitars.
On commenting about his early life and ascension up the ladder rungs of early music successes, Robert states:
"A native of the Netherlands with Dutch-Indonesian and Chinese lineage, I immigrated to the United States at age two with my parents, two older brothers and sister, settling in Dallas, Texas. My mother, Leonie, intuitively sensed my inclinations towards artistic sensibilities and encouraged me to draw and later persuaded me to study the piano which I undertook until I was age eleven. It was after my sister brought home a Silvertone acoustic guitar, that I switched my musical allegiance and thus I began my lifelong love affair with the guitar.
I began studying with my first classical guitar teacher, Darryl Ray Saffer, at Southern Methodist University, who introduced me to the Romeros when they visited his house during their U.S. tour in 1971. After intensive study of the classical guitar while still a teenager, I was granted the opportunity to be a performer in the guitar master classes of Pepe Romero, Christopher Parkening, Oscar Ghiglia, and Robert Guthrie which were held in Dallas. The following year I began private studies in Del Mar, California with one of the worlds' greatest guitarists, Angel Romero, who graciously invited me to reside in his residence during my yearly summer studies with him. During this musical apprentice-ship in the old-European style approach of 'I'll show you how to do it, now you try', I developed close friendships with each member of the Romero family who often referred to me as their 'little brother'."
In 1975, another great master guitarist, Pepe Romero, awarded Robert the honor to study on full scholarship for five consecutive years at his then annually conducted master classes in Houston, Texas.
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