• Classical guitar series opens with world-renowned blind artist

    September 26, 2019
    The 2019-20 Southern Illinois Classical Guitar Series opens Oct. 12 at the Varsity. This is the second year for the series at the downtown performance venue. It is presented by First Southern Bank and co-produced by the Varsity and SI Classical Guitar.

    First up in the series is Romanian/Canadian blind guitarist Ioana Gandrabur on Oct. 12. Gandrabur will play several of the most beautiful and difficult of the classical guitar repertoire including those of J.S. Bach, Augustine Barrios Mangore and David Russell.

    Gandrabur, blind since birth, first began playing piano at age 5; at age 11, she switched to classical guitar. By 13, she was entering competitions and twice won the Romanian All Styles Competition as the best player in the country for all ages. She has played in many festivals throughout the world as a featured guest artist, as well as being a busy touring concert artist. For the Varsity program, two of her pieces will be played in total darkness, thus giving the audience an insight in her world of blindness.

    Oscar Ghiglia, the great Italian guitar master, says Gandrabur “plays with a sensitivity and style unmatched.”
    The performance begins at 7 p.m., and doors and the Varsity Bar open at 6:30.

    Tickets are $14 in advance or $16 at the door for adults, $8 for students with ID, and children 10 and younger are admitted at no charge. Season tickets are available for the first time this year, and pricing is $42. They will not be available after the Oct. 12 performance.

    Tickets are available in advance at www.thevarsitycenter.eventbrite.com. Tickets are not available in advance at the venue but will be available when doors open on the night of the performance.

    The Varsity is downtown Carbondale at 418 S. Illinois Ave. To keep up with news and events, follow the Varsity at www.facebook.com/varsitycenter.