Jorge Saade-Scaf and Julio Almeida (Duo Paganini) at Sydney Opera House photography and story; MiSociety
23 November 2011
Duo Paganini strike a chord at Sydney Opera House
Jorge Saade-Scaf (violin) and Julio Almeida (guitar) under the guise of ‘Duo Paganini’ created a musical performance that will live long in the memory of those present for their concert in the Utzon Room at Sydney’s Opera House.
Julio Ameida and Jorge Saade-Scaf are internationally acclaimed artists who conveyed us on a musical journey from ‘Paganini to the Andes’. The second half of their program was almost entirely devoted to music from their homeland of Ecuador. This music was exciting and rich in melody and harmonic texture. This was one of those musical experiences that you wished would never end – and generously the ‘Duo Paganini’ stayed on to give us some encore gems with the standing ovation lead by former Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke.
The Ambassador of Ecuador in Australia, Raul Gangotena, and the Consular General of Ecuador in Sydney, Luis Felipe Valencia, graciously hosted the evening for invited guests. The Ambassador, Raul Gangotena, introduced to guests the ‘Duo Paganini’ players with obvious great pride in two of Ecuador’s ‘favourite sons’.
Jorge Saade-Scaf kept the audience informed and amused during the concert with a series of anecdotes explaining why he and Julio Almeida were playing certain pieces and how the pieces were transcribed from original compositions that involved instruments other than their violin guitar combination. Jorge explained to the audience that most Ecuadorian music is composed in a minor key but there was nothing minor about the superb performance from these two major artists.
Additional music to MiSociety’s ears was Jorge and Julio’s complaint that popular musicians have all the fun as they are able to talk to their audience. They compared this with how most classical music is delivered in a strict format with little contact possible between the musicians and the audience. Jorge enthused that Duo Paganini’s philosophy was to break that stereotype and to communicate with their audiences to facilitate the building of a relationship and to help create a greater understanding of the music they were playing – that philosophy so obviously struck a winning cord with the audience.
Bien hecho Jorge and Julio – thank you for a wonderful concert and please hurry back to Sydney as soon as you can. In the meantime, we encourage music lovers to track down both the music from ‘Duo Paganini’ and Ecuador.
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