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Bach’s Chaconne - Lecture with Jonathan Leathwood

  • UBC School of Music - Room 113 6361 Memorial Road Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2 Canada (map)

Co-presentation between VCGS and UBC School of Music

Where: UBC School of Music Room 113 (basement)

The lecture Begins at 7:00 pm. Please plan to arrive by 6:45 pm to avoid disrupting the lecture once it has begun.


Bach’s Chaconne: How to learn it and how to practice it

Written originally for solo violin around 1720, Bach’s Chaconne has become a site for some of the greatest musical minds in western culture. It has been transcribed for every conceivable instrument, from marimba to mandolin, and it has become a lightning rod for arguments over style. As a result, students may wonder what is the best way to approach a work that has already been performed so many times and in so many ways and make it their own.

In this talk, guitarist Jonathan Leathwood will ask what happens if we learn the Chaconne in accordance with its design, understanding how Bach exploits standard techniques of decoration and large-scale planning to transform a simple five-bar harmonic progression into one of his longest single-movement pieces. He will draw on the work of scholars such as Heinrich Schenker and Joel Lester, but his emphasis will be on how analysis leads naturally to effective practice and insightful interpretations.

Artist BIO

Jonathan Leathwood is one of the few guitarists to perform on six-string and ten-string guitars, mixing modern and traditional works in his innovative programs. Some of his recent recitals include appearances at the Festival di Cervo in Italy, the International Festival of the Classical Guitar at West Dean in the UK, the Nürtingen Festival in Germany, the D. Marin Festival in Turkey, London's Wigmore Hall (with flautist William Bennett), the Almeida Festival, the Cheltenham Festival and the Aldeburgh Festival. He has performed in Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Italy and the United States.