I started as a self-taught guitarist many years ago. After having received a little guitar from an aunt who had worked at Vienna's "Doblinger Musikverlag" I started to play a little Kanon from Haydn on the guitar. (I could read notes, since I had started with piano - which I liked to listen to but hated to play).
And it was Doblinger's Musikverlag where I bought my first guitar sheet music. It was called "Melancholy Galliard" by John Dowland and the editor was a guy called "Karl Scheit", a professor at Vienna's University of Music. In those days it was called "Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst". So, I worked hard to get this piece done and decided to study with this guy who edited such lovely music. I went to the next entrance test straight to Vienna's Music University. (In 1972 I still had very long hair). I was shocked about all those guys (competitors) waiting for the same entrance-test and their chances. Some rehearsed Bach's Fuga or Chaconne even - whereas all I had prepared was a piece from Robert de Visée and the Dowland I just described. Finally the door opened and it was my turn to play. At the jury, next to Karl Scheit there was Louise Hejsek-Walker whom I did not even know at that time.
Miracles happen and I passed the exam.
That's when my study started. I was told later that Professor Scheit disliked long-haired guys. So it was a double miracle I made it. I stayed with Karl Scheit for eight years and passed my final exam, having http://www.brigitte-zaczek.at/index.html
on the jury board.
After a long creative pause, marriage, children, computer job, I got a great instrument not so long ago, built by of one of the greatest "pupils" of Romanillos, Mr. Tobias Braun http://www.tobiasbraun-guitars.com
. He is one of the greatest guitar-builders I know. If you like look up his short video, called "wooden soul" on his website, please do to get an impression.
Now, in my sixties, I entered a phase of composing my own music which feels authentic after having played dozens, if not hundreds of oeuvres from Renaissance to Modern Classics styles. All of this (even Baden Powell) have influenced my music and it seems it took me quite some time to absorb, enjoy and digest all this. And it is still not over yet! As Manès Sperber once said, I feel like a dwarf sitting on giant's shoulders which widened my horizon so much.
Karl Scheit has passed on many years ago - I had a dream the other night where he shook hands with me and I still could feel his strong, warm, a bit chubby fingers in my hand. I felt a connection and an insight, I was not aware before: He had been a master in modelling melody lines on guitar. The clumsy word "plugging" in connection with a guitar totally lost its meaning with him. This is a legacy making me tremendously grateful. Karl Scheit (who had a footstool, a present from Segovia in his class
) made me feel, think, and eventually play melody lines across all those chords. Chords which unfortunately usually diminish after a relatively short time on guitars.
Only when I am able to be in this state of feeling, thinking and expressing a note, it appears that it is understood by the audience because I am made to understand it myself.
I am glad to see that sheet music is available much easier than in times of my study. Times where one had to pay a lot for 4 pages of Dowland's music.