Thomas Viloteau wowed an audience of about 100, last night in Charlotte. His performance was flawless, and his maturity in technique and interpretation of a very difficult program, belies his age. His program, was "Rito de los Orishas" by Leo Brouwer, "Capriccio Diabolico" by M Castelnuovo-Tedesco, "Triaela" by Roland Dyens, " Cavatina" by Alexander Tansman, "Sonata Op. 47" by Alberto Ginastera, and his encore was "Variations on a Theme of Sor" by Miguel Llobet (For details, see David's post above). He was rewarded by thunderous applause in the correct places, and a couple of standing ovations. I was personally blown away by his performance of the "Triaela", which I had never heard before. Probably showing my ignorance here, but the closing movement, "Clown Down" was just incredible.
All of this said, Thomas is a very easy and personable young man with a hearty attitude and a great sense of humor. I was fortunate enough to be the one who picked him up at his hotel to drive him to the concert, and also among a group who took him to dinner after the concert. He was a delight. A very comfortable person, even a bit self-deprecating, but participating in all conversations as though he had known us for a long time. One young college student, a lovely, French girl, and Thomas spoke often in French. The rest of us gave them a hard time, because we were clueless. Many laughs.
One of our local guitarists who was with us, asked if he could try Thomas' Smallman. What an instrument. It sings, even at a very light touch. It is, however, very tender on the face. There are several places where some kind of clear, plastic tape has been applied for minor damage, in addition to Flamenco Tap Plates on both sides of the strings in the playing area. One piece of tape where he tapped while playing, in a percussive stroke on one of his pieces, and it cracked, because it is so thin. There are also a couple of other minor cracks in the upper bout, but it sure does sound great. It was more mellow than I had expected. Somehow, from descriptions I have heard of the Australian lattice style guitars, I was expecting more of a hollow, but loud experience. This one sounded very nice, and was obviously very responsive.
What a great experience, meeting and listening to Thomas Viloteau!