Jun 19, 2010

Otto Tolonen is one of the most successful Finnish Classical Guitarists. He has won prizes and awards in international competitions since 1995. His latest achievements include a first prize in the Anders Segovia Competition in Spain, and a third prize in the Tokyo International Competition, in 2008. In 2009, he came in second in the Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition in Ithaca, NY.

This year, Otto is competing again in the same competition, this time held in Austin, Texas. En route to Texas, he stopped over in New York and gave a recital on June 19 at the Salmagundi Club. His repertoire is broad, encompassing both old composers such as John Dowland (1563-1626), Alonso Mudarra (1510-1580), and Dionisio Aguado (1784-1849), and modern ones; at this concert these included Denis Gougeon, Georges Auric, Francis Poulenc, Germaine Tailleferre , Darius Milhaud, Gustave Samazeuilh and Joaquin Turina.

The intimate atmosphere of the Gallery with its wooden floors provided for a perfect setting and excellent acoustics, which allowed the audience to hear also the softests sounds and intriguing harmonies of the compositions. The audience in New York was certainly impressed with the combination of skill and sensitivity which Otto’s playing demonstrated — we are crossing our fingers for him in Texas!