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La Verne Library hosts classical guitar concert

Karlie Bettencourt
Associate Arts Editor

The meeting room in the La Verne City Library was filled with the classical guitar music of two music doctoral students from the University of Southern California on Saturday afternoon. Dmitry Koudymov and Brian Barany entertained about 40 people that crowded into the meeting room to give a free concert that lasted an hour.

“We have to perform for our degree,” Koudymov said. “We do a mini tour with our program that we have worked on for a year.”

Koudymov explained that performing is not only something they do for class, but also something they enjoy doing. The musicians work on a set list and practice so that they can have songs readily available for performances. The two musicians made sure to discuss the different historic periods and places behind each of the songs they sang.

The concert featured works including: baroque themes from the 21st century, Mexican folk music composed by Manuel Ponce and Brazilian rhythms by Celso Machado.

From the start of the first song, “At the Grave of the Mother,” the performers were instantly pulled into their music. The sad mood that the song conveyed was apparent on both of their faces as each performer leaned back and forth while playing, swaying with each phrase.

The audience listened to each song with anticipation, as Koudymov and Barany seemed to reply to one another through the music on their guitar. As one musician would finish a complex string of notes, the other would then answer with a different, but equally complex, phrase. While continuing this back and forth process, neither musician stopped completely. While one was playing the more complex phrase, the other played a simple beat underneath.

The two musicians layered notes so beautifully together that it sounded as if they could by playing a harp instead of guitars. The next song, “Tarantella,” was more upbeat causing many audience members to tap their feet along.

“Tarantella is what the Italians thought you were supposed to do if you got bit by a tarantula to shake out the poison,” Barany said.

At some point in during the concert as the two began a song, they had to stop and begin again due to the fact that Barany missed giving Koudymov the queue to come in; however, instead of being embarrassed, they acknowledged the mistake, joked about it and then moved on with the show.

Their joking about the mistake got the audience more involved with the show as they laughed and clapped with them. The musicians’ abilities to sync flawlessly with each other following the missed queue demonstrated how coordinated the two were together.

“That is so hard to have two parts, but they didn’t miss a beat.” La Verne resident, Marjane Smith, said. “I thought it was fantastic. They both are extremely talented.”

Karlie Bettencourt can be reached at

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