On Stage

Classics at the Merc: Michael Nigro

When classical guitarist, Michael Nigro, discovered he loved playing music at the age of twelve, he pursued the career that every classical musician aspires to; he rocked out.

“In my teen years, I became involved in punk rock music and even played in a few bands,” Nigro said during a recent interview. “During that time, I was always intrigued with the sounds of more intricate styles but did not yet have the technique to express myself.”

Luckily, in his late teens, Nigro discovered classical guitar and began studying the art form at a local guitar store in Long Beach. Nigro then continued his formal training with undergraduate work at Indiana University and graduate school at California State University, Fullerton.

Once a perfect student and now a teacher, Nigro has established a comprehensive guitar program at Vanguard University including courses in Guitar Literature, Pedagogy, and Fretboard Techniques. He also teaches Guitar Ensemble, Guitar Quartet, Beginning Guitar, and Intro to Music.

Though he is an accomplished educator, Nigro is a musician first and foremost; releasing five CD’s and performing in concert all over the United States and Latin America.

Nigro is an active member of the guitar community; as co-founder of the Long Beach Classical Guitar Society and as co-author of “The Essential Classical Guitar Scale Book.”

Nigro brings his solo guitar expertise to Temecula this Sunday, for the weekly music series, Classics at the Merc.

“I will be performing a solo classical guitar concert in two halves,” Nigro said. “The first half will feature the famous 2nd Lute Suite by Johann Sebastian Bach BWV 996 and the second half will be celebrating Latin American music and composers with works by Isaac Albeniz, Jose Luis Merlin, Jorge Cardoso, and Antonio Lauro.”

As a solo performer, Nigro looks forward to the intimacy of the 48-seat Merc Theater as an opportunity to truly interact with his attendees.

“Music is about people connecting and sharing a musical experience together,” he said. “The Merc allows the performer and the audience to connect on a level that is not possible at many concerts. As a musician, you are sharing your most intimate feelings when you are performing. At a venue like the Merc, the audience gets to witness this first hand.”

Nigro’s performance will include classical guitar with global appeal.

“Many of the Latin American pieces I will be performing are influenced by the elements in music that we can all appreciate,” he said. “The syncopation and rhythm is influenced by the music of Africa, the melodies are those of the indigenous people of South America, and the form of the music is taken from European styles.”

Nigro promises that exceptional classical guitar selections combined with a personal setting makes for the perfect afternoon of beautiful music.

“The success of the guitar and the popularity of the instrument are due to the fact it is so accessible and the sound immediately grabs you,” Nigro said. “If you are a lover of guitar music or music in general there will be something for you.”

Classics at the Merc Presents Michael Nigro

August 24th at 3pm
The Merc at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater

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Holly Herndon

Holly Herndon

Holly has been covering arts & entertainment in the Temecula Valley for as long as she has been a part of the community. She loves San Diego sports almost as much as she loves her family.

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