Award-winning guitarist to play 2 Big Isle concerts

  • Courtesy photo Guitarist Ana Vidovic will perform March 21 in Waimea and March 22 in Hilo.

“Ana Vidovis’s playing is extraterrestrial,” recently wrote the music critic for American Record Guide.

Yet, like almost all budding musicians, there were times when the young Vidovic would’ve rather been anywhere but practicing her guitar.

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“I went through stages where I wanted to quit and do something else,” she said. “Being a musician is not always easy, especially when you’re sitting indoors and practicing, but you’d rather be outside with your friends. But (music) was something that I loved, and I just stuck with it.”

A winner of numerous international awards, Vidovic will play two concerts on the Big Island next week. She performs March 21 at the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea and at March 22 at the University of Hawaii at Hilo Performing Arts Center in Hilo.

Both concerts will include some of the best-known compositions for classical guitar, as well as arrangements for guitar.

Born and raised in Karlovac, a small town outside of Zagreb in Croatia, Vidovic first picked up a guitar when she was 5 years old. In the Vidovic household, playing guitar was something of an inherited trait; her father played guitar in hometown rock bands. Her brother, Viktor, served as her first guitar teacher.

It was her brother’s guitar that she first picked up.

“I have a picture of it — the guitar was bigger than I was,” Vidovic said. “I don’t really remember how well it went, but I know I was comfortable with it. I have always loved the sound.”

She gave her first public performance at age 7. She became an international performer by the time she was 11, and when she was 13 she entered Zagreb’s National Music Academy, the youngest student in the school’s history to enroll.

Despite her occasional reluctance to practice, Vidovic stayed the course and, when she was 16, decided to make music her career. Soon thereafter, she made her way to the United States, where she attended and graduated from the prestigious Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.

Her decision paid off.

Vidovic not only has won a bevy of awards but also is now in heavy demand worldwide as a soloist and a performer with orchestras and chamber groups.

Among the many musical offerings during her concert will be Bach’s flute partita, of which Vidovic says, “I like to start concerts with Bach, and this is a beautiful piece as well.”

The concert also includes Tarrega’s poignant “Memories of the Alhamba,” perhaps the most played solo in the guitar repertoire, as well as the most famous example of the use of tremolo on the classical guitar.

“It’s one of my favorite pieces,” Vidovic said. “I’ve played it since I was very young — I love the melody. And no matter how many times I play it, it’s always interesting to me.”

Tickets for the March 21 concert in Waimea ($68/48/28) are available at the Kahilu Theatre box office, online at www.kailutheatre.org, or by calling 885-6868.

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Tickets for the March 22 Hilo concert ($25/$20/$10) are available at the Most Irresistible Shop, Music Exchange and the UH-Hilo Performing Arts Center box office.

Remaining tickets will be available at the door on the evening of the concert.

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