Do all classical guitarists follow the lead of their patron saint and think of their instruments as though they were women? Andres Segovia, the patriarch of classical guitarists, has said that when he travels with his guitar he makes a reservation for "Miss Segovia," buckles her into the seat next to him, and off they go.
But for Marco de Waart, who performs this morning at the Smithsonian's Carmichael Auditorium, a guitar is just that -- a guitar. "It is still, to me, an instrument. It's living -- as an instrument -- but still is an 'it' for me, not a human being."
Still, de Waart does have a special relationship with the instrument. He began studying guitar at age 7 and never dallied with the cello or toyed with the viola. "I began at such an early age, I don't know which came first, my personality or the instrument. I certainly know that there is something about the guitar that attracts me: I think the intimacy, the quietness and the privacy suit my personality."
David Perry, on the other hand, spent almost seven years with the trumpet, knowing it wasn't the instrument for him, before he turned to the guitar. "There is some connection that is made," says Perry, "between any musical artist and his instrument. The instrument doesn't generally grow on you, you just know it's for you." Perry is a tenor as well as guitarist, and his concerts bring together both loves. "Some people consider it a vocal recital, and some people consider it a guitar recital," Perry says.
De Waart's "brunch concert," sponsored by the Smithsonian Resident Associate Program, begins at 11 a.m.; brunches are served at 10 a.m. and noon.
Perry's concert, jointly sponsored by the D'Addario Foundation and the Washington Performing Arts Society, is Friday evening at 8:15 in Georgetown University's Gaston Hall. The program includes works by Debussy, Britten, Schubert and Dowland.