Famed Guitarist Alfredo Muro in a Free Outdoor Concert
By Fredric Dannen
One morning in 1971, the guitarist Alfredo Muro awoke to find himself famous throughout his native Peru. He was thirteen years old. Muro and his half sister, Connie Bieberach, a 20-year-old singer, had signed up to perform as a duo on Trampoline to Fame, a wildly popular talent show on Peruvian television. But they did so in secret, under the assumed name of Hermanos López, because their mother sternly disapproved of her children pursuing careers in music. Much to their own amazement, Alfredo and Connie took first prize, and promptly found themselves performing live for 1500 spectators at the largest theater in Lima. The secret was out.
Guitarist Alfredo Muro
Presented by Music Under the Trees
Sat, Apr 9, 1pm
A year or so after his sensational debut, Muro had a private experience that was perhaps an even more significant event in his musical life. At a party, someone slipped him a cassette of the Brazilian guitarist and composer Baden Powell. “I said ‘Wow,’” Muro recalls, “His music was so complex, so harmonically different. I just fell in love with it.” Following his teenage years, Muro went on to study with some of the world’s greatest guitarists and is today a sought-after soloist who gives concert tours around the world, from the Americas to the Far East. Brazilian music remains one of his specialties.
Muro will be performing works by Baden Powell, J.S. Bach, Astor Piazzolla, and some of his own compositions, at a free concert in the courtyard of the Bellas Artes. The outdoor concert will be held at 1pm, Saturday, April 9, in the sixth installment of the Music Under the Trees series. For the second half of the program, he will be joined by bassist Rubén Olvera, and percussionist Víctor Monterrubio.
Muro is a soft-spoken man who becomes animated when the subject turns to music, but he is invariably modest about his own accomplishments. Despite his early fame and success, to please his family he went to law school, attained a doctorate, and graduated first in his class. He worked in the legal department of a banking institution for several years, before returning to music full time. Muro has the rare combination of surpassing virtuosity and superb musicianship, and his performance is impossible to resist. Just last month, he completed the most recent of his many concert tours in Brazil, where, despite his Peruvian heritage, his performance of Brazilian music is always greeted with acclaim.
Indeed, one of the few stories Muro tells with a hint of pride concerns his late idol Baden Powell, whom Muro never got to meet in person. Muro had just finished a performance in Rio de Janeiro, when, he recalls, “an old man came to the dressing room. He introduced himself as Baden Powell’s first graphic designer, the man who did Baden’s album covers. He said, ‘Your playing reminds me so much of Baden’, and he began to cry. I was very moved.”
Music Under The Trees is a co-production of the San Miguel International Music Festival and the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes.