Recently the talented acoustic guitarist Mattias Jacobsson performed a concert at the Swedish Church in New York City, playing a mostly Spanish and South American repertoire after a prelude by Bach, originally intended for violin.
“This is a piece my teacher played for me when I was 10,” the soft-spoken Jacobsson said about Fernando Sor’s “Study in B Minor.” “I said ‘What was that?’ and then I knew what I wanted to do in life.”
Jacobsson’s recital debut came when he was 17, at the Stockholm International Guitar Festival (and on a very short notice). Subsequently he studied classical guitar at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York, and has been freelancing since he graduated two years ago. Jacobsson has emerged as one of the up-and-coming guitarists on the international stage, and was the chosen guitarist for Televisión España’s centennial celebration of Francisco Tárrega, an influential Spanish composer and guitarist of the Romantic period. Today, his engagements include concerto appearances in both the U.S. and Sweden.
“I love New York and would very much like to stay here,” Jacobsson said on the evening of his concert at the church. “And keep Stockholm as a base, too, of course. I’m busy planning concerts right now.”
About Isaac Albanez’s piece “Asturias (Leyenda),” Jacobsson said: “It begins with horses running over a Spanish landscape. Then somebody asks a question, but the answer isn’t quite satisfying. He asks again and again, becomes sad, and finally, toward the end, he receives the answer in full.”
The yearning and evocative quality of the Spanish guitar music in the amber light of the chapel upstairs at the Swedish Church, with a cheese and wine reception finish downstairs, made for one remarkable night.
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