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URI guitar festival participating musician Jacob Reuven, who will play the mandolin.

How did you first hear about the festival, and what made you want to get involved?

I first heard about the festival from Adam when he was visiting me in my home in Spain last fall. We met for reading a program for a new record that we are preparing called ‘Israeli Duets for Mandolin & Guitar’. Adam was very excited about the festival and all the different artists that are coming to play. His enthusiasm was contagious and when he suggested I join in - I was more than happy to do so. It is not very common for a mandolin player to be a part of a guitar festival, yet I find the mix of gentle guitar strings and the more metallic sound of the mandolin to be an interesting new experience for the listener.

What sort of music will you be playing, and what will you cover in any master workshops, classes and/or lectures?

Adam and I will open the festival with a recital for mandolin and guitar, with new music from Israeli composers. We will premiere two original pieces written for our upcoming record, by Israeli composers Josef Bardanashvili and Oren Lok. The concert will also include ‘Three Jewish Dances” by 20th century Israeli composer Marc Lavry, ‘Mist Over The Lake’ by Jan Freidlin and mandolin arrangement of Bach’s ‘Partita No.3Prelude’.

I will be teaching a master class where both mandolin players and other instrumentalists are welcome. I will cover general mandolin-playing technique; share some valuable tricks and tips, suggestions for Classical mandolin repertoire, as well as my experience in arranging music for mandolin from other instruments.

What are you most looking forward to?

Having time to meet with Adam, practice, and perform our new record program for the first time on stage. One of these new pieces is from a legendary Israeli composer Josef Bardanashvili and it is truly a beautiful. I can’t wait to experience it on the stage in front of an audience. I also look forward to meeting and listening to other guitarists at the festival, and would of course be interested to meet some other mandolin players.

What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?

Look deep inside and find sincere love for your instrument and work. If love is there, it will show as the essence of your technique. Sensitivity and devotion will be heard in your performance. If you invest yourself in your work with underlying love, everything else is just a matter of practice and can be improved.

Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you or your work, ahead of the festival?

My work is dedicated to developing the mandolin -- challenging its limits as a solo instrument and expanding its repertoire. I do this through arranging the music originally written for violin to be performed on a mandolin. The school I’m coming from is based on learning the original violin music by J.S. Bach, E. Ysaÿe, and N. Paganini and taking it into the mandolin world. This approach allows for big improvements in my skills as well as those of my students. We have 200 years of unbelievable music literature for an instrument and are lucky that mandolin and violin are tuned in exactly the same way, which is a good starting point for arranging the music. This concert is an opportunity to get an inside-look into this school of performing. I hope people are interested and will come to the concert.

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