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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2003 02:20 pm

Guitar society hosts Serbian-born artist

Petar Kodzas brings his unique style to Springfield on Saturday.

The Springfield Classical Guitar Society launches its 2003-2004 season on Saturday with a performance by Petar Kodzas, a native of Yugoslavia.

Kodzas's appearance offers a unique opportunity to see a guitar virtuoso whose training derives from a distinctly Eastern European tradition, says Russel Brazzel, society president.

"He is a mature player with a friendly, younger person's presentation," Brazzel says. "Eastern European players have learned from a different family of teachers, compared with Western European and U.S. players. They look back to different heroes and a different way of playing the instrument. You see different right-hand [playing] philosophies."

Western players, Brazzel adds, have a step-by-step, problem-solving approach with great economy of motion while Eastern European players "tend to trust their talent a little more."

Kodzas's program features selections from well-known composers, including Bach, Rodrigo, Duarte and Bartok. And he'll also perform his arrangements of Serbian folk songs.

A graduate of the University of Belgrade, Kodzas holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Performance and Literature from Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. Kodzas currently serves on the Eastman faculty.

Though Kodzas plays the classical guitar, Brazzel predicts an electrifying performance: "You'll see a lot of hand motion that scares me to death, one cliffhanger after the other, a more poetic approach. Yet, despite the differing approaches, all roads lead to the same final result, which is beautiful music."


Petar Kodzas performs at 8 p.m., Saturday Oct. 25 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 741 E. Capitol Ave. Tickets, which are available at the door, are $12 (adults), $9 (students and seniors).

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