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September 9, 2010

Another Latin Grammy nomination for Baltimore's Tonar Music

Tonar Music, the Baltimore-based record company that specializes in guitar music, has an impressive track record for attracting Grammy attention.

Tonar's first release, Manuel Barrueco's “Solo Piazzolla,” received a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Soloist in 2008. In 2009, “Inca Dances,” a work by Gabriela Lena Frank included on a Tonar release called “Sounds of the Americas” featuring Barrueco and the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, won a Latin Grammy for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.

And now, Tonar has just earned another Latin Grammy nomination for Best Classical Contemporary Composition, this time for “Maracaípe” by Sergio Assad, a piece written for, dedicated to and performed by the Beijing Guitar Duo of Meng Su and Yameng Wang. They teamed up while studying at the Peabody Conservatory, where they were mentored by Barrueco. You can hear a clip of “Maracaípe” on the Duo's Web site.

Meanwhile, here's a sample of the elegant guitarists playing some Scarlatti: 

Posted by Tim Smith at 6:16 AM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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