Classical Guitar Composers: Interview with Ralf Bauer (Germany)

I'm delighted to have Ralf Bauer from Bonn, Germany.

Q1. Please tell us about yourself.

“Ralf Bauer born 26. February is an excellent guitarist and a gifted composer who knows how to give personal impressions and observations a surprising expression. As a son of Italian and Czech parents he was born in Bonn. He studied in Cologne classical guitar, lute, composition and mathematics. His compositions are performed worldwide by international artists. He composed for Hans Werner Hupertz, The Coda duo, Charles Postlewate, Duo Cordaria, the Munic guitarquartet and Fabricio Mattos. Ralf Bauer won the first prize in an international composition competition about the tones b-a-c-h. As a traveller he seeks and finds his themes and rhythms mainly in southern Europe, the Orient and Asia. He gave concerts in China, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium and Portugal. He likes music of Cream, Colosseum and Jethro Tull and he loves pasta, paella and a good red wine.”

Q2. Please tell us about your work "Metamorphose". (What inspired you to compose this work? Also please tell us about the composition process. What is it like composing for the guitar?

“When I was a child I heard the Chaconne from Partita in D minor by J.S. Bach and the arpeggio part controls me till today. For the guitar I intended to compose an arpeggio which leads the guitar to its limits, like what happens with the violin in the Partita. The title Metamorphose means that everything changes and flows.

With ‘Metamorphose’ I tried to create a breathtaking piece, which really brings guitarist's technique (particularly the right hand) to its limits.”

Q3. Please tell us about your artistic vision as a composer. (What is your approach in dealing with tradition, whilst also searching for a new style/sound? Nationalistic and globalised musical expression, etc.)

I have no vision as composer. I have ideas, feeling and aesthetic conviction, everything else is craft.

Q4. I strongly believe that we guitarists currently need more new works for classical guitar by both guitarist-composers and non-guitarist-composers. What potential do you see in this instrument? And what do you think about the role of non-guitarist-composers?

The classical guitar needs compositions from non-guitarist-composers and guitarist-composers.

Important is, that the sound possibilities, the timbres and percussive elements of the guitar be exhausted.

Q5. Please tell us about your next project.

I have a lot of pieces for guitar with flute/violin, duo, quartet, guitar with orchestra and guitarduo with string quartet . All these compositions are waiting to be heard.

My motto is: “Studying the old masters to become a better composer.”