CDU guitar guru tours Sardinia 

World renowned classical guitarist Carlo Barone (left) with CDU's Dr Adrian Walter in one of their sell-out performances in Sardinia.

The Territory’s own international guitar guru Dr Adrian Walter has given sell-out performances in Sardinia with world renowned classical guitarist Carlo Barone and the Orchestra of the Academy of Nineteenth Century Music.

In duo with Carlo Barone, Dr Walter also recorded a CD and DVD featuring 19th Century guitar music during their two-week tour of the large island off the mainland of Italy.

Dr Walter, who is Dean of the Faculty of Law, Business and Arts at Charles Darwin University, wowed audiences by playing an antique guitar hand-crafted by Italian violin maker Guadagnini in 1829 and a Lacote French guitar made in 1825.

The acclaimed classical guitarist formed Duo Guadagnini with Carlo Barone for the 2007 Darwin International Guitar Festival. Barone is the director of the Academy of 19th Century Music, which features a 30-piece orchestra as a highlight of its 10-day music festival in Sardinia.

Carlo Barone is renowned for reviving pieces of 19th Century music that have not been performed for more than 200 years, while Dr Walter has toured in China, Europe and South East Asia lecturing and playing early 19th Century guitar.

The performers gave concerts in seven towns across Sardinia including a memorable night playing in a 16th Century basilica in the town of Porto Torres.

“It was the highlight of the trip because the natural acoustics in this magnificent basilica resonated beautifully,” Dr Walter said. “It was like stepping back in time playing a Guadagnini guitar made in 1829 in a 16th Century basilica and playing the same music that was played there hundreds of years ago.

“When we finished the concert, I almost expected to see the audience drive away in their horse and carts.”

Dr Walter said the Italians in Sardinia were passionate about their music. “We had crowds of between 100 and 200 at the concerts and they were greatly appreciative of the music we played, especially music by Italian composer Giuliani,” he said.

The guitar guru, who has been the artistic director for the Darwin International Guitar Festival since 1993, said playing an original 19th Century guitar with strings made from gut instead of nylon helped the musician to learn more about the music.

“It gets you closer to the spirit of the music and the spirit in which the composer intended it to be played,” he said. “The sound is very different and the guitar allows you to learn more about the music itself.”

The classical guitar CD and DVD he recorded with Carlo Barone during the two-week trip is due for release later this year.