Andrei Burdeti spent years in Montreal, but the natural beauty of the West Coast convinced him and his wife to move to the Island last year. (Provided)

Guitarist gives musical tour of Europe and South America

When guitarist Andrei Burdeti and his wife Jannie, a pianist, moved to Victoria last July, they started performing in their own living room, to very small audiences.

Burdeti had just completed his doctorate at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins, and the newcomers to the West Coast just opened a music school in their home. A year later, they have 55 pupils, and their audiences have swelled, too.

“Gradually, through word of mouth, we started getting more and more people until there were too many people. So we decided, let’s take it out of the house,” he said.

Burdeti will be playing concerts in Sidney, Nanaimo, and Victoria, and will take his audience on a musical tour of South America and Europe. He has a particular love of Spanish music.

When he was first learning, his teacher lent him a CD of Spanish music with composers like Issac Albeniz and Enrique Granados.

“When I heard that, it touched me and I thought, it’s so beautiful. How can one person play that? It sounds like two people are playing!”

Many of the pieces chosen by Burdeti have stories behind them. “La Catedral” by Augustin Barrios was born from a walk the composer took in a cathedral in Uruguay, where he contrasted the busy street sounds with the church organist playing Bach. The three Preludes he will play by Heitor Villa-Lobos were inspired by travels in the Amazon rainforest.

Burdeti has played some of these pieces for years, but he says they don’t remain stagnant.

“It’s kind of like wine. Let it age. You work on it a little, you perform it, you put it aside and work on something else, and then you see things that you maybe didn’t see before,” he said.

Burdeti will perform Nov. 12 at 2:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s United Church, 2410 Malaview Ave. in Sidney. Tickets are $20, but $15 for students. St. Paul’s will receive 10 per cent of the proceeds.

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