Ipohites were in for a musical treat as Rafael Serrallet, one of the most internationally experienced Spanish guitar concertists, held his second classical guitar concert in Ipoh yesterday (July 28) following his first in January last year.
Sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the event which unfolded at the 22 Hale Street Heritage Gallery with free entrance had all its limited seats snapped up.
During the one-hour show, he performed pieces by composers such as Arcas, Penella, Padilla, Granados and Tárrega y Albéniz, just to name a few. Thunderous applause from the intimate crowd of all ages preceded and followed every piece.
The evening was made extra special as Rafael’s music flowed hand in hand with the images and movie clips projected in the background.
According to him, the selected visual enabled the audience to have a better understanding of each composer, piece, time setting and style.
Marking a 30-year milestone of his international concert career that started in July 1992 in Panama of Central America, Ipoh Echo caught up with the amiable Rafael who hails from Valencia in order to learn more.
“Before every performance, there is always a lot of pressure but once you start the concert, you forget as you release all the concentrated energy and adrenaline. After the performance i’m happy and relieved. Plus, this venue is just the perfect size for the guitar, everyone can hear all the small details,” he enthused post-concert.
To date, he has performed in more than a thousand concerts across one hundred countries. For instance, playing with world-renowned orchestras like the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Youth Orchestra of Central America, Opera of Plovdiv, Transylvania Philharmonic Orchestra and more.
“I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to be in Malaysia for my 2022 international world tour that has already included countries like Portugal, Kenya, Congo, Mauritania and even Ukraine which is in the middle of the war. This has been one of the most amazing and emotional musical experiences of my life, playing with Ukrainian musicians in wartime and trying to support them in the best way I know: making music,” he recalled.
“We even experienced an air alarm at the end of the concert (during the encore), but nobody moved their chairs until we finished the last note of the piece, and they gave us a massive round of applause. It was breathtaking watching the Ukrainians standing up in front of me and I was overwhelmed by their attitude and strength in this war,” he shared.
Currently, Rafael serves as a teacher in the Conservatory of Valencia, besides conducting master classes and lecturing in universities around the world.
Back in 2018, Rafael set a Guinness World Record for being the first musician to play a concert on each continent in 154 days and 22 hours.
From being a performer, educator to ambassador, he cited his family as his biggest motivation as he keeps moving forward in life.
“Without them my life is meaningless. I love to share music, my emotions and experiences with as many people as possible. It is a great privilege to be able to do so. But my family comes first. I love to be on the stage so very much, but there is no success without them,” he enthused, expressing his gratitude for his family members who also gathered in Ipoh for the happy occasion.
His world tour this year featured Ipoh as his only stop in Malaysia as the globe-trotter would fly back to Europe right after.
For more updates, check out his social media handles as follows:
by Mei Kuan