Sean Kelly: Classical Guitar on Steroids

Classical Guitar on Steroids

Lippert Music’s  very own Sean Kelly, Director of Guitar Studies, has released his third solo album on the Opening Day label called Where The Wood Meets the Wire”.  Sean and I had the opportunity to speak recently at his studio. Surrounded by the guitars he  used to record his new album, Sean said that this is the album he has been working towards. “My first album, The #1 Classical Guitar Album was a showcase of the greatest hits of the guitar, done in a very traditional manner. My second, Christnas Guitar, was  arrangements of my favourite carols and Christmas songs. This one is the blending of the acoustic and electric music I love so much. Where the Wood Meets the Wire, mixes everything I love about music. The beauty of the nylon stings with the electric,  used to spice things up”

And spice it up Sean has! The opening track on the new album is Adelita by Francisco Tárrega, a Spanish guitarist and composer who lived from 1852-1909. Sean recorded this piece on The #1 Classical Guitar Album. His original recording was a very reflective, almost melancholic take. Not so on the new one! Right away the tempo has been kicked up a few notches, with bass and drums added to give the piece an entirely new feel. Sean adds the electric guitar the third time the melody is played. From there, it is moments away from adding in some high pitched harmonies on the electric, leading into some free-wheeling soloing.

While most of the album crosses over from the classics into rock, one certainly goes the opposite way, Gowan’s A Criminal Mind or as Sean, in keeping with the Spanish titles of the other tracks, Una Mente Criminale. A top notch arrangement.  

The last track on the album is unique for a Sean Kelly album as it is the first selection to feature vocals, in this case, the voice of his friend, Brian Vollmer, performing the seasonal Ave Maria. Brian, better known as the vocalist for heavy metal act Helix, puts in a performance bordering on the operatic, while Sean’s guitar whirls around the voice with  chords and licks.  A fine end to a fine album.

Check out Sean on You Tube, where he discuses  the album and where you can see him play Adelita, all in the comfort of Long & McQuade, out on Bloor Street.

All three of Sean’s albums are available at the front desk at Lippert Studios.





Where The Wood Meets The Wire

Lang Lang and Lippert: L To The Power of Three


Photo: Olaf Heine /DG

L to the Power of Three: Lang Lang and Lippert  – what a combination.

We are very pleased to announce that Lippert Music has been invited to participate in Lang Lang’s “101 Pianists Workshop” taking place at Roy Thomson Hall on Sunday November 13.  This is part of Lang Lang’s  personal goal to inspire the next generation of classical music lovers.

Lang Lang (pronounced Long Long) is without a doubt the most exciting classical musician performing today. His technique is legendary, his interpretations of the great classics are always insightful, and he pulls this all off with a degree of showmanship that has not been seen since Horowitz.

And just as importantly, Lang Lang is always very giving of his time, especially with the performed for communities that never see musicians of this caliber in their midst.(For a complete biography please see ).

Lang Lang is in Toronto on a two week residency with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.During that  time he will perform all of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos. Do whatever you can to see at least one of these concerts – he is an absolute thrill to see. For ticket information please see:


To help celebrate Lang Lang’s visit we are offering a Lang Lang prize pack consisting of 5 of his Deutsche Grammophon Recordings:

  1. Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 and The Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
  2. Chopin: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
  3. Liszt: Incl. Hungarian Rhapsody
  4. Tchaikovsky & Rachmaninov: Piano Trios:
  5. Dragon Songs: A Collection of Chinese Classical Music today.

Also included in the prize pack is an autographed copy of Lang Lang’s autobiography “Journey of a Thousand Miles”

To be eligible you must answer this skill testing question

Which of the composers named in the list of recordings above, is celebrating their 200th anniversary of their birth in 2011?

Please write your name and contact information including e-mail address,  on a piece of paper and place in the box at the front desk of the studio. Contest closes Saturday November 19, 2011.

Only one entry per student. The first entry drawn with the correct answer to our question will be declared the winner.


To receive a bonus entry sign up to follow the blog, by clicking on the FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL button.  Please use the identical e-mail address ti sign up for the blog as you wrote on your entry form.

Watch Lang Lang play and discuss Beethoven