Concerts for ailing Hewitt

Johannesburg - Audiences who have heard David Hewitt perform will have little doubt that he is one of the most exceptional classical guitarists ever produced by this country.

Hewitt started taking guitar lessons in Johannesburg in 1967 with the local "guitar master ", Fritz Buss.

Barely eight years later, his talent was such that he was accepted to attend guitar maestro Narcico Yepes's master classes in Paris, where he was singled out as one of the top musicians. The Spanish virtuoso was so impressed with Hewitt that he invited him to stay at his private residence for more intensive teaching.

Hewitt's exceptional concert talent emerged from countless solo performances in Johannesburg and he soon performed in other cities, including abroad in England and the United States.

He completed a number of studio recordings, including some with his long-standing duo partner Tessa Ziegler.

Hewitt later devoted more time to composing. Making use of African music within a classical framework he made an invaluable contribution to a very unique style of guitar music.

And then he suddenly disappeared from the scene. The reason: at the age of 48 he developed Alzheimer's disease, a debilitating condition which, five years later, has brought an end to his career.

And now a group of guitar players have come together, including Ziegler, offering their services free of charge for a David Hewitt Fund concert at the Linder Auditorium on Monday and Tuesday October 9 and 10 at 20:00.

Guitar players who are to perform in the concerts, organised by Andy McGibbon Guitar World, include Lionel Bastos, Alistair Coakley, Tony Cox, Johnny Fourie, Mauritz Lotz and Robin Walsh.

These artists are the cream of South African guitar players.

Tickets are R75 and are available from Computicket or Teletix (011) 340 8000.

Enquiries: Andy at (011) 886 9591 or Deon at (083) 292 2651.

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