Marcus Tardelli





Marcus Tardelli


  • Marcus Tardelli, guitar

Event Details

Marcus Tardelli is one of the most remarkable guitarists to emerge from Brazil. From a very young age, he was deeply interested in music and drawn particularly to orchestral works. The guitar, however, was the only instrument available to him, so he developed ways to play the orchestral harmonies he loved, and ultimately created a new school of thought in guitar technique.

"Even if Guinga never pronounced that Marcus Tardelli was the 'greatest acoustic guitar player that Brazil has produced in history,' the musical evidence on Unha e Carne would certainly put him on a pedestal right next to Egberto Gismonti, Sérgio and Odair Assad. In fact, based on technique, expression, intonation and dynamics, there is a solid case for ranking Tardelli very close to guitarists such as Julian Bream and, perhaps, even to Andrés Segovia." - RAUL D'GAMA ROSE, ALL ABOUT JAZZ

“Marcus Tardelli has an ear that is directly connected to his soul, capable of recognizing the universe of a composer in all its depth, and reproducing it in all its fullness.”  - PAULO SALES, FOLHA DA BAHIA (BRAZIL)

"Marcus Tardelli is the most important acoustic guitar player of our time. He is the next step for the guitar." - GENIL CASTRO, BRAZILIAN GUITARIST 

Marcus Tardelli

From the beginning of his life, Marcus Tardelli has experienced sound and music with an intensity that has shaped
his approach to music and, as a consequence, his approach to the guitar. As a toddler, music captured his attention
so that he'd stop playing with his toys to listen, or stop crying when his mother put music on the phonograph. LPs
became his toys and he learned which tracks he wanted to hear, pointing to the ones he wanted his parents to play.
He listened to music of all kinds, particularly that made by orchestras, and often sang the melodies along with the
recordings. He remembers hearing so much music in his mind that he could not sleep, and asking his mother to
“take that out of my head”; and being moved to tears when hearing certain pieces. Knowing when one of these
tracks was coming, he'd run out of the home to avoid the feelings it evoked in him. These experiences became so
intense that his mother worried about his ability to concentrate, that he might have some sort of psychological

Into this situation, the guitar entered Marcus's life at age seven. The guitar was always present in the home, as his
father played and had aspired to be a professional musician; and given the family's income, it was the only
instrument available to Marcus. His fingers had been too small to reach around the neck, but now he could start
making sound. With no knowledge about technique, he started searching for ways to make the sounds he heard in
his head. The guitar gave Marcus a place to put his emotions, to do something with all that he heard and felt from
music, and it became a source of relief, focus, and peace.

His father started to show Marcus things. The boy learned them with shocking speed and soon Marcus learned
everything his father could teach him. The unusual power of Marcus's ability to hear began to be revealed. His
father played a recording by Dilermando Reis, the legendary Brazilian guitarist, and in short order Marcus learned it
by ear and could play the arrangement exactly as recorded. He could hear something once and remember it; and he
had perfect pitch, too.

At age eight, he began studying with a professional guitar teacher. For years, the teacher thought Marcus was
reading the music. In fact, before the end of each lesson, Marcus would ask the teacher to play a new piece through
and, in one listening, he could remember the entire piece. At the next lesson, Marcus pretended to read, so as not
to upset his teacher. While the teacher did not discover this for ten years, he did recognize Marcus's great facility for
the guitar and his perfect pitch. By age ten, there was no question in anyone's mind that Marcus had extraordinary
ability, and he began to give concerts in his hometown of Petrópolis, performing solo and with orchestras.
From this beginning emerged a new conception for the guitar, one that has nothing to do with previous approaches
to the instrument, but rather to do with the characteristics of the orchestral music he loved – rich with many voices,
1 counterpoint, harmonies, and rhythms. To express on the guitar the feelings this music evoked in him, to realize his
conception of music, to have the melodic lines, counterpoint, and harmony that he sought, he searched for ways to
play the instrument without regard to what was considered possible or impossible. As a result, an unprecedented
body of technique began to grow.

Marcus continued to listen to vast amounts of music – symphony orchestras, chamber music, samba school
orchestras, percussion orchestras, jazz orchestras, jazz ensembles, musics of many different origins and styles,
European classical music, Brazilian music, guitar pieces, any music that touched his heart. By age sixteen, he had
established a repertoire of nearly one hundred pieces including transcriptions of orchestral pieces and his own
arrangements of Brazilian music. He graduated from the National Music School of the Universidade Federal do Rio
de Janeiro in 1999.

Turibio Santos invited him to close the 38th Villa-Lobos Festival in 2000 with the Pró-Música Orchestra in Rio's Cecilia
Meirelles concert hall. From 2001 to 2005, he was soloist for the guitar quartet Maogani and during that period
won three of the most prestigious awards in Brazilian music: the Prêmio Caras de Música (2001), Prêmio Rival Br de
Música (2004), and Prêmio Tim de Música Brasileira (2005).

In 2005, he returned to his first love – playing solo – and made his first solo recording, applying his conception and
skill as an arranger to the compositions of Guinga, a composer who is among the greatest Brazil has produced.
Marcus wrote the arrangements for Unha e Carne, and Guinga produced it, providing the composer's endorsement
and stamp of authenticity for the approach Marcus took in his writing and performance. This recording shows,
more than any to date, the scope of Marcus's talent for arranging. The compositions gain new richness, energy, and
beauty in his hands. Brazil is the nation of the guitar, so it's noteworthy that Unha e Carne was recognized by critics
from the newspaper Folha de São Paulo to be one of the five most important guitar recordings of all time. Marcus's
achievement as a solo performer was also recognized in 2007 with another Prêmio Tim de Música Brasileira award,
this time naming him as the greatest revelation in Brazilian music from a field of nearly 1,000 musicians.

He is now turning his conception and writing skill toward two new bodies of repertoire: The composers of MPB
(Música Popular Brasileira) including Tom Jobim, Ernesto Nazareth, Vinicius de Moraes, and Baden Powell; and the
classical composers who influenced them, including Ravel, Fauré, Debussy, Villa-Lobos, Scriabin, and Gershwin. Two
CDs will be recorded, one devoted to each group of composers.

Marcus will perform these arrangements with his unwavering devotion to expression – a keen sensitivity to how to
play the melody, to show everything that the music has to say, so that his listeners will have the chance to receive
all that the music has to offer.