Classical guitarist and Whidbey native returns for concert

An island boy with supple fingers and a mountain of musical degrees and experience returns home for a special performance. It has been nearly eight years since native islander and virtuoso classical guitarist Sean Vaughn Owen has been home to give a musical recital.

Sean Vaughn Owen is a classical guitarist and musical scholar who will return to his native Whidbey for a performance on Saturday

An island boy with supple fingers and a mountain of musical degrees and experience returns home for a special performance.

It has been nearly eight years since native islander and virtuoso classical guitarist Sean Vaughn Owen has been home to give a musical recital.

Owen will perform at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, along with his friend, the virtuoso pianist and composer, Stephen Fandrich at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20.

Owen has completed three master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in musicology.

During his period of study, Owen concentrated heavily on developing his musicianship as a guitarist, while also conducting extensive research and writing about the obscure English composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, who wrote music for piano.

Owen recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, making his home in Seattle. Although he has traveled all over the world, Owen still considers Whidbey to be his true home, but not just because its where his mother still lives.

“Every time I step on the ferry or cross Deception Pass Bridge, I am overwhelmed by an immense feeling of nostalgic satisfaction; I have returned home,” he said.

Understandably, Owen has been thoughtful in choosing which music to play for his hometown audience.

The repertoire will feature classical guitar works by Agustín Barrios, Domenico Scarlatti and Francisco Tárrega; Fandrich will follow at the piano with Alexander Scriabin and Frederic Chopin.

An intermission will be followed by compositions for the guitar with a Japanese theme, including works by Toru Takemitsu, a homage to Takemitsu by the great Cuban composer Leo Brouwer and the evocative “Sakura Variations” by Yuquijiro Yocoh. Several of these pieces will be on Owen’s next CD.

Fandrich will finish the concert with some of his original compositions, a Rachmaninoff piece and a piano transcription of an extended guitar solo by the late eclectic rocker, Frank Zappa.

Fandrich and Owen have been longtime comrades in the world of music, having started their studies in music together at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.

Owen said the two musicians share a similar sensitivity to the aesthetics of sound.

“Giving concerts with Stephen has been a joy; not only is he a dear friend, he is also a musical inspiration,” Owen said.

The WICA audience can look forward to an enjoyable night of solo music, Owen said, some serious and some more lighthearted.

Tickets cost $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and youths and $10 for those 12 and younger.

Call the box office at 221-8268, or visit www.WICAonline.com.

More in Life

Mucking about for clams

‘Digging for Dinner’ a popular Sound Water activity

Scorch is a play about gender identification showing at Outcast’s black box theater on the Island County fairgrounds June 13-17. It’s a one-person play, performed by Carmen Berkeley. Director and co-producer Ty Molbak went to middle school in Langley was was active in Whidbey Children’s Theater. Both will be seniors at Rutgers University in the fall. One scene in the play “Scorch” portrays the main character looking into mirrors and wondering what others see.
‘Scorch’ looks at first love and ‘gender fraud’

Irish play revolves around one character’s confusion

Whidbey Island Garden Tour highlights five homes

Tickets still available for Saturday event

Jordan Shelley, 18, stands outside his home in Greenbank. He recently received the Sydney S. McIntyre Jr Scholarship from Skagit Valley College to go toward his tuition at the University of Washington. Shelley will pursue his childhood dream of becoming a doctor. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
SVC grad earns full 2-year scholarship to UW

A lot has changed since Jordan Shelley was 7 years old and… Continue reading

Couple creates Whidbey’s first commercial cidery

Driftwood Hard Cider taps into growing market

‘Slowgirl’ explores the human condition in intimate setting

Even with significant professional credentials, the latest offering from Whidbey’s Outcast Theatre… Continue reading

Homegrown ‘Frijole Friday’

Fundraiser features student crops, cooking

Scott Swenson, a National Park Service carpenter, puts the final pieces in on a ramp on the newly restored Pratt Sheep Barn. The 1930s barn will serve as a classroom one it officially opens in July. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
Historic sheep barn repurposed

Tucked away on the Pratt Loop Trail, a formerly dilapidated 1930s sheep… Continue reading

‘Art with a Message’

Students worldview a kaleidoscope of visions

Hometown Hero: Lewis Pope

Once every year a South Whidbey senior is chosen by the South… Continue reading

Shhh…it’s a surprise party for old-timer Bill Lanning

Friends, customers invited to celebrate former owner of Bill’s Feed Tack

New look for familiar frozen treat

Whidbey Island Ice Cream gets a modern makeover