Member Spotlight: Bruce Donehower

///Member Spotlight: Bruce Donehower

Member Spotlight: Bruce Donehower

For this month’s CGC Academy Member Spotlight we’re featuring longtime member Bruce Donehower. Bruce was one of the earliest members of CGC and has been involved in so much of what’s been going on at CGC over the last several years. Below is a video of Bruce playing “Romanza” by Robert Schumann, arranged by Francisco Tárrega (sorry for the desync between the audio and video).

Bruce “retired” to the classical guitar in 2014 after his wife said he couldn’t bring a piano into the house and that if he wanted to do music he had to play guitar again. He quit playing classical guitar completely for a little more than 20 years prior to the return. Bruce found CGC at that time and connected with Simon. He participated in both Guitorberfests and the first CGC Summer School. His goals right now are to relearn the old repertoire that he once knew but forgot; to learn new pieces; and to learn to record and make better videos for friends and family. The Schumann piece is one that he worked on with Simon in 2017 at the CGC Summer School.

This transcription by Tárrega actually was quite difficult to track down because it is located in the middle of a longer piece (and was misprinted in earlier editions as having been from a different work by Schumann). This little romanza comes from Robert Schumann’s “Novelleten” (Op. 21) for solo piano and is found in two of the seven sections from No. 1 in F Major (this section appears twice in that piece: in the second section in F Major, and then again at the end in A Major, the key Tárrega uses for his transcription). Tárrega added the (quite appropriate!) title “Romanza.” Here’s a stunning performance of the whole piece by Claudio Arrau. – Dave Belcher

2018-04-18T15:36:07+00:0020 Comments


  1. John April 18, 2018 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Beautifully played Bruce. Lovely sound from such a simple recording setup :)

  2. Kari April 18, 2018 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing your work, Bruce. There were so many special moments in this piece. Keep up the great work!

  3. Johan Gebben April 18, 2018 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    Very beautifully done, Bruce. My goal is to be able to play as well after a while.

  4. David Norton April 18, 2018 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    A bit of trivia: this same piece was the opening selection of Julian Bream’s first public recital, at Cheltenham, England, 17 February 1947. Bream also performed it four months later as part of his first BBC broadcast.

  5. Drew Burgess April 18, 2018 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Wonderful playing Bruce! Thank you for this beautiful expression.

  6. Mark Campbell April 18, 2018 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Your body language always conveys how deeply you feel the music Bruce, and that sensitivity shines through in your music making. Wonderful!

  7. joannes April 18, 2018 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful music with us Bruce.
    a pleasure to hear you playing this ‘Romanza’.

  8. Richard Croad April 19, 2018 at 6:00 am - Reply

    Beautifully played Bruce; you get a great sound–very resonant in the upper registers of the guitar which makes the Romanza so attractive.

  9. Linda Tsardakas April 19, 2018 at 6:47 am - Reply

    Beautiful playing and I love the mood you create with this music Bruce. Thank you to Simon for putting a spotlight on Bruce!

  10. Roger Ramirez April 19, 2018 at 7:46 am - Reply

    Beautifully played!

  11. Donna Zitzelberger April 19, 2018 at 11:50 am - Reply

    So expressively played – absolutely beautiful.

  12. Shannon Ann April 19, 2018 at 5:25 pm - Reply


  13. Armando Baltra April 20, 2018 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Wow! Bruce, that was REALLY nice.


  14. Lynda April 20, 2018 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    Beautiful, Bruce. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Martha April 20, 2018 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    Bruce, Thank you to your wife for encouraging you to return to classical guitar (even if you wanted a piano). This is beautiful.

  16. Daniel Shugrue April 23, 2018 at 9:05 am - Reply

    So rich! So dark! I love it. Thank you Bruce.

  17. Gino April 23, 2018 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Very gentle and beautiful, Bruce! Thank you! And Dave, I love the historic notes!

  18. Marg Sherringham April 23, 2018 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Beautifully played Bruce, totally engaging. Thank you for sharing your playing, and I think your wife is a very wise woman, to steer you back to the guitar. You have a natural feel for the instrument, enjoy many happy hours rediscovering your old pieces in your retirement.
    Best wishes,

  19. Richard Goldblatt April 25, 2018 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Bravo Bruce! I hope i can play like that one day.

  20. Bruce April 27, 2018 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    Thank you, everyone, for your kind and supportive comments. I’m glad you enjoyed the music. Just as an aside, the guitar I’m playing here, the Cordoba C10, cracked hugely on my last trip to Portland, Oregon — despite being in a Visesnut case. I know some folks are interested in anecdotes about travel with guitar. I’ve always had good experiences, and I’ve traveled with this guitar many a time, to Asia and to Europe and across the US — no problem. But this time — whoa! I have to run it over to the local luthier to see if it’s cost effective to repair. But even with the huge crack, it sounded just fine and I played it for the family in Portland. Not sure what I’m going to take to Endicott yet. By the way, the Visesnut case is undamaged.

    — Bruce

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