Melbourne Recital Centre
Saturday, Dec 1

“Yay, Tárrega!” shouted an overjoyed audience member from the forth row of the Melbourne Recital Centre as Miloš Karadaglić announced his first encore for the evening: the Spanish composer’s evocative Recuerdos de la Alhambra for solo guitar. And the spontaneous outburst was by no means the only one of the concert. From the minute he appeared on stage and strummed the first note of Bach’s prelude for lute in C minor, the world’s dazzling new guitar sensation enthralled his crowd with a mix of musical prowess and easy amicability not often found in classical musicians.

Born in Montenegro and educated at the London Royal Academy of Music, 29 year-old Miloš stepped onto the Melbourne concert stage for the second leg of his 2012 Australian Debut Tour an already extremely accomplished musician, having won numerous prestigious awards and sold 150,000 copies of his 2011 debut album, Mediterráneo.

As he made his way through a program that included both lesser-known guitar gems like twentieth-century Italian composer Domeniconi’s entrancing Koyunbaba, and standard guitar staples like Albeniz’s Asturias and Morel’s Danza Brasilera, delighting the crowd with a winning combination of dashing good looks, captivating stage presence and impeccable technique which had him dubbed the long-awaited new hero of the guitar, it became very clear that Miloš is more than just an outstanding player.

Sure, he has an astonishing diversity of tone, displays a remarkably diverse stylistic aptitude for anything from Baroque fugues to Latin American dances, and can tremolo with the best of them, but there’s more to him than that. Miloš is charismatic, confident, intelligent and charming. He introduces pieces with amusing personal anecdotes, shares intimate feelings that the music inspires in him, makes witty musical in-jokes, and the effect all this produces on the audience is intoxicating.

In short, he is a natural showman. He destroys the fourth wall between performer and audience so rigidly observed by most classical soloists, and directly engages his fans with a human intimacy more common among rock or pop performers . He’s a sort of Balkan James Rhodes, one might say – minus the naughty words and the drug references; a member of a fresh New Wave of classical performers who will take no part in stodgy performance protocols and dusty old-school mentalities.

Miloš has modestly dismissed claims he is out there to save the guitar from oblivion, arguing he’s merely “trying to play the music I love for people around the world.” But, judging by the quasi mass-fan hysteria he elicited in the Melbourne Recital Centre on the evening of Saturday, December 1st, you could be forgiven for believing he might do just that.

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