An evening with Duo Lacerda

Violinists Alexander Stewart and Regina Aires are returning to the Algarve to take their audience on a whistle-stop journey of the history of the violin on Thursday, August 31 at Campus da Boa Esperança, Morenos, Tavira at 7pm.

Duo Lacerda now offers a highly original musical odyssey covering 300 years of the development of the violin. They will describe how the instrument is built, how the bow developed and how the violin changed in response to audience demand. In between the historical descriptions will be musical illustrations and anecdotes relating to the lives of the composers.

They offer showpieces from the works of composers of the Classical, Baroque, Romantic and 20th century periods and from nationalities such as German, Polish, Italian and French. It will be for the audience to guess the identity of the different composers as the evening progresses.

Odysseus took ten years to complete his Odyssey as he returned to Ithaca after the Trojan War. Duo Lacerda will complete their odyssey in 90 minutes – not including the post concert drinks.

When Alex’s father, himself a violinist, heard that Alex wanted to follow in his footsteps, his first comment was: “Go out onto the streets of London and do some busking … you will then realise how difficult it is to earn a living as a musician.”

Born in London in 1964, Alexander began his studies at the age of six with his father, Walter Stewart, and in Portugal with Maxim Jacobsen and Vasco Barbosa. He was granted a scholarship at King’s School, Canterbury, studying with Clarence Myerscough and Felix Andriewsky. During this period he was awarded the Double Top Music Scholarship (1977-82), two first and second prizes in the King’s School contests, the Old King’s School Music Prize (1981) and the Ryley Music Prize (1982).

In 1982, he became Eric Gruenberg’s pupil at the Guildhall School of Music, where he graduated as a violin performer and teacher. He was then awarded a scholarship by the Polish Government to study at the Szymanowsky Music Academy, where he worked with Aureli Blasczok, Stanislaw Lewandowsky and Tadeusz Wronski.

He has given various concerts and recitals in England, Poland and Portugal, and has recorded both for radio and television.

He is presently one of the Concert Masters in the Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa. He is the 1º violin and a founding member of the Lacerda String Quartet, a founding member of the Aeternus Trio and a founding member of the Duo Lacerda with his wife Regina Aires who plays second violin with the Lacerda Quartet.

[email protected]

Photo: Alexander Stewart and Regina Aires