Performance Monday, March 18, 2013 | 7:30 PM

John Williams
John Etheridge

Zankel Hall
Legendary classical guitarist John Williams and jazz-fusion guitarist John Etheridge have collaborated for more than a decade. Together they perform an eclectic mix of music for duo guitar, illuminating their distinctive skills and showcasing a wealth of musical experience across musical genres.


  • John Williams, Guitar
  • John Etheridge, Guitar


  • TRAD. "Toy" (arr. Cabo Verde)
  • EL HADJ N'DIAYE Ragajuma
  • JOHN ETHERIDGE "Strange Comforts"
  • JOHN ETHERIDGE "Places Between"
  • JOHN WILLIAMS "Malinke Guitars"
  • PAUL HART Ludwig's Horse
  • MINGUS Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
  • JOHN ETHERIDGE "Six Lines"
  • BACH Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro in E-flat Major, BWV 998
  • STEPHEN GOSS Marylebone Elegy
  • JOHN WILLIAMS Extra Time

  • Encore:
  • VASCO MARTINS "Situações Triangulares" ("Triangular Situations")


  • John Williams

    Born in Australia, John Williams has been regarded as a foremost ambassador of the guitar. By the early 1960s, he had performed in London, Paris, Madrid, Japan, Russia, and the US. He has since toured the world, playing both solo and with orchestra.

    Among his collaborations with other musicians, those with Julian Bream, Itzhak Perlman, André Previn, Cleo Laine, John Dankworth, and Daniel Barenboim are particularly important. His other musical activities have included the groups SKY, Attacca, National Youth Jazz Orchestra with Paul Hart, Paco Peña, Inti-Illimani, and various collaborations with Richard Harvey.

    In 2001, Sony Classical released his CD entitled The Magic Box in which his group John Williams and Friends presented adaptations of African music. The group toured the UK, US, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, Spain, and Italy. Other recent releases include his solo CD entitled El Diablo Suelto (a collection of Venezuelan music), The Ultimate Guitar Collection, and Places Between with John Etheridge recorded live in Dublin. Williams's most recent release is a solo CD titled From a Bird, a collection of his own pieces and traditional Irish tunes.

    In 2007, Williams was presented with an Edison Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Williams has lent his talents to such films as The Deer Hunter A Fish Called Wanda. He also plays tennis (badly), badminton (average), chess (quite good), table tennis (better), and likes talking (about anything). He currently lives in London.

    More Info

  • John Etheridge

    John Etheridge enjoys a glowing reputation throughout the jazz world and beyond, and has been described by Pat Metheny as, "one of the best guitarists in the world." In addition to Metheny, Etheridge has played with John Williams, Yehudi Menuhin, Dizzie Gillespie, Nigel Kennedy, and countless others.

    Etheridge's promise was evident even during his earliest days of playing, and he received recognition and encouragement from both Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. Etheridge started to get seriously noticed when working in various bands, such as ex-Curved Air violinist Darryl Way's Wolf, an early jazz/rock outfit with whom he recorded three albums. Others included Icarus, Abednigo, the short-lived Warhorse, and the wonderfully monikered Global Village Trucking Company. His 1975 leap into the front rank came when he was contacted by The Soft Machine after they had been given his number by the departing Allan Holdsworth. Soon after, he became Diz Disley's successor, playing alongside Stéphane Grappelli, the ex-sparring partner of jazz violinist Django Reinhardt. Etheridge spent the next six years touring the world in collaboration with Grappelli.

    In the late 1970s and early '80 s, Etheridge played a series of solo concerts in Australia and went on to play duo dates in the US with bass player Brian Torff, with whom he had worked in the Grappelli band. Through the '80s and '90s, he could be found honing his craft and extending his range even further with such collaborators as Vic Juris and Dick Heckstall-Smith.

    In July 2006, Etheridge began touring with John Williams. In subsequent years the duo has toured the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

    More Info


Strange Comforts
John Williams, Guitar | John Etheridge, Guitar
Sony Classical

Bob Golden on John Williams and John Etheridge

Guitarists—by temperament and historical inclination—are instinctive collaborators and accompanists, as well as, inevitably, duo partners. Among such presently numerous pairings, perhaps the most luminous is the first-tier guitar tandem of John Williams and John Etheridge, respectively the instrument's premier classical virtuoso and the equally esteemed and recorded multi-genre guitar legend. Between them, the Williams-Etheridge Duo combine five centuries of classical, jazz, world, rock, folk, and new-age inspirations to create a peerless musical experience applauded by awed critics and mesmerized capacity audiences the world over.

Even today, it is still a widely held perception that the guitar is a limited, even primitive instrument despite the achievements of Segovia and other innovative predecessors. With Williams unquestionably among the most recorded solo guitarists of the past half-century, and more than 200 Williams and Etheridge individual album releases to date, these resourcefully versatile musical masters have, perhaps even more than any of their contemporaries, notably expanded the publically perceived musical boundaries of the guitar. Both partners are famously, fiercely, and most visibly major proponents of their chosen instrument in all its possibilities, and over the years have found their association to be a most ideal platform to educate an increasingly growing international public to the limitless potentials of guitar music.

Their critically applauded bestselling 2006 Places Between album typically features works by the two guitar masters and a widely disparate range of genres and international composers that span the previous two centuries. Williams has said, "In every contemporary activity in music, whether it is commercial music, film music, popular music, jazz, and all these influences that are now called world music or ethnic music, the guitar is a crucial part of it—not just an extra thing you have to adapt, a little imitation of something to play on guitar, but it actually is an integral part of what all these cultures are doing and using, so in that way the guitar is unlimited." And, as Etheridge once remarked in a 2007 interview about his partnership with Williams, "There is no limit to what we can do together."

—Bob Golden is a veteran of the music industry who is currently vice president of marketing at Carlin America, a major multinational music publishing corporation.

This performance is part of Signatures.