No collection of female guitar heroes would be complete without the uniquely prodigious Galina Vale. Trained in Russia from a very young age, she often plays blindfold and wearing overtly theatrical costumes and masks. Some would argue that her act is gimmicky, but to students and teachers of Spanish classical guitar, she is a gift, possessing a mixture of flamenco/folk style nonchalance and relaxation, with ‘by-the-book’ technique in both hands – applied to some of the most fiddly ¬†classical pieces know to humanity. I saw her at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 10 years ago, where she played an entire composition just with hammer-on technique. Enjoy these 3 clips – in order, ‘Tarentella Napolitana’, ‘Hungarian Rhapsody’ (Liszt) and my favourite, ‘La Catedral’ (Barrios), where you will have to ignore, as she does, the cameraman clearing his throat…

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