Four-handed guitar – where 2 guitarists play the same guitar simultaneously – requires both skill and compatibility between the players. The guitarists need to keep their hands out of each other’s way, they have to synchronise their parts & the rear player needs to reach the guitar, which necessitates close physical proximity between the players.
Marco Tamayo & Anabel Montesinos certainly have the skills for four-handed guitar. Cuban-born Austrian citizen, Tamaya featured on Cuban TV as a guitar prodigy at the age of six. At the age of ten, he toured former DDR and Bulgaria. Similarly, Spanish-born Montesinos was a guitar prodigy who presented her first solo recital at the age of 12.
This video of Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turka (Turkish March), was recorded at a guitar master class in March 2014. As you might deduce from their interactions and their considerate, cheek-to-cheek playing, Marco Tamayo & Anabel Montesinos were romantically involved (they were married). Reacting to the intimacy of the performance, MarsLos10 comments on YouTube: “I want to do that with my boyfriend but he doesn’t play the guitar. And I don’t have a boyfriend.”
While there is a real pleasure in seeing the warmth between the guitarists, the bigger wonder is the quality of their playing. As bottmar1 writes, “Not one mistake! I wish they could enjoy the compliments for their exceptional ability as much as I love to hear them play. Wow, just wow!” The next video is a real treat for fans of virtuoso guitar playing who might not be familiar with classical music. This post from August 2012 features Marco Tamayo & Anabel Montesinos playing a Beatles medley.
As the video demonstrates, while both Anabel Montesinos and Marco Tamayo are leading figures in the world of classical guitar, their repitoire is wide and varied.
At 17, Montesinos was the youngest musician to win the national Francisco Tárrega Competition, Spain. She soon accumulated nine further first prizes (in Poland, Italy, Austria, France, and Spain). In 2002, she won the International version of the Francisco Tárrega Competition and was rewarded with a contract to record an album for the Naxos Laureate Series. Her debut CD was selected for the music playlist on intercontinental flights by British Airways. Montesinos debuted at Carnegie Hall in 2011. She has played with orchestras in Italy (Philharmonic of Turin), Cuba (the Havana Philharmonic), Russia (the Philharmonic of Moscow), and Finland (the Philharmonic of Oulu).
Marco Tamayo has won numerous major international guitar competitions (the Italian newspaper La Stampa has called him “The King of Guitarists”). He has played with many prestigious orchestras and performed under the baton of acclaimed conductors including Ennio & Andrea Morricone, Leo Brouver, Justuz Frantz, Philipe Bender, Paolo Ferrara, Kurt Redel, Hannu Lintu and Gordon Campbell. Tamayo is a Professor in Music at the Mozarteum University of Arts in Salzburg and has been associated with the Landeskonservatorium in Klagenfurt, the Regional Conservatory of Carinthia, the University of Sydney, Australia, Seoul University of Arts, South Korea, and Gdansk Music Academy, Poland. He was recently appointed Professor at the UDK Berlin from a field of more than 400 guitarists. He is the author of the book Essential Principles for the Interpretation of the Classical Guitar.
While both Anabel Montesinos and Marco Tamayo continue to appear on stage and television, I can find no record on the internet of them playing as a duo since 2019. Given the harmoniousness of their dueting, I hope that this is down to an oversight on my part. If you would like to see more from Marco Tamayo, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel or follow Anabel Montesinos on Instagram.