You could consider Mexican guitarist Pablo Garibay an honorary Buffalonian. The first time he entered the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Competition, he was a runner-up -- so he flew back, last year, and tried again. And just moments before he was announced as the winner, he was overheard praising suicidal wings.
Garibay, 28, will be performing a concerto by the Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Artpark on at 3 p.m. Sunday (call 885-5000 for info). Reaching him on the phone beforehand wasn't easy, because he lives in Bremen, Germany. But it was worth it. Garibay is charming and humble, and he accents the first syllable of "guitar" and "guitarist," making the words themselves very musical.
I am studying for my master's degree in Weimar with Thomas Mueller-Tering, my professor. I had the opportunity to come here with my girlfriend, who is also studying here. We came together from Mexico. It was a good opportunity for both of us, to spend time in another country. Some day I intend to go back to Mexico and teach and try to do something for young guitarists, maybe teach at the university.
>What is your girlfriend studying?
Another thing completely. Marine microbiology. Ten years ago, we met in the music school because she played clarinet.
>When do you practice?
I try to plan my day leaving a lot of time for the instrument, but also for reading, or hearing music is also very important. Usually I try to study four, sometimes five, sometimes six hours a day. Of course, in this world it is not possible to have a very rigid schedule. Because of life. Because of things.
>You're from Mexico City. What's it like there?
It's loud and chaotic and full with people and everything and cars. But also full with a very positive thing, exchange and different points of view in culture and art and everything. Something very interesting is happening there. The people, they are noticing more and more all the problems we have. We are trying to do something positive about it.
>When did you take up guitar?
I started not so early. I started when I was 14. I didn't know if I wanted to study medicine or music, so I took time for deciding and then when I started, I gave all my energy to the guitar.
>What do you do for fun?
Usually things like going to the cinema or going to very good concerts. I like to eat a lot in restaurants. I enjoy [trying] new things. Like chicken wings. I am looking forward!
-- Mary Kunz Goldman