BIOGRAPHIE ALEXANDRE LAGOYA
 
Born in Alexandria in 1929 of Greek father and an Italian mother, he began his musical and guitar studies at the age of 8. At the age of 13 he gave his first recital and at the age of 15 he already taught guitar and music theory. After having given more than 500 concerts, he moved to Paris, where France became his adopted country, and continued his educational and artistic career, touring all over Europe in 1952, marrying the famous French guitarist Ida Presti with whom he formed the duo Presti-Lagoya. They then founded a guitar class together at the Schola Cantorum. Through their 15 international tours, which include more than 2000 concerts, the composers D. Lesur, A. Jolivet, L. Alibert, P. Petit, H. Tomasi, S. Lancen, J. Wiener, J. Rodrigo, M. C. Tedesco, dedicate their works to them.After fifteen years of instrumental research with Ida Presti, they opened up new horizons in guitar technique: a new hand position, discovering how to make trills on two strings previously made on one, using a new position to obtain greater speed in pizzicato and perfect the staccato technique.
Alexandre Lagoya is asked several times to teach guitar in universities in the U.S.A. and especially at the J.M.C. (Canada) and since 1960 has been leading the guitar class at the International Summer Academy in Nice, training many students who hold positions in some of the most important conservatories in the world. every year, Alexandre Lagoya is invited to participate as a member of the jury of the most important national and international competitions. He became a professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in October 1969, the date of the creation of a guitar class. Alexandre Lagoya gives concerts all over the world: he plays under the direction of eminent conductors with the greatest symphony orchestras. He is regularly invited by the most important national and international festivals. Alexandre Lagoya is considered one of the most extraordinary guitarists of our time. In 1965, the French government made him Commandeur du Mérite Culturel et Artistique; in 1972, Chevalier du Mérite National; in 1974, Chevalier des Arts et Lettres for his action in favour of music throughout the world. Two decorations were awarded to him by the USSR government in 1964. Despite all his activities, this smiling, generous, direct man loved the youth he helped and advised. Everything interested him, painting, architecture, literature, nature, animals... He loved to travel, but it was with infinite pleasure that he found his home located in a still privileged setting in the Paris region where he rests. 
BIOGRAPHIE IDA PRESTI

 

Ida Presti was born in Suresnes on May 31, 1924, of an Italian mother and a French father. The latter, an amateur accordionist and medium, immediately saw in her the genius and artistic sensitivity that would animate her throughout her life. One evening, while he was attending a concert by Andrés Segovia, a premonitory flash appeared as a matter of course: his daughter would be a guitarist. 
It is within this modest family that Ida will be formed by her father who does not grant her any leisure time. Gifted and cunning, she works her guitar by reading comics, away from the looks of this father who is too authoritarian. He died prematurely in 1938, and then embodied the only academic figure in her musical apprenticeship. 
In 1932, at the age of 8, Ida performed for the first time in a small group. Two years later, on April 28, 1935, she gave her first major recital in Paris, at the Salle Chopin, where she met with great success. 
The rumour of a child guitar prodigy is spreading all over Europe, and all the major concert halls are hiring her in turn. 
At the age of 12, she recorded her first records with "Pathé" and played the role of a guitarist in Maurice Cloche's film "Le petit chose". 
When her father died, Ida became head of the family at the age of 14 and had to take care of her mother and little sister. When the Second World War came a few months later, her artistic career was in abeyance and her future concert projects were cancelled, including a tour of the United States. 
At 17, she went alone to Indonesia to tour for three months. 
After a few difficult years between Nice and Marseille, she took refuge in Allauch and met her first husband. From this union her daughter Elizabeth was born. At the end of the war, she divorced and gradually resumed her career. Success is back on track. And it was in 1951 that she met her alter ego, a young guitarist from Egypt: Alexandre Lagoya. 
A fusional relationship unites them to life as well as to the stage. They will give their first official concert in 1952, the year that will forever mark the world of classical guitar. The emergence of a duo composed of two great soloists is indeed of a surprising rarity. At that time, the repertoire for two guitars was relatively poor, but many contemporary composers such as Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Jolivet, Petit, Lesur, or Rodrigo, put themselves to work and wrote scores for this outstanding duo. 
Alexandre, for his part, undertook a colossal task of transcribing classical works, while Ida began to compose original pieces for two guitars (Avila dance, the Hungarian, whimsical study), but also for solo guitar (lullaby to my mother, morning study, Segovia, etc.). All these musical writing works have been collected by Elisabeth, Ida's daughter, and are now gathered in several collections available from Berben Editions, so that the new generation of guitarists can benefit from this remarkable repertoire.
In 1953, Ida gave birth to her second child, Sylvain Lagoya. 
The couple travels the world to give performances or masterclasses. Teaching is an important part of the duo's career. The press and the media are quick to tell their nomadic stories. Television interviews, print media, radio, the duo is on all fronts, and their careers are constantly evolving. At the height of their fame, they embarked on a major tour of the United States in 1967. This tour will be the last one. While they are playing in Saint Louis with the symphony orchestra, Ida is suddenly sick after a concert. Unfortunately, they flew the next day to Rochester, New York, or a concert was scheduled in Brockport that evening. 
As soon as she arrived, she was immediately transported to the hospital, and died a few hours later. 
Her thought: 
"I want my life to be simple and straight like an empty reed so that God can fill it with Music. 

© Archives Presti-Lagoya  (prohibited reproduction)

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