The cello and the guitar go together like …
Peas in a pod? Salt and pepper? How about ice cream and vinegar?
That last one might be your answer if you haven’t heard the musicians who will perform at St. Alban’s on Nov. 16. Tanja Bechtler and Bob Teixeira blend their instruments into a sound above and beyond the standard repertoire. Not only do they make great music, but they have a fine time doing it. And that’s a good thing, considering that they are husband and wife.
“Our pairing is a series of challenges,” said Tanja, the cellist. “You have the relationship of the two instruments and the relationship of the two players. It gets more complicated when you have a child and a home together. Thankfully, we can grow and nurture all of those relationships.”
They teach at different universities – he at Queens, she at Gardner Webb -- and often travel and perform separately, but “it is incredible when we get to play together,” said Bob.
Tanja Bechtler was born in Switzerland, the daughter of Andreas Bechtler, whose art collection is the foundation of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte. Bob Teixeira is from a Portuguese family and grew up in New England. So, of course, they first met in Tallahassee.
Both were at the university there, each with a separate circle of friends. Their lives again crossed at the N.C. School of the Arts, but it wasn’t until Tanja came to play with the Charlotte Symphony that she and Bob, then teaching at Guilford College, finally merged their lives and their music into one lane.
That was 14 years ago, and today they sometimes work separately and sometimes as a duo. Tanja leads the Bechtler Ensemble, and Bob performs with another classical guitarist. But it is when they make music together that their creativity gets a real workout.
“There weren’t that many pieces written for guitar and cello when we began,” says Bob. “We have found they match beautifully.” The concert at St. Albans’s will include pieces from Argentina, Brazil, Britain and from Bob’s pen right here in North Car
olinas. The time period will range from the European Renaissance to 20th century America. From quiet duets to the sensuous tango rhythm, they will surprise and delight the audience – as they always do.
The Bechtler Teixeira Duo has played at St. Alban’s before, and it is one of their favorite venues thanks to the superb acoustics. “We love that you can hear the instruments so well,” Bob said. “And we especially love having such appreciative audiences there.”
The concert begins at 3 p.m. will be followed by a wine-and- hors d'oeuvre reception. Tickets are $15 for general admittance and $10 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are admitted free. Talented young musicians from Davidson will perform at 2:30 as patrons arrive.