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Atkinson to perform at Ivano's

by RALPH BARTHOLDT
Staff Writer | April 16, 2010 9:00 PM

SANDPOINT - Leon Atkinson is stringing a guitar. The door of the Monarch Mountain coffee house opens and closes, dropping dull light on the floor, then shutting it out.

SANDPOINT - Leon Atkinson is stringing a guitar.

The door of the Monarch Mountain coffee house opens and closes, dropping dull light on the floor, then shutting it out.

Atkinson sits at a table with friends under the fluorescent bars of light on the ceiling wondering how best to approach his task.

It isn't clear-cut because this guitar, made by a Pack River luthier, has characteristics similar to a violin, including an arched top and an elevated bridge that is part tailpiece.

It isn't strung like a regular guitar, and it is giving Atkinson a few problems.

"I think I did it this way last time," the 63-year-old musician said.

Atkinson, a classical guitarist who studied under the Spanish master of classical guitar, Andres Segovia, and performed during his early years at the Apollo Theater and Carnegie Hall, has taught classical guitar for years at local universities. His Spokane Public Radio show has an avid following, and he occasionally performs at larger venues across the region.

For today, however, Atkinson is plinking and hanging out with his friends as he prepares for an evening of music Saturday at Ivano's.

This is one of the guitars he will use.

"It has a very unique early sound like a Baroque guitar," Atkinson said. "It fits Renaissance music beautifully."

The other is a Hauser '37, a replica of a guitar Segovia used.

The April 17 dinner performance starts at 7:30 p.m. but dinner is at 6. The cost is $40.

Atkinson, a Sandpoint resident for 35 years, likes to play locally at least once annually, he said.

Despite his devotion to the classics, from early Renaissance to present day classical music, he also enjoys the popular genre.

"So there will be a few surprises," he said.

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