Musical duet Duo Sonidos performs in Varner Recital Hall

An audience gathered in Varner Recital Hall last Sunday afternoon, March 16, to listen to musical duet Duo Sonidos. The event was the final one put on by the Chamber Music Society of Detroit at Oakland University this academic year.

Duo Sonidos is comprised of violinist William Knuth and classical guitarist Adam Levin. According to their website, their name is actually a pun on sonidos, the Spanish word for “sound”. When broken apart, the Spanish phrase son dos, or “there are two”, is formed.

The group is internationally known, having played and won music events around the world.

Levin and Knuth stepped onstage and began with a medley titled Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56, by Bartók. Levin strummed his guitar on a stool while Knuth worked his violin standing nearby.

“We’ve had the opportunity to tour quite often in Spain,” Knuth said as he introduced the next set of music, Canciones Populares Españolas by Falla.

Knuth also spoke of Levin’s residency in Spain and how Spanish audiences often recognized and hummed along to the music performed by the duo. They exhibited the doleful, rejuvenating and contemplative parts of the set, all dressed in a Spanish flair.

Next Duo Levin and Knuth played a few pieces by Polish composer Szymanowski, one of which Levin said they had to dig deep to rediscover.

“I don’t know if ‘second world premieres’ count,” Levin said, “but this is a second world premier.”

Other works performed were Funk by Muñiz, Three American Songs by Foss, and some sections from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin. Some of the music had been rewritten for the duo’s performances.

Near the end of their concert, Levin and Knuth described their recent work with children in Detroit public schools. Levin said that the two of them played while the children got to clap and stomp their feet to the music.

“There’s a lot of great leadership in his area with these public schools,” said Knuth.

The duo ended their show with a Spanish lullaby, which was met with applause.

Knuth and Levin met in 2006 and have since gone on to win awards such as First Prize in the Luys Milan International Chamber Music Competition in Valencia, Spain. Both of them are Fulbright Scholars.

For more information about Duo Sonidos, visit their website at