Bandolinist Ian Coury was born in Brasilia in 2002. Do the math, then note that he is already considered one of the great virtuosos on his instrument.
Ian started playing when he was 8 years old, taking lessons with Marcelo Lima at the Escola Brasileira de Choro Raphael Rabello in Brasília. Growing up, his main influences were Hamilton de Holanda, Armandinho Macedo and Jacob do Bandolim. By the time he was 11, he was sharing the stage with de Holanda. At 12, he had his first solo show at the renowned Clube do Choro in Brasilia and was invited to play that same year with Armandinho Macedo. When he was 13 he took up the 10-string bandolim, following in the footsteps of Holanda.
Now all of 20 years old and a student at the Berklee College of Music, Ian has already garnered critical acclaim from the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Arts, History, and Literature, the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil and Choro Magazine. He won the best instrumentalist award in the Brazilian National FM Radio Festival in 2020 and came in second (by popular vote) in Brazil’s eFestival in 2021, both with compositions that he composed.
The video that follows was recorded for David Benedict’s Mandolin Mondays series. In it, Ian tackles the choro classic Corta Jaca by Chiquinha Gonzaga, one of the first and most influential choro composers of all time. Ian is playing a 10-string bandolim (made by luthier Tércio Ribeiro of Rio de Janeiro) in a solo style pioneered by Hamilton de Holanda.