Although it is only in its fourth edition, the biennial International Guitar Competition Maurizio Biasini (also known by its Italian name, the Concorso Chitarristico Internazionale Maurizio Biasini), has quickly developed into an important and prestigious competition that draws players from all over the world to compete for its substantial prize purse (€20,000 total). Next year, Paris will host the competition April 27–May 2, 2018, hosted by the Conservatoire à rayonnement régional (CRR) de Paris, under the direction of Gérard Abiton, a superb guitarist himself.
Maurizio Biasini was a world-known physicist who also earned a diploma with honors in classical guitar from Bologna G.B. Martini Conservatory in 1979, the same year he got his physics degree at the University of Bologna. He passed away in 2008. The first three competitions in his name took place in Bologna, Italy (2011), Basel, Switzerland (2013), and San Francisco, USA (2016).
According to the Biasini website, “The aim of our competition is to select young (between 18 and 35), exceptionally talented, classical guitarists and to contribute to the establishment of their professional career through musical events, concerts, and various promotional activities. The prize money assigned to the three excelling performers can be considered as a study grant to support their professional development. Furthermore, the winner of the competition gets the opportunity to perform several solo recitals in different countries: Basel, Switzerland (Rising Stars Series of the Allgemeine Musikgesellschaft Basel), Bologna (Music Association Conoscere la Musica Mario Pellegrini) and France (Festival International de Guitare de Paris).”
Next April probably sounds like it’s a long way off, but the deadline for applications is this coming November. Here are a few particulars, per a news release:
“Young classical guitarists are invited to apply by sending in a video recording of a 20-minute solo guitar program, which must include a required piece by Giulio Regondi. At least 12 competitors will be chosen to come to Paris for the semifinal. Its program foresees a Sonata and, as tradition by now, a commissioned composition, this year by the French composer Jean-Dominique Krynen. The score of the piece, Cantar de mio Cid, will be available to participants upon completing their application. The three finalists will have the opportunity to perform a concerto accompanied by orchestra under the direction of CRR Director Xavier Delette.
The international jury consists of eminent classical guitarists and musicians with established international reputations: Gérard Abiton (France), David Tanenbaum (USA), Stephan Schmidt (Switzerland), Michael Hampel (Germany), Marco Vinicio Carnicelli ( Italy), Alberto Martelli (Italy), and Walter Zanetti (Italy).
The last Biasini competition was in our backyard (so to speak), San Francisco, and it was truly a wonderful event! You can read our two-part account of it here and here. Ah, but Paris in the spring: I’m already trying to figure out out a way to get there myself! —Blair Jackson