Festival founder Hugues Navez

Festival founder Hugues Navez

The Brussels International Guitar Festival and Competition has evolved into one of the most exciting spring events in Europe’s classical guitar world, and the 2016 edition promises to be another winner. This year’s festival and competition runs from April 22 to April 26, but it is preceded by a Gala Concert on March 12, featuring festival organizer Hugues Navez, who will perform the world premiere of Concerto for Guitar by Belgian composer Michel Lysight, accompanied by the National Orchestra of Belgium.

This is a special year for Navez and the Festival: It celebrates the 50 years of the guitar program at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels; 20 years of Navez involvement (three years as assistant, and 17 years as full professor and head of the guitar department); and five years since he founded the Festival and Compeititon

An international roster of artists will be performing during the five days in April, kicking off with the winners of last year’s competition, and then presenting the likes of  Ana Vidovic, Paul Galbraith, Thibaut Garcia, Pedro Da Silva Soares (playing the Concierto de Aranjuez), the duo of Anabel Montesino and Marco Tamayo, the Four Aces Guitar Quartet, and a few “theme” concerts, such as “Tango de Buenos Aires” (featuring Maximo Diego Pujol), and “In the Steps of Django Reinhardt,” a program of Gypsy Jazz. Needless to say, too, the competition itself will showcase some amazing players.

As always, too, there is a luthier’s fair connected to the festival, showcasing some of the finest guitar-builders in Europe.

For more specific info about individual concerts and such, go to the festival website.

Ana Vidovic

Ana Vidovic