Hearty congratulations are in order for Emmanuel Sowicz, winner for the First Prize at the 2018 IGF London International Guitar Competition, held October 27 at King’s Place in London. Italian guitarist Simone Rinaldo won Second Prize and fellow Italian Carlo Curatolo won Third Prize. The distinguished jury, which voted unanimously for the winner, included George Odam (professor, composer, and IGF Chair); Robert Brightmore (Head of Guitar, Guildhall School of Music and Drama); Joe Cutler (composer); Stephen Goss (professor, composer and Director of the International Guitar Research Centre, University of Surrey); Michael Lewin (Head of Classical Guitar at Royal Academy of Music); and Chris Stell (guitarist in Vida Quartet and Eden Stell Duo, and professor of guitar at Royal College of Music).

According to his online bio, Sowicz was born in London to British and Chilean parents. He graduated from the University of Chile, where he studied with Ernesto Quezada, in 2014. Later, he studied under Michael Lewin at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he completed his Master of Arts and Advanced Diploma with Distinction. As a postgraduate, he has worked under Marco Tamayo at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria.

In the video, young Emmanuel plays the “Bourrée & Double” from  Bach’s Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor (BWV 1002), one of the pieces he performed in the finals of the London competition. —Blair Jackson


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From Left: Joe Cutler, Michael Lewin, Stephen Goss, Carlo Curatolo, Simone Rinaldo, Emmanuel Sowicz, Chris Stell, and George Odam ©Thérèse Wassily Saba