If you’re in Europe or planning to be there in late August, you really owe it to yourself to check out what is always one the continent’s most important annual international guitar events, the Forum Gitarre Wien (Vienna), being held August 23–29. That’s seven nights of concerts at two different venues: the beautiful and historic Grosser Ehrbar Saal (built in 1867), and the modern Wiener Konzerthaus–Berio Saal. Featured artists at the concerts include Marcin Dylla, Lorenzo Micheli, Marko Topchii (prominently featured in the next issue of Classical Guitar), Judicaël Perroy, Carlo Marchione, the Amadeus Duo (Dale Kavanagh and Thomas Kirchhoff), Giampaolo Bandini & Cesare Chiachiaretta tango duo (bandoneon and guitar); Alvaro Pierri, Julia Trintschuk, 2017 Forum Guitar Wien competition winners You Wu and Jagoda Swidzinska, and more.

The Grosser Ehrbar Saal

The two guitar competitions are always an important part of the festival. This year, the top prize package in the under-32 competition includes a valuable instrument made by Erpa Guitars, but most importantly a guarantee of more than a dozen performance dates around Europe and one in Southeast Asia.


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Additionally, the Forum offers master classes with many of the guitarists playing the festival, lectures, guitar orchestra, and an area devoted to luthiers and makers of guitar products and accessories. —Blair Jackson

Below are videos by three of this year’s performers: