For four nights near the end of March, Moscow’s beautiful Tchaikovsky Hall will host the XI Guitar Virtuosos International Festival. Since its start in 2006, the festival has grown to be the largest annual international guitar event in Russia, and one of the biggest in all of Europe. The year’s artistic director is Russian guitarist Artyom Dervoed, the 34-year-old sensation who has won 16 first prizes in international competitions (and whose last CD, Ghosts & Shadows: Music of Spain, received a rave review from CG’s Paul Fowles in our Winter 2015 issue). Dervoed has managed to attract a stellar group of musicians to perform and, in some cases, offer master classes, including Brazilians Sergio and Odair Assad, Spain’s Ricardo Gallen, Kosovo-born Petrit Çeku, Adriano del Sal of Italy, and Dervoed himself.
Dervoed adds, “The festival’s concert program provides the unique opportunity to enjoy solo classical guitar performances, as well as guitar in ensemble with other instruments, and with one of the best Russian orchestras— the State Symphony Orchestra “Evegeny Svetlanov” [named after the great conductor and composer, 1928-2002], conducted by Fabio/Mastragelo—at one of Russia’s main venues. The educational part of the festival, featuring lectures and master classes, runs at the famous Gnessin Russian Academy of Music.” Among the special guests taking part will be Russian guitarist Rovhan Mamedukliev (another multiple competition winner and currently a guitar professor at Moscow’s Maimonides State Classical Academy), cellist Alexander Ramm (Russia), violinist Ivan Pochekin (Russia) and the New Russian (String) Quartet. There is also a competition component (entries are due March 1)