The latest on a UK TV talent search; The Edge’s childhood classical guitar goes up for sale; a prestigious guitar program in Spain; and upcoming guitar festivals and competitions…
A Search for Great Guitarists
Somethin’ Else, a company that provides music content for the BBC and other broadcast outlets, is working on a new series for the UK’s Sky Arts network in which they will try to find “amazing guitarists across the UK and Ireland” to showcase on a competition-style program. According to assistant producer Lucy Gaster, “It’s going to be a fantastic show which will celebrate the guitar and the world’s greatest guitarists in every genre, giving opportunities for musicians who get involved to work with incredible world-class talent, and for the winner to play at a major music festival in the summer in front of 40,000 people.”
We’re not thoroughly convinced about the wisdom of pitting classical guitarists against rock music titans and jazz players in a competition, but the show will at least give wide exposure and a likely career boost to some fine players, so it might be worth looking into for some. Auditions will be held in April. No word yet on when the competition itself will be televised.
Did you know that superstar rock guitarist David “The Edge” Evans of U2 got his start on an inexpensive classical guitar? It’s true—the England-born, County Dublin-raised musician’s first instrument was purchased for him in the early ’70s by his mother, the late Gwenda Evans, a schoolteacher in the coastal town of Malahide. Now that guitar is to be sold at an auction of “Rock, Pop & Movie Memorabilia” on March 15 in Dublin, hosted by Whyte’s, an Irish auctioneering firm.
The Edge, of course, went on to great fame beginning in the late ’70s playing electric guitar. Around 1980, Gwenda offered to sell her son’s old “learner’s classical” to a teaching colleague interested in taking up the instrument for about the price she’d originally paid for it—about 20 pounds. It’s that unnamed woman who is selling the guitar, which is expected to retrieve between 1,200 and 1,800 euros when it goes on the block. A favorite cream-colored Les Paul electric Edge donated to a 2007 charity auction to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina (which devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast) sold for $240,000. A Whyte’s spokesman noted, however, that the guitar being sold now is “a modest little instrument.”
Spanish Classical Guitar Program Accepting 2016 Applications
The Universidad de Alicante, which bills itself “a foremost international center for the study of the classical guitar in Spain,” is accepting applications for the IV Master in Classical Guitar Performance (Máster en Interpretación de Guitrarra Clásica) 2016. The prestigious six-month program, which is limited to just 14 students, offers focused instruction from (and recitals by) leading guitarists—the 2015 teachers include David Russell, Pepe Romero, Manuel Baruecco and a number of other virtuosi; no word yet on who will be there next year. Alicante is a beautiful, bustling, and historic port city on the Mediterranean coast of Spain; definitely a nice place to spend some time mastering the guitar.
The applications deadline for the 2016 program is March 31. A university or equivalent degree is required of all applicants. For more information go to the program’s website.
Some Upcoming CG Festivals and Competitions: March and April 2015
We know that you classical guitar lovers are spread far and wide, and that some of you travel considerable distances to satisfy your hunger for live performances. At the beginning of each month, we’re going provide an online listing for a selection of festivals and competitions that are happening over the following two months. Festival and competition listings also appear in each quarterly issue of Classical Guitar.
Belgrade, Serbia March 10-15. XVI International Guitar Art Festival
Contact: Bosko Radojkovic, Festival Director, 530 Bul. Kralja Aleksandra
St, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia. Mobile: +381 64 140 7583, ;
tel./ fax: +381 11 220 6245. firstname.lastname@example.org; gaf.rs
Antony, France March 25-28. 16th Concours International de Guitare
No limits on age or nationality for its competition. Entry deadline was January 1. Contact: Recontres Internationales de la Guitare Service Culturel. BP 60086 – 92161 Antony Cedex, France. Tel. +33 (0)140 96 72 82. email@example.com; ville-antony.fr/le-concours-international-guitare London, England March 26. The 17th Ivor Mairants Guitar Award
Competition is open to guitarists of any nationality born on or after 1 January 1, 1988, and resident in the EU for at least 12 months. Entry deadline: February 26. Contact: The Musicians’ Company, 1 Speed Highwalk, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DX. firstname.lastname@example.org; wcom.org.uk
Philadelphia, PA April 11-12. Philadelphia Classical Guitar Festival
With William Kanengiser and Irene Gomez, student recitals, PCGS Orchestra and the 2015 PCGS Competition. Contact: Fabrizio Franco, tel. 215-567 2972 in the US. phillyguitar.org Toronto, Canada April 17-19. Toronto Guitar Weekend. Concert with Berta Rojas, luthier/vendor fair, master classes, competition winner showcase, more. guitarsocietyoftoronto.com/concertseason.html#symposium Brussels, Belgium April 18-25. Brussels International Guitar Competition
The competition alternates years between national (i.e. Belgium) and international fields; 2015 is a national one, open only to students from an official subsidized music academy in Belgium. (Registration deadline is March 25). Concerts April 24-28, featuring Denis-Pierre Gustin and Hugues Navez, Pedro da Silva & Brussels Chamber Choir, Anabel Montesinos & Marco Tamayo, Roland Dyens, more. Master classes, lectures and Guitarmakers’ Salon. bigfest.be Brookville, New York April 22-26. 23rd Annual Long Island Guitar Festival
Includes high school classical guitar competition, master classes, workshops, and concerts with Carlo Domeniconi, Jason Vieaux, The Amaryllis Project (Liu Fang, Pipa and Harris Becker), Mare Duo, and others. Competition deadline: April 1. At Long Island University’s Post Campus.http://www2.liu.edu/gfest/index.php
Montreal, Quebec April 24-26. Gitare Montreal (Montreal International Classical Guitar Festival and Competition)
Concert 4/24 featuring Vladislav Baha (CG cover April 2014), Alain Liu, Montreal Guitar Society. Master classes and youth and international adult competitions. DB Clarke Auditorium, 1455 de Maisonneuve West, Montréal. guitaremontreal.com/2015/home/default-eng.php
Moscow, Russia April 28-30. Second International Maimonides Classical Guitar Competition
Concerts by Reinbert Evers, Stepan Rak, Evgeni Finkelstein, Rovshan Mamedkuliev, Daikun Chan, Dimitris Regginos, Nikita Koshkin and Asya
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(Do you have classical guitar news we should know about? Are you putting on a festival or competition in the coming months? Drop us a line and tell us about it: email@example.com)