This just in: During the intermission at the Thursday night (June 20) Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) concert in Miami featuring the wonderful and mesmerizing Brasil Guitar Duo, GFA prez Martha Masters announced the four guitarists who would move on from this afternoon’s 12-person semifinal of the International Concert Artist Competition to compete on Saturday evening for the ultimate prize in this most prestigious American competition! They are (drum roll, please): Michael Butten of the UK, Alec Holcomb of the USA, Dmytro Omelchak of Ukraine, and Johan Smith of Switzerland. I was sitting second row center for the entire day of performances, and let me tell you, this was a really top-notch group of players; possibly the best I’ve seen in five years of going to GFA. All four are certainly deserving of their placement in the finals, and I would venture that several others could have just as easily been included.
I’ll have much more on my time here in Florida over the next couple of days, but for now, a hearty congratulations to this Fantastic Four! —Blair Jackson