This convention is coming to a close already, and what a great week its been for GFA staff and members alike.

We heard some fantastic performances today. The GFA Convention Guitar Orchestra performed Concerto for Guitar Quartet and Guitar Orchestra featuring the Tantalus Quartet, conducted by the composer himself, Gerald Garcia.




Laura Young played a wonderful concert this afternoon.



Zoran Dukic made it safely into Louisville, though a few days later than planned, and played a recital this evening.


He was joined for a surprise encore by Aniello Desiderio.


Our last day has a big focus on competitions. After a very high caliber of playing in the youth competitions, the judges chose their favorites. Congrats to Grace Sheppard (USA), our 1st place winner in the Junior Division, pictured here with IYC Director Risa Carlson. You can see the full competition results here.


Congrats to XiaoBo Pu (China), who won 1st place in the Senior Division.


Competitors receive an array of prizes from some of GFA’s biggest sponsors.


Our jury gathers round the awards table before the ICAC results are announced.


The stage is set with the Hall of Fame inductees and some of our sponsor representatives as well.


This year’s Hall of Fame honored John Williams (Artistic Achievement Award), Rico Stover (Artistic Achievement Award), Bruce Holzman (Artistic Achievement Award), Clare Callahan (Distinguished Service Award), and Maurice Summerfield (Industry Leadership Award).




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And of course, the moment everyone has been waiting for – the results of the International Concert Artist Competition. The four finalists played an incredible final round, and waited patiently through all the Hall of Fame speeches to find out the results. From left to right: 1st – Anton Baranov (Russia), 2nd – Artyom Dervoed (Russia), 3rd – Chad Ibison (USA), and 4th – You Wang (China).


We look forward to bringing Anton Baranov (Russia), to a city near you in the 2014-2015 season.


Thank you to Dr. Stephen Mattingly and the University of Louisville for hosting such a great convention! We’ll see you next year in Los Angeles.


GFA International Youth Competition – Junior Division

1 Grace Sheppard (USA)
2 Katie Cho (USA)
3 Beiyan Liu (China)
4 Alberto Quintanilla (Mexico)


GFA International Youth Competition – Senior Division

1 XiaoBo Pu (China)
2 Louis Xavier Barrette (Canada)
3 Alec Holcomb (USA)
4 Henry Johnston (USA)


GFA International Concert Artist Competition

1 Anton Baranov (Russia)
2 Artyom Dervoed (Russia)
3 Chad Ibison (USA)
4 You Wang (China)


How quickly time flies! We’re already on Day 5 of the convention here. This morning started out with a technique workshop with Zoran Dukic, who finally arrived in Louisville after an unexpected visa delay.


Next, lectures with GFA Director of Education Matthew Denman on “Guitar In Schools” and Isabella Abbonizio on “Maurice Ohana and the Guitar.”


A lecture given by Graham Wade on “Remembering Segovia” packed the house.


A concert honoring Bruce Holzman included a star-studded cast of players.


The concert included the Holzman brothers Bruce and Adam taking the stage.


Scott Tennant brought the house down in his afternoon recital.




The highly anticipated Luthier Showcase also occurred today, which gives prospective guitar buyers the chance to hear many of the guitars in the Vendor’s Fair played by the same two players.


GFA Artistic Director Brian Head introduces the evening concert, featuring Paraguayan guitarist Berta Rojas with legendary saxophonist/clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera.

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Some old and new indispensable faces of the GFA: (top, from left to right) Richard Long, Graham Wade, Rico Stover, and (bottom, left to right) Jeff Cogan and Galen Wixson, Brian Head, and Martha Masters.

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Another jam-packed day at the GFA Convention! It’s now Friday, which means our convention is just about halfway over. Time to make a stop into the Vendor’s Fair, organized by GFA Ad Manager/Graphic Designer/Vendor’s Fair Manager Kim Kanoy. So much to see, buy, sample, and play, and so little time…


It looks like our youth competitors have arrived in full force. The International Youth Competition begins today. Four finalists from each division (Junior, 14 and under, and Senior, 15-18) will be chosen to compete in the final round on Sunday morning.


IYC Director Risa Carlson and her very adorable baby!


A concert by the first ICAC winner ever took place this afternoon. Michael Chapdelaine won the competition in 1982, and has since built a career playing varied styles of guitar. He is the only GFA winner to be a national fingerstyle champion as well. He unfortunately broke a nail after the first piece, but fixed it like a pro on stage.


French guitarist Gaelle Solal gives a master class.


Solal is a multi-faceted artist, trained in theater and acting as well. She leads the GFA Youth Social every year, and does a wonderful job breaking the ice with our teens!


The evening concert was played by Eliot Fisk. Fisk is a master of the instrument, playing both incredibly difficult transcriptions and original works for guitar, and always pushing the boundaries of what can be done on classical guitar. No doubt he impressed a lot of his critics with his phenomenal playing tonight. His concert was introduced by the Mayor of Louisville.

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And of course, the news that everyone has been waiting for was announced at intermission. Congrats to our 2013 ICAC finalists: Anton Baranov (Russia), Artyom Dervoed (Russia), Chad Ibison (USA), and You Wang (China). The ICAC Finals will take place on Sunday evening.

Here’s what’s on the local menu today: The Flying Pig. Roasted Turkey+Bacon+Pickles+Gouda+Sourdough. Totally worth it.


This morning’s 11am recital featured students chosen to perform on the Ensemble Showcase. This included (from top to bottom) the Orpheus Guitar Ensemble, the Las Vegas Academy Guitar Ensemble, Duo Miric, and the University of Texas Guitar Quartet.


A very special lecture took place this morning entitled, “Soundboard at 39: Its Past and Future.” Moderated by Artistic Director Brian Head, former editor Richard Long and current editor Kim Perlak discussed how the magazine came into being and what shaped its content. Those of you who are GFA members know that Kim has taken the magazine in a brand new direction, modernizing its look and feel and rethinking its content. If you haven’t seen the new issues, stop by the registration table to see a few samples – you’ll be impressed!



Forces behind the GFA: (from left to right) Brian Head, Richard Long, Kim Perlak, and Thomas Heck.


Tomorrow evening’s performer, Eliot Fisk, gave a master class this afternoon.


Les Freres Medeuses in an afternoon recital.


Tonight, a somewhat rare performance in the States by Italian guitarist Aniello Desiderio, about whom Chick Corea once said, “He actually knocked me out.” Desiderio is a masterful player, a blend of impeccable technique and flourishing musicianship.


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At intermission, the results of the ICAC Semi-Finalists were announced. The caliber of this year’s competition was incredibly high, as always, and it looks like these 12 guitarists will be practicing for their next round tomorrow. See the ICAC Semi-Finals program here.


And no post is complete without a glimpse of what our photographer for the week has been eating. Today was a sampling of The Hot Brown, apparently a Louisville original since 1926! Looks like bacon, eggs, cheese, toast, and a whole lot of other artery clogging ingredients! Delicious.



Semifinals, 10:00 AM

Dmitry Murin (Russia)

  • Francisco Mignone: Etude No. 2
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos: Etude No. 7
  • Isaac Albéniz: Sevilla

Jure Cerkovnik (Slovenia)

  • Francisco Mignone: Etude No. 2
  • Nuccio d’Angelo: Due Canzoni Lidie - Tranquillo, Agitato

Artyom Dervoed (Russia)

  • Francisco Mignone: Etude No. 2
  • Darius Milhaud: Segoviana
  • Federico Moreno-Torroba: from Castles of Spain - Olite, Siguenza, Turegano

You Wang (China)

  • Francisco Mignone: Etude No. 2
  • G. F. Handel: Overture, from Suite VII (arr. David Russell)
  • Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Tarantella
  • Carlos Rivera: Danza from Whirler of the Dance

Anton Baranov (Russia)

  • Francisco Mignone: Etude No. 2
  • Guido Santorsola: from Sonata Italiana - Reverie alla Tarantella

András Csáki (Hungary)

  • Francisco Mignone: Etude No. 2
  • Frank Martin: from Quatre Pieces Breves - Plainte, Comme un gigue
  • Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: from Sonata - Vivo ed energico

Semifinals, 1:30 PM

Sanel Redzic (Germany)

  • Heitor Villa-Lobos: Etude No. 1
  • Francisco Mignone: Etude No. 2
  • Darius Milhaud: Segoviana
  • Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Tarantella

Jérémy Peret (France)

  • J.S. Bach: Cello Suite No. 4 (trans. Peret) – Prelude, Gigue
  • Francisco Mignone: Etude No. 2
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos: Etude No. 10

Chad Ibison (USA)

  • Francisco Mignone: Etude No. 2
  • J.S. Bach: Sonata in E Minor for flute and continuo, BWV 1034, Allegro
  • Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: 24 Caprichos de Goya, Op. 195 - No. 18: El sueno de la razon produce monstrous

Feier Fan (China)

  • Johann Kaspar Mertz: Elegie
  • Antonio José: Sonata – Final
  • Francisco Mignone: Etude No. 2

Tal Hurwitz (Israel)

  • Francisco Mignone: Etude No. 2
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos: Etude No. 12
  • J.S. Bach: Prelude, BWV 996
  • Leo Brouwer: Sonata - La Toccata de Pasquini

Lazhar Cherouana (France)

  • Francisco Mignone: Etude No. 2
  • Giulio Regondi: Introduction and Caprice

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