The results of the 2017 GFA International Concert Artist Competition have been announced.

1st Place (Rose Augustine Grand Prize): Tengyue Zhang (China)

2nd Place: Andrea De Vitis (Italy)

3rd Place: Alec Holcomb (United States)

4th Place: Andrey Lebedev (Australia)

Congratulations to our competitors!



The 2017 GFA International Youth Competition Results have been announced.

Senior Division

1st Place: Shilong Fan (China)

2nd Place: Alberto Daniel Quintanilla (Mexico)

3rd Place: Xu Kun Liu (Canada)

4th Place: Yun Duan (China)


Junior Division

1st Place: Leonora Spangenberger (Germany)

2nd Place: Gwenyth Aggeler (United States)

3rd Place: Eric Wang (United States)

4th Place: Marc Saura (United States)


Congratulations to all the competitors!

Convention Day 4

The fourth day of the convention began with a technique workshop by William Kanengiser and a lecture with Bill Swick entitled Guitar Education: A Look at the Past Fifty Years. The ICAC Semi-final then began at 10 am and continued throughout the afternoon. The GFA Research Round Table, covering topics from Integrating the GFA Archive with IGRA (International Guitar Research Archive), the Maurice Summerfield Archive at the IGRC (International Guitar Research Center) at University of Surrey, UK and Classical Guitar Music in Printed Collection. The discussion was moderated by Thomas Heck.


In the afternoon Gaëlle Solal held a Masterclass in the recital hall. Jack Sanders and Jason Yoshida gave a lecture featuring introductory approaches that the classical guitarist might use in learning to play vihuela, baroque guitar and theorbo. The 1st IEC Adult Division began at 1:30pm in the Arena Theatre. The jurors were Oscar Ghiglia, William Kanengiser, Christina Singer, Andrew York and Doug Rubio.


After that, Jan Depreter played a afternoon concert with a program featuring Bellinati, Bach, Coeck, Walton and his own compositions at the Little Theatre.


The Guitar Orchestra had its rehearsal at 5:30pm under the coaching of Zoran Dukic. The Youth Social brought the young guitarists at the convention together with Xavier Jara and Lynn McGrath sharing their guitar career experience.


The evening concert for the fourth day of the convention was Alvaro Pierri. His program was changed completely. It consisted of Milano, Paganini, Sor, Ponce, Albéniz and Torroba.



During the intermission of the concert GFA’s President Martha Masters announced the ICAC Finalists. They will perform on Saturday!



Convention Day 3

The third day of the convention began with Robert Trent’s lecture Extended Techniques in 20th & 21st Century Solo American Repertoire and a technique workshop with Lorenzo Micheli. The ICAC preliminary round continued with Jurors including Jan Depreter, Tal Hurwitz, Jack Sanders, Marija Temo and Jeff Cogan. Shortly after, Martha Masters gave a lecture with the topic Expanding Our Reach Through an Integrated Approach to Beginning Classroom Guitar and there was a Luthier Showcase in the recital hall featuring Xavier Jara and Matthew Greif.


Augustin Wiedemann and Otto Tolonen shared a morning concert in the Little Theatre featuring composers including Barrios, Sainz de la Maza, Dyens, Henze, Regondi, Company and Piazzolla.



In the early afternoon, Jan de Kloe gave a lecture about The Correspondence between Ernesta Lindenthal and Vahdah Olcott Bickford. Chuck Hilihan rehearsed with the Youth Guitar Orchestra in the Young Theatre preparing for the performance later the day. Robert Barto gave an afternoon concert in the Little Theatre on period instruments: vihuela and baroque lute. His program included Milan and Weiss and the concert was a great success with a standing ovation!


The Guitar Orchestra had its first rehearsal today getting the piece Boléro by Ravel, which was arranged by Roland Dyens, ready for Saturday’s concert. At the same time in the soccer field, the GFA Soccer Game was held. It was a great time and a lot of fun!

At night, the Youth Guitar Orchestra had its performance under the baton of Chuck Hulihan playing the piece Around the World written by Patrick Roux.


After that, Jérémy Jouve gave a sensational concert with repertoires written by Mompou, Rodrigo, Tedesco and Duplessy. He dedicated an encore to Dyens by playing the piece, The Moon Represents My Heart, after a long standing ovation. This piece is an arrangement made by Dyens on a famous Chinese tune.


The Semi-Finalists for the International Concert Artist Competition were announced at the intermission by Martha Masters and they will perform starting at 10am tomorrow!


The day was concluded with the wonderful Savarez Reception sponsored by Bernard Maillot at the Fullerton Marriott Ballroom!



Convention Day 1

GFA 2017 International Convention & Competition is underway, which means something different to us all whether you are a vendor, competitor, enthusiast, volunteer, staff member, or attendee of this year’s Guitar Summit. But what we will all enjoy this weekend is inspiration and community. Inspiration to further artistry, education, and research. The first day was not jam packed with events, but it was filled an overwhelming sense of community. Friends new and old connecting with each other. This spirit is the motor behind GFA’s activities and created a welcoming atmosphere that was sight to behold.


The Guitar Summit encapsulates this GFA experience and allows the young attendees to create lasting memories. The chance to bond with other guitarists, perform for GFA, experience the convention, and connect with world class artists. We are happy to provide quality to the youth this year with the innaugural Guitar Summit.

Guitar Summit 2017 is treated to a special Q&A  with Andrew York



Summit attendees also got to hear a special chamber recital from Crazy Nails! (Gaëlle Solal and Boris Gaquere)

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Xavier Jara played the opening concert of GFA 2017 in the Little Theatre. Notably, he performed music by John Dowland, Dusan Bogdanovic, Jeremy Collins, and Frank Martin. These pieces not only highlighted Xavier’s sensitive phrasing, but also a few lesser known pieces. He drew the audience into his domain with his lines. The audience grew to pay attention to each every successive detail. The combination of atmospheric moods and beautiful melodies started this week off perfectly.

Convention Day 6

The last day of the convention was packed with excitement! Judicaël Perroy led the morning technique workshop as José Manuel González lectured on the Guitar in a Spanish Civil War. This was followed by a lecture by  Robert Ruck and the IYC Finals.

The afternoon concert began with Alex Dunn conducting the Guitar Orchestra in a performance of Villa-Lobos’ arrangement of Bach’s Prelude no.22 and Fugue no.8. Duo Cancionâncias  (Cyro Delvizio on guitar and soprano Manuelai Camargo) then took the stage and performed a program dedicated mainly to the diffusion of Brazilian concert music.

Before the 4pm Concert, the International Youth Competition results were announced. Junior Division

1st Place: Tiange Wang (China)

2nd Place: Aytahn Benavi (USA)

3rd Place: Jack Davisson (USA)

4th Place: Ryan Chen (USA)


Senior Division

1st Place: Kevin Loh (Singapore)

2nd Place: Xu Kun Liu (Canada)

3rd Place: Zhangxiang Shi (China)

4th Place: Michael Vascones (USA)

The day continued with a concert by the Montenegrin Duo (Goran Krivokapic and Danijel Cerović) featuring Bach, Gerard Drozd, de Falla, and Piazzolla.

The finals for the International Concert Artist Competition were absolutely incredible. Each had their own unique take on the set piece by Stephen Goss, a multi movement piece where it is up to the performer to choose the order. The finalists, in order of performance, were Andrea De Vitis (Italy), Pavel Kulhta (Belarus), Xavier Jara (USA), and Celil Refik Kaya (Turkey). The jurors were Ricardo Iznaola, Goran Krivokapic, Michael Partington, Raphaella Smits, Marc Teicholz, Jason Vieauz, and Fabio Zanon.

As the judges deliberated the evening Awards Ceremony began. This year the GFA was pleased to honor Robert Ruck with the Industry Leadership Award. This award honors entrepreneurs, artisans, and businesses who have made significant or visionary contributions to the advancement of the classical guitar and its community.

Before receiving his Artistic Achievement Award, Ricardo Iznaola was introduced by his former student Jonathan Leathwood. The Artistic Achievement Award is reserved for performers, composers, pedagogues, and scholars who have made monumental contributions of the development of the art and life of the classical guitar.

After the Hall of Fame Inductees had been honored, GFA President Martha Masters took the stage to announce the results of the International Concert Artist Competition.The Rose Augustine Grand Prize went to Xavier Jara (United States), in 2nd Place was Andrea De Vitis (Italy), in 3rd Place was Pavel Kukhta (Belarus), and in 4th Place Celil Refik Kaya (Turkey). The evening concluded with a reception hosted by the Denver Guitar Societies. After an incredible week of music and festivities we are looking forward to next year’s GFA 2017 in Fullerton California!


Convention Day 5

The fifth day of the convention started off with a lecture by Jonathan Leathwood on Improvisations, Structures and Schemata: Toward Virtuosity in Performance and Cognition. Other lectures included Kevin Garry’s Music for String Quartet from the Late Modern Era, Ari Van Vliet’s The Life of Napoléon Coste: the Revelation of a Great Romantic Composer and Guitarist, and Ron Borczon’s presentation on Performance Anxiety. The Luthier Showcase, in which two players play a variety of different unnamed guitars so the audience can compare the sounds of the instrument,  took place throughout the morning and early afternoon.IMG_1927

The Finalists for the International Youth Competition were announced in the afternoon, in the Senior division Kevin Loh, Michael Vascones, Xu Kun Liu, and Zhanxiang Shi, and in the Junior division Tiange Wang, Aytahn Benavi, Jack Davisson, and Ryan Chen.

The first concert of the day was shared by Izhar Elias and Miuchael Nicolella,Judicaël Perroy performed an inspiring and monumental program for the 4pm Concert, including extended works by Bach, Sor, Ponce, and Dubez. Finally, in the evening Benjamin Verdery performed a concert largely consisting of his own works with a variety of special guests, from other guitarists to beat boxers!