Archive for June, 2013

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.



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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.


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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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Today was the first full day of the convention, and enthusiasm was high all around!

The morning started out bright and early at 9am with a Technique Workshop with Marcin Dylla. After such a phenomenal performance last night, the room was packed with guitarists wanting to know all his secrets.



Two lectures were given back to back in Bird Recital Hall, the first by Christopher Wilke on “Llobet, Barrios, and the Transfromation of Nineteenth Century Performing Style” and the second by Richard Greene, entitled “When the Guitar Gently Weeps: Instrumental Laments, the Phrygian Inflection, and the Creation of Meaning Through Rhetoric” –  both very fascinating topics.



The morning recital was shared by Dieter Hennings and the Tantalus Quartet (Lynn McGrath, Stephen Mattingly, Kristian Anderson, Adam Foster, from right to left). Tantalus gave a stellar performance that even featured some new music by Anderson himself.

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Rovshan Mahmedkuliev performed the 4pm recital. Rovshan is an incredible player and is about to embark on his 50 city concert tour of North America as a result winning last year’s GFA International Concert Artist Competition.



This evening’s concert featured the Cavatina Duo, one of the most notable flute and guitar duos in the world today. Featuring Denis Azabagic and his wife Eugenia Moliner, the duo’s precise and expressive playing knocked the socks off of the audience tonight.


No GFA convention is complete without many evenings of after hours hang time! Here are some of the Eastman guys catching up after the concert.


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Welcome to Kentucky!

If you registered today at the convention here in Louisville, these are probably some of the first faces you saw. Our lovely volunteers made sure you got your name badge (which gets you into all events), and passed out all the great swag provided by our sponsors. This year, our sponsors D’Addario, Savarez, Augustine, Mel Bay, Strings By Mail, and Acoustic Guitar have stocked you with all kinds of samples of their products to take home.



Meanwhile, the jury for the International Concert Artist Competition has settled in as well. The jurors for the preliminary round are (from left to right) Ricardo Cobo, Laura Young, Adam Holzman, Maurice Summerfield, and Graham Wade, pictured here with Competition Director Martha Masters.


Talk about a difficult job. This year’s competition is a full one, with nearly 50 competitors from around the globe all vying for the 1st prize of a concert tour, Carnegie Hall concert, a Mel Bay publication, Naxos and GHA recordings, and much much more. Here’s a glance at the competitors’ list for this year:


Registration continued all the way until our evening concert began.


GFA President Martha Masters welcomes everyone to the convention.


Croatian guitarist Zoran Dukic was originally scheduled to perform tonight, but due to an unfortunate visa delay, was not able to arrive yet. We’ve rescheduled him to perform on Sunday, and are so grateful to Marcin Dylla for stepping in to take tonight’s concert. Marcin definitely did not disappoint, delivering a beautiful performance from start to finish. Those who know his playing wouldn’t expect anything less – since winning the GFA competition in 2007, he has gone on to build an incredible career, receiving rave reviews from the press and wowing audiences with his charismatic and consistently musical playing.

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And what’s another convention day without trying out some more local grub? Today’s pick was Hammerhead’s. A really good place for some oversized chicken and waffles.


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Here we go, Louisville!

The planning and execution of a six-day convention is no easy undertaking. Every year, GFA volunteers and staff arrive a few days early to prepare for the imminent flood of attendees, some who fly halfway around the world to arrive at our temporary guitar mecca. We lovingly call the day before the convention begins “Day 0.” It’s a day for GFA staff to reunite in person after working together all year via email, phone calls, and Skype. It also gives us time to meet the crop of volunteers that our local host has so brazenly recruited. It is a day of unpacking box after box of materials from our sponsors that will be given away to attendees all week; making sure name badges are stuffed and ready; sorting out work schedules; assuaging competitors’ fears; and pampering our incredible convention artists.

Our team of guitarists posing as administrators and event planners for the week start their morning with a briefing.


Three faces you will see a lot this week: GFA President Martha Masters, Artistic Director Brian Head, and UK Tour Director Helen Sanderson.


But first we must celebrate our local host, Dr. Stephen Mattingly, who bears an uncanny resemblance to The Boy Who Lived. A cake (designed by our very own Kim Kanoy) is dedicated in his honor for defeating Voldemort. Hope that wasn’t a spoiler for anyone…



After the swag is sorted and organized, a human conveyor belt of volunteers stuffs each item into an envelope. We’re expecting over 600 people this year, so there are a lot of goodies to give away!


And those name badges you get at registration don’t just fall from the sky. They are meticulously stuffed and alphabetized by our volunteers, one by one.


Our team of hardworking staff and volunteers for the week.


The campus grounds at UofL are beautifully groomed, and we’re all extremely glad to be here despite the hot and muggy Kentucky weather.




Margaret Comstock Concert Hall, where most of our concerts will take place. Looks and sounds beautiful too.


Malcolm Bird Recital Hall will house some of the smaller events, workshops, and lectures.


And no day is complete without some local fare…


We look forward to welcoming you to Louisville tomorrow!

This week’s awesome videos and photography by Sungmin Shin.

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