Archive for June, 2014

The final day of the convention always comes quicker than we expect.

The morning concert featured the GFA Guitar Orchestra with Marc Teicholz conducting works by Jurg Kindle and Mark Houghton.


Italian guitarist Alberto Mesirca continued the concert with a program of all Italian composers.


Tilman Hoppstock gave a master class in the afternoon, proving once again to be an authority on a striking variety of musical periods.


The Beijing Guitar Duo arrived that day and gave a lovely concert at 4pm, one highlight of which was Tan Dun’s Eight Memories in Watercolor arranged for two guitars by their teacher Manuel Barrueco.


There was much anticipation surrounding the ICAC Finals, which took place at 6:30pm. Each finalist played a 25 minute program, along with the set piece, Evocation after ‘Gold Are My Flowers’ by Curtis Curtis-Smith.

DSCN0660 DSCN0667 DSCN0680 DSCN0735

The awards ceremony began with the GFA Hall of Fame honorees. This year, Dean Kamei of Guitar Solo Publications received an Industry Leadership Award.


Abel Nagytothy-Toth received a Distinguished Service Award, although health reasons prevented him from being at the convention in person. Artistic Achievement Awards were given to Michael Lorimer, Jorge Morel, and Konrad Ragossnig.

Below, Jorge Morel receives his award from Artistic Director Brian Head after addressing the crowd from his seat.


Konrad Ragossnig accepting his award.


Michael Lorimer caps off the evening with some brief remarks.


And finally, the long-awaited results of the International Concert Artist Competition. What a very tough decision for the jury to make! Below, the four finalists (from left to right) – 1st Place: Ekachai Jearakul (Thailand), 2nd Place: Thomas Csaba, 3rd Place: Jérémy Peret (France), 4th Place: Celil Refik Kaya (Turkey).


Ekachai Jearakul is the first guitarist from Thailand to win the GFA International Concert Artist Competition. He will begin his 50-city concert tour in fall of 2015.


The finalists with the jury for all rounds of the competition.


And yet another great convention comes to a close. GFA staff had some amazing volunteers helping out this year, and despite missing some key staff members, this was a very successful and memorable convention. The folks at Cal State Fullerton proved to be amazing hosts, with their professional, kind, and extremely helpful production staff. And thank you to all our members for loving and supporting classical guitar. We can’t wait to welcome you to Oklahoma City in 2015!


Read Full Post »

Day 5 of the convention was full of more incredible performances and all things guitar.

At the 11am concert, San Francisco based guitarist Jon Mendle performed works of Dowland, Debussy, Falckenhagen, and more on his 11-string archguitar. He was followed by the Oregon Guitar Quartet playing various arrangements of world music by Bryan Johanson.

DSCN0429 DSCN0437

Today was the long awaited Luthier Showcase, featuring local players Evan Hirschelman and Adam Pettit. They performed the same excerpt on 30 different guitars from the Vendor’s Fair to give the audience a chance to hear the different nuances of each guitar. Not an easy task, and very well done!


A master class with Austrian guitarist Konrad Ragossnig was definitely one of this convention’s highlights. Ragossnig was also the recipient of this year’s GFA Hall of Fame Artistic Achievement Award.


Russian guitarist Irina Kulikova perfomed the 4pm concert.


Billy Arcilla of Los Angeles Classical Guitars at his booth in the Vendor’s Fair.


From left to right, Randy Avers, Evan Hirschelman, Scott Morris, Billy Arcilla, John Dearman, Tilman Hoppstock, and Marc Teicholz awaiting the evening concert in Meng Lobby.


The evening concert featured the Cal State Fullerton Guitar Orchestra under the direction of Martha Masters. They performed Danza y coral, an homage to this year’s other Artistic Achievement Awardee, Jorge Morel. This piece was written by Jorge Caballero, who filled out the program with works by Bach, Albeniz, and an arrangement of Mussorsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for solo guitar.  We are convinced that Caballero must have more than ten fingers in order to play this piece as well as he did.

DSCN0501 DSCN0517 DSCN0532

Read Full Post »

Ekachai Jearakul (Thailand)

Rito de los Orishas                                              Leo Brouwer

    Exordium – conjuro

    Danza de las diosas negras

Sonata III                                                             Manuel Maria Ponce

    Chanson: andantino molto espressive

    Allegro non troppo

Evocation After ‘Gold Are My Flowers’                Curtis Curtis-Smith

Caprices No. 2, 8, and 15                                     Luigi Legnani


Born in 1987 in Thailand, Ekachai Jearakul started playing the classical guitar when he was thirteen years old. In 2003, he was awarded a scholarship to study at the College of Music at Mahidol University, where he studied with Mr. Worakarn Sangsomboon and Dr. Paul Cesarczyk. He later completed his Bachelors Degree and graduated with first class honors in 2010. During this time, he also attended numerous master classes, where he met internationally renowned guitarists including Carlo Domeniconi, Alvaro Pieri, Scott Tennant, Shinichi Fukuda, William Kanengiser, Pavel Steidl, the Katona Twins, and many others. In the fall of 2010, he received a scholarship to complete a Masters Degree in Classical Guitar Performance at the Mozarteum in Salzburg with Professor Marco Tamayo. 

Ekachai has performed solo concerts in Thailand and many other countries around the world, including China, France, Korea, Russia, Greece, Japan, England, Italy, Germany and the US. He has also performed as a soloist with the International Orchestra of Italy, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Unity Philharmonic Orchestra, the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ukraine Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Ensemble of Soloist “Kiev Camerata” Ukraine, the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinaloá de los Artes in Culiacan, Mexico, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also won many International Guitar Competitions including first prizes in Italy, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Mexico, Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Singapore, Russia, and Thailand. 

Celil Refik Kaya (Turkey) 

Tres piezas españolas                                          Joaquín Rodrigo                                   




Agua e vinho                                                          Egberto Gismonti

Evocation After ‘Gold Are My Flowers’                  Curtis Curtis-Smith

Rondo in A minor, Op. 2, No. 3                               Dionisio Aguado


Celil Refik Kaya was born in Istanbul in 1991. At the age of six, he began classical guitar studies with his father, Dr. Mehmet Refik Kaya, and later with Yusuf Doğan Büyüköğüt and Raffi Arslanyan. In 2011, Celil graduated from the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory where he studied guitar with Soner Egesel, chamber music with Vieri Bottazzini and composition with Mehmet Nemutlu. Celil continued his guitar studies with Michael Newman at Mannes College in New York City, where he also studied composition with Fred Hand, while also studying privately with Sharon Isbin. He currently studies at the University of Texas Austin with Adam Holzman.

In 2012, Celil won first prize in the Falletta Competition, and was also a finalist in both the GFA International Concert Artist Competi- tion and the 2012 Concert Artist Guild. Celil presented the New York premiere of Roberto Sierra’s “Folias” with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the World Premiere of both Derwyn Holder’s Guitar Concerto with the New Jersey Baroque Orchestra and Turkish composer Suleyman Alnitemiz’s Guitar Concerto with Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra.

In 2013, Celil performed his Carnegie Hall debut as a featured artist in the D’Addario Foundation Concert Series, and also performed at the Round Top Music Festival in Texas, Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina, and the Nevada County Guitar Festival in California. Mr. Kaya will also perform as a soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Brevard Symphony, Lake Placid Symphony, and Bilkent Symphony.

Thomas Csaba (France)

Music of Memory                                                 Nicholas Maw

Evocation After ‘Gold Are My Flowers’                Curtis Curtis-Smith


Thomas Csaba first studied guitar with Jean-Baptiste Savary in Paris, and quickly joined the Michel Grizard class at the Nantes Conservatory, where he went on to win the conservatory guitar prize. In 2007, he won the first prize and audience prize at the prestigious Coria International Competition in Spain. In 2012, he successfully completed his Masters Degree with honors at the Paris National Superior Conservatory. During his years as a student, he won fourth prize at the Iserlohn International Competition in Germany and two third prizes in Vienna, Austria, and Barbezieux, France. He currently studies with Judicaël Perroy, and has taken masterclasses with Marcin Dylla, Ricardo Gallen, and Roberto Aussel, to name a few. Thomas performs concerts of both solo and chamber music throughout Europe.

In addition to his musical studies, Thomas studied fine arts, which has allowed him to collaborate with stage actors and visual artists. In 2012 he produced “Bluebird,” which brought together music and image by projecting his own drawings during the performance of Music of Memory by Nicholas Maw.

Jérémy Peret (France)

Prelude (from Cello Suite No. 4, BWV 1010)        Johann Sebastian Bach

Sonata No. 2                                                         Dusan Bogdanovic

     Allegro deciso e appasionato

     Adagio molto espressivo

     Scherzo Malinconico

     Allegro ritmico

Evocation After ‘Gold Are My Flowers’                Curtis Curtis-Smith

Etudes Nos. 4 and 12                                           Heitor Villa-Lobos


French guitarist Jérémy Peret began playing the guitar at the age of eleven. After getting two conservatory diplomas, one in classical guitar and one in jazz, he became very active on the musical scene in his region of the south of France. He performed as a classical guitarist and partici- pated in different jazz bands. At the same time, he taught guitar at the national music school of the Aveyron region. In 2006, he was given the opportunity to live and teach in Mayotte, a French island near Madagascar, where he discovered a new culture and new ways of living music too.

Jérémy then decided to go to Paris to pursue his passion for classical guitar. Following classes with Judicaël Perroy in the Aulnay Conser- vatoire, he entered the Paris Conservatoire in 2009 in the class of Roland Dyens, where he obtained a Master’s degree. Recently, above and beyond performing, he has been a laureate in several international guitar competitions, including Sernancelhe and Viseu in Portugal, and Antony and Vidal in France. He currently teaches at the Châtenay-Malabry Conservatoire.

Jérémy’s principal goal now is to develop his music, by working on interpretation and repertoire, but also participating in interdisciplinary arts projects which bring together improvisers, contemporary artists, and film-makers.

Read Full Post »

There’s no better way to start a day than with Yoga for Classical Guitarists taught by Helene Rottenberg, followed by a Technique Workshop with Bill Kanengiser, the master of tone production. Bill had a few props with him that made it very easy to understand his philosophy on right hand technique, including a giant nail, string, and cardboard nail file.


The ICAC Semifinals began at 10am and continued for most of the day. These four players were chosen to advance to the final round: (from left to right) Thomas Csaba (France), Jeremy Peret (France), Ekachai Jearakul (Thailand), Celil Refik Kaya (Turkey).


Lutenist Paul O’Dette taught a well-attended master class this afternoon.


The members of the LAGQ did quite a bit of teaching as well. Here they are with the members of the Eastman Guitar Quartet, winners of the Ensemble Showcase this year.


Anton Baranov, last year’s ICAC winner, gave a concert this afternoon. Baranov will begin his 50 city concert tour of North America in the fall.


GFA President Martha Masters delivers the evening announcements.


Tilman Hoppstock dazzled the audience tonight with his virtuosic facility on the guitar, powerful dynamic range, and versatility as a player. From Bach to Paco de Lucia, he delivered an amazing performance to the very end of his fourth encore. It was a rare treat to hear him in the U.S., and GFA is proud to have brought him to this year’s convention. A learned scholar as well, Tilman’s lecture and master class were definitely highlights of this convention.


Read Full Post »

2014 GFA International Concert Artist Competition |  Semifinals

Monday, June 23   |  10am  |  Meng Concert Hall

Andras Csaki (Hungary)

Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco: Capriccio Diabolico, Op. 85

Leo Brouwer: Tres apuntes

Tal Hurwitz (Israel)

Lennox Berkeley: Sonatina, 1st movement

Schubert/Mertz: Lob der Thranen

Leo Brouwer: Tres apuntes

Ekachai Jearakul (Thailand)

Luigi Legnani: Fantasie, Op. 19

Leo Brouwer: Tres apuntes

Joaquín Turina: 3rd movement from Sonata, Op. 61

Celil Refik Kaya (Turkey)

Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco: Capriccio Diabolico

Leo Brouwer: Tres apuntes

Armen Doneyan (France)

Leo Brouwer: Tres apuntes

Johann Dubez: Fantasy on Hungarian Motives

Thomas Csaba (France)

Leo Brouwer: Tres apuntes

J.S. Bach: Allegro, from 2nd Violin Sonata

Jacques Hetu: Reverie and Final, from Suite, Op. 41


Monday, June 23   |  1:30pm  |  Meng Concert Hall

Tengyue Zhang (China)

Leo Brouwer: Tres apuntes

Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata, K. 239

Miguel Llobet: Variaciones sobre un tema de Sor, Op. 15

David Dyakov (Belgium)

Leo Brouwer: Tres apuntes

Francisco Tárrega: Las dos hermanitas (Vals)

Nicolo Paganini: Caprice Nos. 9 and 5

Pavel Kukhta (Belarus)

Leo Brouwer: Tres apuntes

Francisco Tárrega: The Carnival of Venice

Jeremy Peret (France)

Maurice Ohana: Saturnal (from Cadran lunaire)

Leo Brouwer: Tres apuntes

Heitor Villa-Lobos: Etude No. 10

Padet  Netpakdee (Thailand)

Leo Brouwer: Tres apuntes

J.S. Bach: Allegro, from Sonata BWV 1034 for flute and basso continuo

Sergio Assad: Valseana and Preludio e Toccatina

Sanel Redzic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Alexander Tansman: Passacaille

Leo Brouwer: Tres apuntes

J.S. Back: Presto BWV 1001

Read Full Post »

Day 3 of the convention opened with a technique workshop with Marc Teicholz, a convention artist who teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.


Those who attended the 11am concert were wowed by the artistry of Tara Rose Davison and Matt Palmer. Tara is a trained opera singer and accompanies herself while playing.


Matt performed a world premiere by Olga Amelkina-Vera, The Heaven’s Hundred, written about the deaths of 100 protesters in the Ukraine killed by government snipers. The piece received a standing ovation.


Next up on the concert lineup was the Mobius Trio from San Francisco. They performed a very interesting program of mostly new music including works by Assad, Randall-Myers, Becker, Villalta, and Ravel.



The evening concert featured master lutenist Paul O’Dette playing a program of Dowland’s music.

DSCN0225 DSCN0193

The semifinalists in the International Concert Artist Competition were announced at intermission. These 12 finalists will perform on Monday, June 23 beginning at 10am.

Andras Csaki (Hungary)
Tal Hurwitz (Israel)
Ekachai Jearakul (Thailand)
Celil Refik Kaya (Turkey)
Armen Doneyan (France)
Thomas Csaba (France)
Tengyue Zhang (China)
David Dyakov (Belgium)
Pavel Kukhta (Belarus)
Jeremy Peret (France)
Padet Netpakdee (Thailand)
Sanel Redzic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)


ICAC Director Martha Masters with the jury of the preliminary round of the competition: (from left to right) Alberto Mesirca, Bryan Johanson, Irina Kulikova, Micaela Pittaluga, and Randy Avers.


This week would not be possible without the tireless work of these three folks – local hosts Vladimir Gorbach and Martha Masters, and our volunteer coordinator for the week, Eric Pearson.


Read Full Post »

The first full day of the convention had a big focus on youth, with the International Youth Competition continuing and the winners of our Ensemble Showcase at the 11am concert.

Haley and Sedona Farber graciously stepped into perform at the last minute, followed by students from the Eastman Guitar Quartet, Glendale Community College Guitar Ensemble, and California Conservatory Guitar Ensemble.





Risa Carlson with the winners of the International Youth Competition.

Junior Division
1st: Xu Kun Liu (Canada)
2nd: Chanhyeok Lee (South Korea)
3rd: Kang Min Shin (South Korea)
4th: Nadja Jankovic (Montenegro)


Senior Division
1st: John Bogan (USA)
2nd: Grace Sheppard (USA)
3rd: Audra Vigil (USA)
4th: Seh Young Park (South Korea)


It was a great day to have the Youth Social outside, with Risa Carlson, Helen Sanderson, and Matt Denman facilitating the games.



The Vendor’s Fair was in full swing today, with all our attendees browsing the great selection of sheet music and guitars.


The evening capped off with the one and only LAGQ performing on the very stage in which they had their debut many years ago. It was a truly special performance with a program chosen that showcased their highly diverse repertoire. The full house offered them a well-deserved standing ovation, to which they responded by playing “the thing.” The thing turned out to be one of their oldest gags of their bag of tricks – Pachelbel’s “Loose Cannon,” which left the audience in a fit of giggles.



The After Hours reception was sponsored by D’Addario tonight, as a launch party for their new line of carbon strings. It was a great party, with free D’Addario bottle openers, strings, food, drink, and everyone in great spirits. Some pretty silly selfies from the night, Oscar’s party style.

10478659_419494998191691_1144828707959061996_n 10402505_419496274858230_1808446679793305669_n 10446995_419495544858303_1143544941375044002_n

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »