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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.

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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!

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The results of the 2016 GFA International Concert Artist Competition have been announced.

Rose Augustine Grand Prize: Xavier Jara (United States)

2nd Place: Andrea De Vitis (Italy)

3rd Place: Pavel Kukhta (Belarus)

4th Place: Celil Refik Kaya (Turkey)

Congratulations to our competitors!

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The 2016 GFA International Youth Competition Results have been announced.

Senior Division

1st Place: Kevin Loh (Singapore)

2nd Place: Xu Kun Liu (Canada)

3rd Place: Zhangxiang Shi (China)

4th Place: Michael Vascones (USA)


Junior Division

1st Place: Tiange Wang (China)

2nd Place: Aytahn Benavi (USA)

3rd Place: Jack Davisson (USA)

4th Place: Ryan Chen (USA)


Congratulations to all the competitors!


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IYC Finalists

Congratulations to the IYC  finalists!

Senior: Kevin Loh, Michael Vascones, Xu Kun Liu, Zhanxiang Shi

Junior division in order of performance: Tiange Wang, Aytahn Benavi, Jack Davisson, Ryan Chen

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Convention Day 4

The fourth day of the convention began with a technique workshop by Marco Sator and a lecture with Aaron Larget-Caplan entitled Commissioning New Composition Projects. The IYC meeting and Youth Social brought the young guitarists at the convention together.The GFA Research Round Table, covering topics from The Romero Family Archive, the Soundboard Index project, and updates on the Digital Guitar Archive and DGA Editions. The discussion was moderated by Thomas Heck. The ICAC Semi-Finals began at  11am and continued throughout the afternoon.


In the afternoon Benjamin Verdery held a  Masterclass. Aleksandr Tsiboulski played a program featuring Bach, Dozza, Ponce, Sculthorpe, and Albéniz. The evening concert for the fourth day of the convention was Duo Melis. Their program consisted of De Falla, Antoine de Lhoyer, Scarlatti, Granados, Piazzola, and additionally a new piece dedicated to the duo by Miguel A. Roig-Francoli. The piece, entitled Sonata for two guitars, was premiered at the concert with the composer present.

During the intermission of the concert GFA’s President Martha Masters announced the ICAC Finalists. They will perform on Friday! IMG_1925

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ICAC Finalists

Congratulations to our ICAC finalists! Here they are in performance order: Andrea De Vitis (Italy); Pavel Kulhta (Belarus); Xavier Jara (USA); Celil Refik Kaya (Turkey)

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