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)

Convention Day 3

The third day of the convention began with Matthew Nishimoto’s lecture The Expert Blind Spot Effect: Empirical Literature, Theory, and Implications for the Guitar Pedagogue and a technique workshop with Goran Krivokapic. Shortly after Stephen Goss discussed The Continuing legacy of Julian Bream and John Williams.In the early afternoon the four different groups played in the Ensemble Showcase. Retrograde Guitar Quartet, The Young and Restless, San Francisco Conservatory Guitar Ensemble with Stephen Goss and Ricardo Iznaola as English and Spanish narrators, and the Mile High Guitar Ensemble.

president of the New York City Classical Guitar Society, Jason Olson, moderated the Guitar Society Round Table with panelists William Ash, Heather Morand Clark, Federico Musgrove Stetson, and Julia Pernet. Eric Pearson, director of Austin Classical Guitar’s community ensembles presented From the Podium: Ensemble-Based Classroom Guitar. Private lessons continued into the afternoon and Raphaella Smits.

The afternoon concert featured last year’s ICAC winner Thibaut Garcia. His concert was a huge hit. His program included Weiss, Piazzolla, Crockett, Rodrigo, and Manjón. Fabio Zenon concluded the evening  with a packed program of Handel, Babrowicz Ponce Schumann, and Francisco Mingnone.

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


The International Concert Artist Competition Semi-Finalists have been announced. They will perform in the following order tomorrow:

Andrea De Vitis (Italy)

Damien Lancelle (France)

Celil Refik Kaya (Turkey)

Pavel Kukhta (Belarus)

Joseph Palmer (United States)

Andras Csaki (Hungary)


Chad Ibison (United States)

Xavier Jara (United States)

Marko Topchii (Ukraine)

Maria Daniela Rossi (Argentina)

Armen Doneyan (France)

Stephen Lochbaum (Canada)

Congratulations to our ICAC Semi-Finalists!

Convention Day 2

This morning kicked off with a technique workshop by Fabio Zanon and Daniel Lippel’s lecture The Invisible Chamber Partner: Electro-Acoustic Music for Guitar which explored the expanded sonic possibilities of the instrument. Directly after Mariano Aguirre held a practical lecture discussing a methodology on how to master the fretboard using principles of music theory. Simultaneously Pamela Kimmel presented her lecture The Relevance of Focal Dystonia: Why understanding this debilitating syndrome is essential for your teaching, practicing, and performing. Marco Sator kicked off the 11:00am concerts with his own arrangement of Alfonso Brocqua’s Three Sonatas. He followed with selections from Evocaciones Criollas by Héctor Tosar, Gandhara: Diferencias entre Si belmo – Mi by Regondi, and Scarlatti’s Introduction et Caprice, Op.23. The Patterson/Sutton Duo  (Kimberly Patterson, cello and Patrick Sutton, guitar) began the second half with Quatre Pieces Intimes by Dusan Bogdanovic, and played The Autumn Song by Stephen Goss. Next they performed the world premiere of Ricardo Iznaola’s Musique de Salon (Suite No. 12). Finally, they concluded the concert with a performance of Goss’ Park of Idols.


The afternoon lectures were How Do Luthiers Optimize Sound with Garett Lee, and Post-College Survival: What’s “In-Store” for You? with Jim McCutcheon. At 4 PM the Aleph Guitar Quartet (Andres Hernandez Alba, Tillmann Reinbeck, Wolfgang Sehringer, and Christian Wernicke took the stage. From Georg Friedrich Haas’ microtonal Quartet for Four Guitars to John Cage, the Aleph Guitar Quartet had an exciting and fresh program executed with precision and sensitivity.

Preceding Raphaella Smits’ evening concert, the GFA Youth Guitar Orchestra with conductor Chuck Hulihan performed Mark Houghton’s Dance Suite.  The ensemble’s performance was excellent, and the maturity demonstrated by each player’s attentive focus was a testament to Hulihan’s skills. Raphaella Smits opened with Manuel María Ponce’s Suite en la menor an Homage to S.L. Weiss on her eight string guitar. The additional range in the bass resonated throughout the hall, further carrying her full, legato tone. Throughout the performance her playing was warm and present. The concert featured works by composers Weiss, Giuliani, Mompou, Ramirez, and Barrios. Looking forward to an exciting week at #gfa2016!


Convention Day 1

After days of anticipation the 2016 GFA Convention and Competition has begun! The International Concert Artist Competition preliminary rounds took place during the morning and early afternoon in the King Center while the Vendor Fair Exhibitors unpacked in St. Cajetans right across the way. The King Center began to bustle with guitarists as they arrived for ensemble rehearsals in the late afternoon. People flooded onto campus to get settled before the opening concert, Grammy Award winning guitarist and the youngest GFA winner ever, Jason Vieaux.


Vieaux’s concert was incredible and the hall was wonderfully responsive. One could hear his tonal nuances and details even in the furthest seat.He played standard classical guitar repertoire on the first half, with a more varied selection for the second half. Vieaux’s program incorporated Jazz as well as classical, demonstrating his versatility as a solo artist. The program remained engaging and enthralled the audience continuously. At the end of the concert the audience gave Vieaux an instant standing ovation. What an incredible way to start of the #gfa2016 Convention!

It’s been a busy day here in Denver for the GFA Staff and Volunteers. The team got a sneak peak at the venues and spaces, pictured below. Preparations are well underway around campus and everyone is eagerly awaiting the start of the Convention!

It’s just about time for the 2016 GFA Convention and Competition at the Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado! Program information, competition results, and daily convention updates will be posted all week long here on the GFA Blog. Stay connected via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat!


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