...The innovative of scope of EuroStrings will draw the attention of many people, contributing to the expansion of the guitar audience and highlighting this most wonderful and versatile instrument.

Assad Btothers


European Guitar Festival Collaborative

A Celebration
The First Four Years


A Word from the Artistic Directors of the EuroStrings Platform Festivals
PART I: EuroStrings
Who We Are
Who are the EuroStrings Artists?
EuroStrings Featured Artists
How to Become a EuroStrings Artist
EuroStrings Exchange Programme
Developing New Business Models
Building a Knowledge Base about Classical Guitar Festivals
How to Support the EuroStrings Project
EuroStrings Conferences

  • First EuroStrings Conference
  • Second EuroStrings Conference

PART II: EuroStrings Artists
EuroStrings Guitar Competition

  • First EuroStrings Guitar Competition 2018
  • Second EuroStrings Guitar Competition 2019
  • Third EuroStrings Guitar Competition 2020

EuroStrings Composition Contest

  • A Word from the Jury: Stephen Goss
  • First EuroStrings Composition Contest 2018/2019
  • Second EuroStrings Composition Contest 2019/2020

EuroStrings Guitar Festivals
EuroStrings Artists: 2017/2018, 2018/2019, 2019/2020, 2020/2021

EuroStrings Festivals and EuroStrings Artists

  • Antwerpen Gitaarfestival and its Laureates
  • Festival International de Guitarra de Guimarães and its Laureates
  • Harmonia Cordis International Classical Guitar Festival and its Laureates
  • International Festival of Guitar José Tomás Villa de Petrer and its Laureates
  • International Guitar Festival Mottola and its Laureates
  • International Guitar Festival Nürtingen and its Laureates
  • International Guitar Festival Rust and its Laureates
  • London Guitar Festival and its Laureates
  • Montenegro International Guitar Competition and its Laureates
  • Paris International Guitar Festival and its Laureates
  • Plovdiv GuitArt Festival and its Laureates
  • Sarajevo International Guitar Festival and its Laureates
  • Szeged International Guitar Festival and its Laureates
  • Tallinn Guitar Festival and its Laureates
  • Tampere Guitar Festival and its Laureates
  • Twents Gitaar Festival and its Laureates
  • Uppsala International Guitar Festival and its Laureates
  • Zagreb Guitar Festival and its Laureates

EuroStrings Associate Festivals

  • Copenhagen Guitar Festival
  • Peja International Guitar Festival
  • Vojvodina Guitar Fest and its Laureate

EuroStrings Affiliate Festivals

EuroStrings Scholarship Programme

  • EuroStrings Scholarship Recipients 2017/2018
  • EuroStrings Scholarship Recipients 2018/2019
  • EuroStrings Scholarship Recipients 2019/2020

EuroStrings Artists CD Recordings

PART III: Interviews
Looking Back and the Future

  • An interview with Ružica Gelo Ciglenečki
  • An interview with Antonio Rumenović
  • An interview with Mak Grgić

Afterword: Covid-19 in 2020 and Beyond


I’m proud to be involved with EuroStrings, it is a beautiful project which gives so much to all great young players.

Aniello Desiderio

A great platform to promote young talent and keep the guitar alive, EuroStrings will be a milestone in the history of modern guitar.

Margarita Escarpa



EuroStrings – the European Guitar Festival Collaborative – began as our dream project four years ago, and we were so pleased that it has been turned into a reality, made possible by the great support of all those who became involved in the project. The co-funding by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union was key to making this wonderful project happen.

As two people who have dedicated our lives to music education – we founded and run the music school Bonar in Zagreb, where we have many guitar students – the idea came to us to try to change young people’s lives with the guitar. Young professional artists especially need help in the very difficult early stages of their careers and also there are children and young people who have, for a variety of reasons, not had access to music. This ambition was the seed from which EuroStrings sprang. Our project combines both: not only do our young professionals – the EuroStrings Artists – play concerts around Europe, but they also teach and work with disadvantaged children and young people in a variety of outreach activities. Reading through this brochure, which covers our work over the past three years and into the start of our fourth year, a fundamental aspect of EuroStrings becomes apparent, that it is essentially a collaborative project, which is made strong by all its parts. We are proud of the success of the project, not only has it achieved all that we set out to do, but it has also opened up further possibilities for collaboration and outreach, which have become so important during the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. The EuroStrings Platform members have supported each other throughout the first three years but even more so in the past year, when all of us have had to adapt and learn to use new technology and find solutions to continue our work and support to EuroStrings Artists. Our raison d’être has become even more apparent during the Covid-19 crisis. We want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all our EuroStrings Platform members for all their work and dedication that has made this project into a solid structure and a collaborative model for the future. Most importantly, we want to say a very big thank you to our young EuroStrings Artists, who have brought us much happiness through their superb performances and their generous spirits in supporting their young colleagues.

Ružica Gelo Ciglenečki Executive Director
Boris Ciglenečki Finance Director



‘Guimarães International Guitar Festival was the first festival to implement the wonderful EuroStrings programme! We are very proud to be part of this amazing platform founded by Zagreb Guitar Festival. Here, young artists have the opportunity to play on a regular basis, which is essential, in the early stages of their careers.’

Nuno Cachada Artistic Director

Festival International de Guitarra de Guimarães



‘Being part of the EuroStrings programme has been an amazing experience for us and I especially appreciate what the programme is doing for all the young guitarists around the world.’

Dr István Ferenc Beke Chairman

Harmonia Cordis International Classical Guitar Festival



‘EuroStrings is a very important project for the careers of young guitarists, a
platform in which important guitar festivals benefit from their experiences but,
above all, it is a great achievement that has contributed to improving the
quality of activities for our instrument – the guitar.

Pepe Payá Artistic Director

International Festival of Guitar José Tomás Villa de Petrer



'The EuroStrings locomotive continues its wonderful journey for emerging young guitarists of the six strings through the most important European Festivals.’

Michele Libraro Artistic Director

International Guitar Festival Mottola



‘It is exciting to work on this unique project with all these fantastic colleagues around Europe. The collaboration offers invaluable support for young guitarists to build their professional network.’

Katrin Klingeberg and Sebastián Montes Artistic Directors

International Guitar Festival Nürtingen



‘The guitar is often overlooked by the classical music establishment; this EuroStrings project at the Vienna Musikverein, the world Capital of the classical music, puts the guitar in the spotlight where it belongs!’

Gabriel Guillén Artistic Director

International Guitar Festival Rust



‘EuroStrings is an outstanding project! I particularly like the work we are doing with young artists; they have great talent and really need a lot of help in the early stages of their careers. I also very much support the outreach element in the local communities.’

Tom Kerstens Artistic Director

London Guitar Festival



‘EuroStrings has dramatically influenced the world of classical guitar since its foundation. Bringing together some of the most important guitar festivals, in terms of quality and number of programmes, the platform is a dynamic and growing project without equal in the world.’

Danijel Cerović Artistic Director

Montenegro International Guitar Competition


Logo FIGP-min

‘EuroStrings is a great project. It gives such great opportunities to young artists to give concerts, as well as to the audience to hear young players from all over the world. It is also a fantastic way to collaborate and share with others European guitar festivals.’

Tania Chagnot Artistic Director

Paris International Guitar Festival



‘EuroStrings is a fantastic project that opens great career opportunities for the young guitarists, creates experience and motivates them in their development as artists.’

Hristo Kolikov Artistic Director

Plovdiv GuitArt Festival



‘If we want to choose four words to describe four years of EuroStrings, they
would be:
vision to enable young and talented guitarists artistic improvement;
courage to show that artists from different backgrounds gathered around a common platform can breathe together and can have a unique idea;
creativity which made a different concept of nurturing the classical guitar that sent a message to the public that art can and should be available to everyone; and
energy that connected youth, talent and knowledge in one place.’

Đani Šehu Artistic Director

Sarajevo International Guitar Festival

Bosnia and Herzegovina


‘EuroStrings is a dream come true: uniting the future guitar talents with the most prominent stars and their audiences is revolutionary creation. We are grateful to be part of it.’

Dávid Pavlovits Artistic Director

Szeged International Guitar Festival



‘The guitar is often overlooked by the classical music establishment; this EuroStrings project puts the guitar in the spotlight where it belongs!’

Tiit Peterson Artistic Director

Tallinn Guitar Festival



‘EuroStrings is a fantastic platform which brings together the enterprising guitar people of today and tomorrow, and shines a visionary spotlight on guitar students, artists and organisations.’

Tomi Tolvanen Artistic Director

Tampere Guitar Festival



‘EuroStrings is a wonderful European platform that provides a great musical connection and a big network between different countries and cultures and their young guitarists. We are very proud to be part of the platform.’

Pim Weierink and Daphne Hodes Artistic Directors

Twents Gitaar Festival



‘EuroStrings has been a good project in several aspects. Supporting the development of young artists giving them the opportunity to discover a range of European festivals, and learning how to manage and develop both on stage and of stage. They have great talent and can see that this platform gave them an important support in the early stages of their careers. Also the importance of developing the cooperation between festivals among Europe.’

Klaus Pontvik Artistic Director

Uppsala International Guitar Festival



‘EuroStrings is one of the best things to have happened in the classical guitar
sector in the past few years. For our festival to be able to collaborate and to
share experiences is a unique and wonderful opportunity, hopefully it will
continue for many years to come.’

Mak Grgić Artistic Director

Zagreb Guitar Festival



It is truly impressive to see just how much positive influence the work of EuroStrings is bringing upon the development and inspiration of young guitarists globally. I believe that such positive work will positively affect popularity of the classical guitar and the mindfulness of the ever growing number of talented young guitarists. The young generation mostly needs attention and support, which gives strength and courage to persist on this tough journey. Heartfelt congratulations to EuroStrings for the dedication, work and all my best for the future!

Ana Vidović



For me, the most valuable part of participating in EuroStrings was the opportunity to meet so many people within the guitar world. Being able to participate in masterclasses with renowned guitarists was incredibly valuable, and the time spent working, as well socialising, with fellow young colleagues is something that I look back on particularly fondly.

-Jesse Flowers
Winner of the First EuroStrings Guitar Competition



EuroStrings is the first platform of European guitar festivals, led by Zagreb Guitar Festival and ever expanding with an initial 14 members’ festivals in 2018 and reaching 17 members’ festivals in 2021; with three Associate Festivals also added in 2021 as well as Affiliate Partners around the world. The project is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union and is the first guitar project ever to receive such funding. 

EuroStrings also has partners in the Americas and China, making it a truly global project. Each member festival also stages an international guitar competition. EuroStrings activities include audience development, the creation of new business models, research and development of resources for festival organisers and policy makers but the most important element is the development of emerging young guitarists. To this end, EuroStrings creates a host of performance opportunities for the laureates of the guitar competitions, called the EuroStrings Exchange Programme. The programme also includes an extensive educational component. Not only do the young performers attend workshops given by master guitarists but they themselves also teach schoolchildren and engage in comprehensive outreach work in the wider community with a range of different groups. The project also provides scholarships for young, talented players of modest means. The EuroStrings Artists for 2020/2021 are the laureates of the international guitar competitions organised by its 17 member festivals of the EuroStrings platform during 2021. EuroStrings is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union for the period of 2017–2021.



Our objectives include:

  • to promote young emerging classical guitarists through concert opportunities, masterclasses, professional development and international competitions
  • to educate young emerging classical guitarists in how to deliver outreach, audience development and work in the community
  • to develop and consolidate the European guitar festival sector through collaboration, information sharing, the building of resources and new technology, including the EuroStrings Digital Academy
  • to develop wider and sustainable audiences for the classical guitar. We do this in a variety of initiatives including Audience Lab, which reaches young people from diverse backgrounds without access to music education by creating new, exciting and life-changing experiences for them.


EuroStrings Artists are a group of young professional guitarists, who are the laureates of the international competitions organised by the 17 EuroStrings platform members’ guitar festivals. They are invited to take part in the EuroStrings Exchange Programme, which is delivered through the EuroStrings Curriculum.


EuroStrings Featured Artists are well-established professional master guitarists who are widely regarded as the foremost classical guitarists in the world. They will perform concerts, give masterclasses, give advice and help and serve as mentors to the emerging guitarists. They are both inspirational to and aspirational for the younger generation of budding professionals. Each EuroStrings platform festival will invite a minimum of one EuroStrings Featured Artist to take part in their event.



To become a EuroStrings Artist you need to win First Prize at one of the international guitar competitions organised by the EuroStrings platform festivals. In some cases, another laureate, such as a second prizewinner, can become a EuroStrings Artist, if, for instance, the first prizewinner has already been a EuroStrings Artist in a previous year. An emerging artist can only be a EuroStrings Artist once.



The EuroStrings project’s central activity is the EuroStrings Exchange Programme, which was created for EuroStrings Artists to help them to develop professional careers as classical guitarists. The programme offers opportunities that complement the academic programmes studied by the emerging guitarists in their conservatoires and universities, opening up new horizons in terms of international experiences, professional exposure and networking with their peers and a range of concert promoters, festivals and music industry professionals.

  • The EuroStrings Exchange Programme is delivered through the EUROSTRINGS CURRICULUM, which offers the emerging players:
  • Solo concerts at EuroStrings platform festivals around Europe, a minimum of three per year. • Chamber music concerts with the EuroStrings Artists playing together. • Participation in the EuroStrings Guitar Competition.
  • Masterclasses with world-famous musicians, including those given by the EuroStrings Featured Artists, a group of the most internationally respected master guitarists.
  • Lectures and workshops on a wide range of topics including marketing and PR, fund-raising, audience development and professional skills.
  • Participation in the delivery of a comprehensive community education programme, which includes giving masterclasses and workshops to children and young people, who are often new to the guitar and living in challenging circumstances, as well as work in the wider community including in youth clubs, schools and hospitals.


Each year three EuroStrings seminars are organised, covering different topics in the fields of audience development, marketing and PR, fundraising, cultural management and cultural tourism. These seminars are open to all professionals in the field of classical music.


The EuroStrings platform will conduct annual surveys and research, which will be published on the EuroStrings website to serve as a resource for festival organisations and policy makers and underpin the platform’s strategic planning. This knowledge base will give a comparative perspective and create an awareness of the wider European classical guitar festival community.


EuroStrings is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. This co-funding programme makes possible a large part of the project’s activities, however the support is not comprehensive. If you would like to support us, either as a sponsor or a donor, please contact: communication@eurostrings.eu


All the events of the EuroStrings Conference are open to the public and are streamed via Facebook and YouTube. They are all available on the EuroStrings Digital Academy

First EuroStrings Conference
Zagreb Guitar Festival
Mimara Museum, Zagreb
4–6 April 2019

‘Joaquín Rodrigo: Fandango from Tres Piezas Españolas – Analysis and Performance’ by Carlo Marchione
‘Rana Glazba: Early Music Now’ by Darko Karajić
‘Alexander Technique and Healthy Playing’ by Igor Vranić
‘Integrative Music Pedagogy’ by Brian Head
‘EuroStrings 101: Goals and Achievements’ by Mak Grgić
‘The World of High-End Guitars’ by David Collett and Hrvoje Grgić
‘ZGF on Business: Tips and Tricks for Success’ by Slobodan Sibinčič
‘ZGF on Business: Fundraising’ by Tom Kerstens
‘ZGF on Business: Raise the Number of Tourists at Cultural Events’ by Tina Jukič and Ana Šilovič
‘ZGF on Business: Apply for and Win that EU Grant’ by Anera Štopfer
‘Behind the Scenes of a Successful Guitar Society’ by Matt Hinsley
‘D’Addario’ by Thomas Offermann

Sérgio and Odair Assad
Jesse Flowers
He Zhiyuan
Aniello Desiderio and the EuroStrings Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Offermann
EuroStrings Orchestra and the ZGF Orchestra

77264901_552702478853771_5940933574260686848_o (1)-min

Second EuroStrings Conference
Uppsala International Guitar Festival
14–15 November 2020

‘Creative Tools for Music Teachers in a Community Perspective: A Practical
and Theoretical Approach’ by Matthias Zloto
‘Covid Performance and Quality Control – Italy versus Sweden:
Different Approaches to Performances During the Covid-19 Pandemic’
by Michele Libraro and Klaus Pontvik

‘Tribute to Sérgio Assad’ by an Orchestra of EuroStrings Artists and guitarists from
Malmo Academy of Music, conducted by Christian Karlsen
Solo recital by Mateusz Kowalski


... I am sure that the beauty of our music and astounding excellence and virtuosity of our young players leaves no doubt in my mind that the guitar has a glorious future.

David Russell

david russell-min

EuroStrings Artists

Winning the EuroStrings competition was one of my biggest dreams. The number of concerts I gave as a winner was enormous. The most important regions of the entire world are open for me now. It has given me such an incredible career boost.

Mateusz Kowalski
Winner of the Second EuroStrings Guitar Competition



The highlight of the EuroStrings Exchange Programme is the EuroStrings Guitar Competition. The winner will receive a cash prize of €8000* and a European tour as well as concerts in Asia and America in 2021/2022. This programme offers a unique boost at the start of their international careers.  

The EuroStrings Guitar Competition is open only to the 17 EuroStrings Artists who are laureates of the 17 guitar competitions that are organised by the EuroStrings platform festivals. Each of these festivals draws competitors from all over the world and, as a result, the EuroStrings Guitar Competition welcomes and showcases the very finest young guitarists from all over the world. *The prize quoted is gross and may be subject to taxes

First EuroStrings Guitar Competition 2018

The first edition of this prestigious competition for EuroStrings Artists 2017/2018 took place at Zagreb Guitar Festival in 2018. Jesse Flowers (Australia/Germany) was the winner of the First EuroStrings Guitar Competition


Third EuroStrings Guitar Competition 2020

Lovro Peretić (Croatia) was the winner of the Third EuroStrings Guitar Competition for EuroStrings Artists 2019/2020. The competition was held online from 17–20 December 2020, with the Final broadcast on the EuroStrings Facebook on Sunday 20 December 2020. Two Phantasmas by the composer and guitarist Ozan Coşkun (the winning composition of the Second EuroStrings Composition Contest) was the compulsory piece in the Final round.


Second EuroStrings Guitar Competition 2019

Mateusz Kowalski (Poland) was the winner of the Second EuroStrings Guitar Competition for EuroStrings Artists 2018/2019. The competition took place at London Guitar Festival in July 2019. Les Arcanes by the composer and guitarist Nicolas Khan (the winning composition of the First EuroStrings Composition Contest) was the compulsory piece in the Final round.




Winning the first EuroStrings Composition Contest was a truly incredible and formative experience. It gave me strength and self-confidence to keep on writing. I had been working hard on my music for years when I won the competition, and receiving such great comments from composers I have always admired like Steve Goss or Sérgio Assad was a real reward. I am also grateful to Mateusz Kowalski, winner of the 2019 EuroStrings Guitar Competition, for defending my composition, Les Arcanes, around the world, with such talent and passion.

Nicolas Kahn
Winner of the First EuroStrings
Composition Contest

Even though we are in a period when the world is in chaos and musicians are badly affected, the EuroStrings organisation and its activities give us hope and motivation to continue to make music. The connection with this “family” of guitarists is invaluable to me in these times.

Ozan Coşkun
Winner of the Second EuroStrings
Composition Contest



The EuroStrings Composition Contest for classical guitar was developed as an annual competition in 2019 by EuroStrings to help create high quality new works for the classical guitar.

The competition also aims to promote emerging composers up to the age of 35, whose works have not yet had the chance to gain international recognition. The composition must be composed for the six-stringed classical guitar and should not be a published work, or previously have received an award.

Applicants should have either European citizenship or be based in one of the EU countries/territory (this also includes European countries which are not a part of the EU, but are geographically considered part of Europe).

The winner of the EuroStrings Composition Contest will receive a cash prize of €1500* and the winning composition will be the obligatory piece for the Final of the Fourth EuroStrings Guitar Competition, which will be held during the International Guitar Festival José Tomás in Petrer, Spain in July 2021. The winning composition will be performed by the winner of the 4th EuroStrings Guitar Competition at the 16 EuroStrings festivals.

The Jury consists of three internationally renowned composers and guitarists. The selection process is in three stages:

• Eliminatory: the best 12 compositions will be selected out of all applications;

• Semi-Finals: the best three compositions will be selected; and

• Finals: one winning composition will be selected from the three Finalists.

Full details are available at:


* this prize is paid gross, and may incur taxes

A Word from the Jury

Rather than being trapped in a tradition, the guitar’s repertoire is constantly evolving and moving in new directions: not fixed, but in flux. Today’s virtuosi have taken technique and musicianship on the guitar to a level unimaginable even a generation ago. Contemporary performers need contemporary music that pushes their skills to the limit. The EuroStrings Composition Contest is the perfect platform for encouraging innovative new music for the guitar. I have had the privilege of being a member of the jury for the two EuroStrings Composition Contests. Composers from very many countries have entered pieces of startling imagination in a wide variety of contrasting styles. The two winning works will take their place in our ever-expanding concert repertoire. I particularly enjoyed working with composers on the jury who were from outside the guitar orbit; it was refreshing to get a wider perspective. I just wish there were more opportunities like the EuroStrings Composition Contest for emerging composers of guitar music.


Stephen Goss
Professor of Composition and Director of the International Guitar Research Centre at the University of Surrey, Professor of Guitar at the Royal Academy of Music, London Trustee, International Guitar Foundation, London


First EuroStrings Composition Contest 2018/2019

Les Arcanes Nicolas Kahn France

Based in Paris, Nicolas Kahn he divides his time between teaching, performing and composing. He received his Bachelor of Music from Sorbonne Université and his Master’s degree in musicology from the EHESS Paris. He studied classical guitar with James Szura at the Conservatoire Gabriel Pierné, Metz and with Gérard Abiton at the Ecole Nationale de Musique d’Orléans. He gained degrees in solo and ensemble performance with distinction as well as a teacher’s diploma. During his studies, he attended masterclasses with guitarists such as Atanas Ourkouzounov, Roberto Aussel and Claudio Marcotulli. Nicolas Kahn released the Puertas y Caminos recording with his Kantiga Alteli ensemble (voice, guitar, violin and percussion) in 2017. Kantiga Alteli regularly performs in France and Europe and won the international De Toonzaal prize in Den Bosch, Amsterdam in October 2012. Nicolas Kahn’s compositions have been published by Les productions d’Oz in Quebec.

First EuroStrings Composition Contest 2019/2020

Two Phantasmas Ozan Coşkun / Turkey

The young guitarist Ozan Coşkun only began composing about seven years ago. Although he often performs his own compositions in concert, as he is still in his undergraduate music education, he has not had any works published. Ozan was born in 1993 in Ankara, Turkey. He began his music studies at Hacettepe State Conservatory when he was 18 years old. During his first five years, he studied guitar with Ahmet Kanneci. He discovered his passion for composing music with Can Aksel Akın and Önder Özkoç at Hacettepe Conservatory. Since 2018, Ozan has been studying with Thomas Kirchhoff and Dale Kavanagh at the Detmold Music Academy in Germany. He also attends Bilkent Guitar Festival in Turkey and Iserlohn Guitar Festival in Germany, to get to know leading artists, professors and musicians. Coşkun’s inspiration for Two Phantasmas derives from the medical term for ‘phantasma’, that is, the first phase of the dream, as Coşkun explains, ‘the composition explores the emotional transitions and I tried to reflect the uncertainty of the events at that stage of a dream’.


Antwerpen Gitaarfestival
Festival International
de Guitarra de Guimarães
Harmonia Cordis
International Guitar Festival
International Festival of
Guitar José Tomás Villa de Petrer
International Guitar
Festival Mottola
International Guitar
Festival Nürtingen
International Guitar
Festival Rust
London Guitar Festival (IGF)


Montenegro International Guitar Competition
Paris International
Guitar Festival
Plovdiv GuitArt Festival
Sarajevo International
Guitar Festival
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Szeged International
Guitar Festival
Tallinn Guitar Festival
Tampere Guitar Festival
Twents Gitaar Festival
Uppsala International
Guitar Festival
Zagreb Guitar Festival

EuroStrings Associate Festivals

Copenhagen Guitar Festival
Peja International Guitar Festival
Vojvodina Guitar Fest

EuroStrings ARTISTS


I believe the biggest treasure of EuroStrings is the networking with new and old friends. It was a pleasure to meet so many amazing people interested in the guitar and music in general. The travels and performances around Europe were very exciting – thanks to EuroStrings I was able to experience these things in my early career.

Zuzanna Wężyk
EuroStrings Artist, Year 2


Dominik Carević Croatia
Boyan Doychev Bulgaria
Raphaël Feuillâtre France
Jesse Flowers Australia/Germany
Péter Girán Hungary
Niklas Johansen Denmark
Nicola Montella Italy
Antoine Morinière France
Domenico Savio Mottola Italy
Dmytro Omelchak Ukraine
Antero Pellikka Finland
Andrea Roberto Italy
Giacomo Susani Italy
Davide Giovanni Tomasi Italy
Vedran Vujica Bosnia


Giulia Ballaré Italy
Misael Barraza-Díaz Mexico
George Dimitrov Bulgaria
Viktor Đuknić Serbia
Peter Graneis Germany
Gábor Hart Hungary
Mateusz Kowalski Poland
Tomasz Radziszewski Poland
Simone Rinaldo Italy
Yuki Saito Japan
Katarzyna Smolarek Poland
Dimitris Soukaras Greece
Emmanuel Sowicz UK/Chile
Julia Trintschuk Germany
Radu Vâlcu Romania
Zuzanna Wężyk Poland
You Wu China


Nino D’Amico Italy
Silvio Bilić Croatia
Carlo Curatolo Italy
Jonas Egholm Denmark
Dávid Fellegi Hungary
Luis Alejandro García Spain
Ema Kapor Serbia
Maja Kralj Slovenia
Flavio Nati Italy
Agustín Nazzetta Argentina
Cassie Martin France
Pablo Menéndez Spain
Lovro Peretić Croatia
Bruno Pino Mateos Spain
Pavel Ralev Bulgaria
Zsombor Sidoo Hungary
George Tarlton UK


Steve Cowan Canada
François-Xavier Dangremont France
Vuk Dragičević Serbia
Cristina Galietto Italy
Jack Hancher UK
Kevin Loh Singapore
Francisco Luis Portugal
Eleonora Perretta Italy
Marcin Kuźniar Poland
Álvaro Miranda Costa Rica
Filip Mišković Croatia
Marcell Nickmann Hungary
Özberk Miraç Sarıgül Turkey
Bianka Szalaty Poland
Álvaro Toscano Spain
Cheng Shi China
Jiujiu Wu China


EuroStrings, now in its fourth year, has quickly become the preferred means of networking for anything concerning the classical guitar not only in Europe but also worldwide. Originally intended to encourage networking between festival organisers and young professionals, it has grown into a platform for supporting and nurturing quality in classical guitar in a broad variety of ways: from addressing the need to increase the guitar’s presence in the wider community as part of outreach initiatives, to aiding those in financial need through scholarships; perhaps EuroStrings’ biggest achievement is the creation of a wealth of opportunities for EuroStrings Artists. These young professionals, laureates from our festival partners’ competitions, are invited to tour, network, collaborate, perform and learn for one year in a modern development programme for contemporary working classical guitarists. EuroStrings Artists are the future of classical guitar and we hope to see this programme thrive and develop for years to come.


Mak Grgić EuroStrings Artists Coordinator




The Antwerpen Gitaarfestival is a Rode Productions N.P.O. initiative. The festival focuses mainly on the classical guitar and its best and foremost protagonists in the world. This makes the Antwerpen Gitaarfestival every year again the most important event for guitar lovers in Belgium. In 2018, it celebrated its eighth edition and, as usual, the festival also aims to showcase the guitar as a versatile instrument for soloists as well as a valuable asset in chamber music combinations. During the festival in November, high-level masterclasses are offered and a competition in two different categories is organised. The compulsory pieces for the competition are always written by a living composer, who also is the festival’s composer-in-residence. In recent years, a growing interest in the world of luthiers is noticeable since the festival also puts together a guitar expo and offers a lecture from the luthier in residence.



Zuzanna Wężyk / Poland

Zuzanna Wężyk was born in Gdańsk, where she started playing guitar at the age of seven at the Ogólnokształcąca Szkoła Muzyczna (music school) in Feliksa Nowowiejski. She is a recipient of the prestigious Fahrenheit Scholarship, which is awarded to the best students from Gdańsk, who are studying abroad. In June 2018, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree under the direction of Marco Tamayo at the Universität Mozarteum University in Salzburg. She is currently based in London, where she is working on her Masters in Composing for Film and Television at Kingston University in London. Zuzanna Wężyk has won many prizes in music competitions, both as a soloist and in chamber music, including first prize at the Omiš Guitar Fest in Croatia in ensemble category in 2016. Besides performing as a classical guitarist, Zuzanna is also a vocalist and a composer and she collaborates with various ensembles and musicians.



Lovro Peretić / Croatia

Lovro Peretić was born in Zagreb in 1995 and started studying guitar with Xhevdet Sahatxhija. Later, he graduated from the Academy of Music in Zagreb, where he studied with Darko Petrinjak and spent one year in a student exchange programme at L’École Supérieure Musique et Danse Hauts-de-France, Lille with Judicaël Perroy. He has been successful in many national and international competitions. He has represented Croatia in many important festivals such as the Vladimir Spivakov International Foundation’s festival in Moscow and the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth’s Young Hearts for Music in Austria and Germany. He also regularly performs in his duo with violinist Katarina Kutnar and in the guitar trio Evocación. He has performed as a soloist with the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, and Zagreb Soloists, among others. Lovro was awarded the Dean’s and Rector’s prizes of the University of Zagreb.




The Festival International de Guitarra de Guimarães is promoted by the Sociedade Musical de Guimarães, under the artistic direction of Portuguese guitarist Nuno Cachada. It aims to strengthen the position and pedagogical approach to the classical guitar and to foster a new attitude towards the classical guitar, which is still undervalued as a solo instrument. The festival has the support of Guimarães City Council as well as several Portuguese and international universities. Organised for the first time in 2014, the festival immediately attracted more than 100 young guitarists from Portugal and all over Europe to participate in concerts, masterclasses, workshops and its international guitar competition. The subsequent editions have reinforced and even extended these strands to include musicological research and conferences held in partnership with the University of Minho and specialist guitar researchers. Several internationally renowned guitarists and researchers have taken part in the festival in the six years since its inception.



Nicola Montella / Italy

Born in 1987, Nicola Montella studied classical guitar from the age of eight with G.M. Fontanella. In 2009, he obtained his first-class degree from the ‘Gesualdo da Venosa’ Conservatory in Potenza, Italy. He later studied with Lucio Matarazzo at the ‘Domenico Cimarosa’ Conservatory in Avellino, Italy, obtaining his first-class degree in 2011. He has been awarded at several important national and international guitar festivals and contests. In 2015, he was awarded the prize for ‘Best Young Artist of promise’ at the Convegno internazionale di chitarra in Alessandria, Italy.Nicola Montella has performed at festivals such as the Girona International Classic Guitar Festival, Aranda de Duero International Classic Guitar Festival (Spain 2013–2015) and S. Giacomo Guitar Festival, Bologna (2015), as well as giving a concert tour in China in April 2015, at venues such as the Centennial Hua, Beijing University, and the Sunrise Concert Hall.



Simone Rinaldo / Italy

Simone Rinaldo graduated Summa cum laude from the Conservatorio di Musica ‘Giuseppe Verdi’, Milan in 2013, where he studied with Maria Vittoria Jedlowski, and then again in February 2016, for his Masters with Francesco Biraghi. At the ‘Accademia Giulio Regondi’ in Milan, he studied with Andrea Dieci and Bruno Giuffredi. He is now attending the courses of Paolo Pegoraro and Adriano Del Sal at ‘Segovia Guitar Academy’ in Pordenone. He made his debut as a soloist with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo in November 2017, and in 2018 performed in the film music of The Circus by Charlie Chaplin with the Orchestra ‘I Pomeriggi Musicali’, conducted by Helmut Imig. In 2017, his recording Simmetrie e Contrasti del Novecento was released by Dotguitar. His new recording of Anton Diabelli’s Three Sonatas, Op. 29 for guitar has been released by Sinfonica Edizioni Musicale.

Simone_18042018_©Francesca_Salamone_16 (1)


Bruno Pino Mateos / Spain

Born in Salamanca in 1997, the Spanish guitarist Bruno Pino Mateos studied at the Conservatorio Superior de Música in Salamanca, where he was awarded a degree Summa cum laude. He continued his studies at the Conservatorio Superior de Castilla y León, studying with Fernando Espí and later with Marisa Gómez. He has participated masterclasses with David Russell, Roberto Aussel, Marco Socías, Roland Dyens, Ricardo Gallén, Aniello Desiderio, Carlo Marchione and Judicaël Perroy, among others. Bruno Pino Mateos has performed at the Teatro Liceo de Salamanca and at the festivals of Coria, Amarante and Petrer. Among his numerous awards, he received First Prize at: the V International Guitar Festival of Guimarães 2018; the International Guitar Festival José Tomás Villa de Petrer Competition in the Youth category; the XIX International Guitar Competition Ciudad de Coria in the youth category; and the II Alhambra International Guitar Competition for Young People, Valencia.



Álvaro Toscano / Spain

The musical qualities of the classical guitarist Álvaro Toscano has been endorsed by his winning of more than 15 international awards, among which are First Prize at: 96th Concurso Permanente de Juventudes Musicales of Spain and Festival International de Guitarra de Guimarães in Portugal. He is also proud to have won several ‘Audience’ prizes that reflect his immense communication skills as a musician. Apart from his solo work, Álvaro Toscano was the soloist with the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra performing music by Enrique Baños. In ensemble, he has also performed with the F.I.P Guadalquivir Ensemble and the Leonor Quartet, among others, and premièred Proserpina and Brumas del Guadalquivir by Antonio Blanco Tejero at the Teatro Góngora in Cordoba. Álvaro Toscano has offered more than 70 recitals throughout Europe, highlights include his participation in the Szeged International Guitar Festival in Hungary, International Festival of Guitar José Tomás Villa de Petrer, Lope de Vega Theatre in Seville and International Guitar Festival ‘Ciudad de Coria’, in Cáceres. He also offers recitals in unusual venues such as ‘Sofar Sounds’, trying to bring classical music closer to all kinds of public. His 2021 programme, titled ‘The Cosmic Guitar’, comprises music based on ethereal, spatial and natural themes by Frederic Mompou, Antonio Blanco Tejero, Vicente Asencio and Marco Smaili.

Alvaro Toscano_foto (1)



The Harmonia Cordis International Guitar Festival is located in the city of Târgu Mureș, Romania and organised by the Harmonia Cordis Association under the artistic direction of its founder Dr Beke István Ferenc, who is a classical guitarist and chamber music teacher at the ‘Gheorghe Dima’ National Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca. The festival’s first edition took place in 2007 and its main purpose was to promote the classical guitar in Romania as well as helping the artistic development of young guitarists by giving them a chance to perform in the opening half of the concerts and by bringing in quality teachers to give masterclasses and workshops. During the festival, there are numerous conferences on music. The competitions of the guitar festival are organised in several age categories and offer substantial prizes to the winners. All of these activities serve two major goals: the popularisation of these kinds of musical events as well as building an educational platform for cultural instruction and exchange of experience and knowledge during these meetings.



Boyan Doychev / Bulgaria

Born in 1988 in Varna, Bulgaria, Boyan Doychev took his first musical steps at ‘Marin Drinov’ school under Stanimir Dikov. Later, from 1998–2006, he studied at the National Music School ‘Dobri Hristov’ with Liuben Haralambiev, Neli Nedeva and Sevdalin Stefanov. In 2012, he graduated from the National Music Academy ‘Pancho Vladigerov’ Sofia where he studied with Rossen Balkanski. As a student, Boyan Doychev received three distinguished awards as a gifted and promising student, including one from the mayor of Varna, for his contribution in fields of music and art. Boyan Doychev is a member of the ‘Friends of Classical Guitar’ association and is involved in organising ‘Days of Classical Guitar’ Festival in Varna, whose history dates back 30 years. Boyan is often performing as a soloist with the Pleven Philharmonic, New Symphonic Orchestra and the State Orchestra of National Music Academy. He has composed two works for solo guitar, which are soon to be published.

Boyan Doychev-min


Radu Vâlcu / Romania

Radu Vâlcu was born in Bucharest in 1989. His first contact with music was at the age of seven, when he started learning violin. Shortly after, he discovered classical guitar music with which he fell in love with and has never stopped playing guitar ever since. His devotion has led him to win many awards for his playing, including First Prize at Volos International Guitar Festival and First Prize at Terra Siculorum International Guitar Festival.



Nino D’Amico / Italy

Born in Salamanca in 1997, the Spanish guitarist Bruno Pino Mateos studied at the Conservatorio Superior de Música in Salamanca, where he was awarded a degree Summa cum laude. He continued his studies at the Conservatorio Superior de Castilla y León, studying with Fernando Espí and later with Marisa Gómez. He has participated masterclasses with David Russell, Roberto Aussel, Marco Socías, Roland Dyens, Ricardo Gallén, Aniello Desiderio, Carlo Marchione and Judicaël Perroy, among others. Bruno Pino Mateos has performed at the Teatro Liceo de Salamanca and at the festivals of Coria, Amarante and Petrer. Among his numerous awards, he received First Prize at: the V International Guitar Festival of Guimarães 2018; the International Guitar Festival José Tomás Villa de Petrer Competition in the Youth category; the XIX International Guitar Competition Ciudad de Coria in the youth category; and the II Alhambra International Guitar Competition for Young People, Valencia.

Nino dAmico_B&W-12


Francisco Luis / Portugal

Francisco Luis, one of the rising stars of Portuguese classical guitar, was born in Caldas da Rainha, in 1998. He started his guitar studies at the age of ten with Luís Roldão, in the Conservatory of Caldas da Rainha. After five years, he began his studies at the Music School of the National Conservatory, in Lisbon; studying guitar with Eurico Pereira, chamber music with Júlio Guerreiro and Paulo Amorim and basso continuo with Helena Raposo. He completed his Bachelor degree with distinction with Carlo Marchione, at the Maastricht Conservatorium, before beginning his Masters with Zoran Dukić at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. Francisco Luis’s numerous international awards include First Prize at both the Harmonia Cordis International Guitar Festival and the Festival International de Guitarra de Guimarães, as well Second Prize at both Uppsala International Guitar Competition and the Aalborg International Guitar Competition. In 2015, Francisco Luis was soloist in the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo with the symphony orchestra of the National Conservatory of Lisbon. His varied repertoire includes transcriptions of works by Bach, Scriabin, Telemann and Rameau. He also frequently performs classical improvisations, mixing his musical knowledge with his creativity and distinctive musical personality. He has performed in venues such as Casa da Música in Porto and the Palácio da Ajuda in Lisbon.

Francisco Luis



The International Guitar Festival José Tomás Villa de Petrer has been held since 1998. In July 2020, the festival celebrated its 23rd edition, which included the 19th International Guitar Competition José Tomás Villa de Petrer, its prize being an international tour in countries including Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Portugal and Finland, with more than 30 concerts for the winners. The festival takes place in the city of Petrer in Alicante, Spain, and offers two weeks of intensive guitar and musical activities such as masterclasses, concerts, international competitions, conferences and exhibitions. Each year, the José Tomás Honorific Guitar Award ‘in memory of the Alicante teacher’, is given to great teachers such as Léo Brouwer, David Russell, Carles Trepat, Hopkinson Smith, Roberto Aussel, Roland Dyens and Julian Bream.



Raphaël Feuillâtre / France

Raphaël Feuillâtre was born in 1996 and he started classical guitar lessons at the age of nine, first with Hacène Addadi at the Conservatoire de du Choletais, Cholet and later with Michel Grizard at the Conservatoire in Nantes. In 2014, he began his studies with Roland Dyens and his assistant Jean-Marc Zvellenreuther at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP) and received his Bachelor of Performing Arts with highest honours in 2017. He is currently working on his Masters in Classical Guitar Performance with Tristan Manoukian. Raphaël Feuillâtre has been a prizewinner at many international competitions. He is regularly invited to perform chamber music at the Folle journée de Nantes Festival and as a soloist recently performed the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo in a five-concert tour with the Ensemble Orchestral du Pau.


Davide Giovanni Tomasi / Italy

Davide Giovanni Tomasi was born in 1991 in Pavia, Italy. When he was only eighteen years old, he graduated cum laude from the ‘Guido Cantelli’ Conservatory in Novara, where he studied with Guido Fichtner. Afterwards he studied with Oscar Ghiglia at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena. He attends masterclasses with Paolo Pegoraro and Adriano Del Sal at the Segovia Academy in Pordenone and completing a Masters with Paolo Pegoraro at Kunst Universität Graz in Austria. He has won more than twenty-five prizes in international competitions such as the First Prize at the Tokyo International Guitar Competition and International Festival of Guitar José Tomás Villa de Petrer, and Second Prize at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich (the First Prize was not assigned), as well as the National Prize of Arts awarded by the Italian Ministry of Education to the best music students. He has been a D’Addario Artist since 2016



Giulia Ballaré / Italy

Giulia Ballaré was born in 1987 in Novara, Italy. She graduated from the Conservatorio Guido Cantell in Novara with Guido Fichtner with honours. At present, she is preparing her Masters with Paolo Pegoraro at Kunst Universität Graz in Austria. Despite her young age, she has already won over 25 classical guitar prizes, including first prizes at: Concurso Internacional de Guitarra Clásica ‘Comarca del Condado’, in Spain, in 2014, Concurso Internacional de Guitarra Villa de Aranda, in Spain, in 2015, Forum Gitarre Wien, in Austria, in 2016, Concurso Internacional de Guitarra ‘Ciudad de Coria’, in Spain, in 2017 and the Omiš Guitar Fest, in Croatia in 2017. Giulia Ballaré released her first recording in 2013, Lirically Spain (dotGuitar) and since then has been regularly winning competitions. She has been a D’Addario Artist since 2018. Giulia Ballaré has performed as soloist with Alessandria’s Orchestra in Italy and Musica Viva’s Orchestra of Moscow



Luis Alejandro García / Spain

Luis Alejandro García was born in Tenerife in 1993. He has more than 20 national and international awards to his credit: he has won First Prize at: the Certamen Internacional de Guitarra de Barcelona Miquel Llobet in 2017, the Concurso Permanente de Juventudes Musicales de España in 2018, the Concurso del XXIII Festival Internacional de Guitarra de Coria in 2019, and the 47th Concurso Internacional de Guitarra Fernando Sor in Madrid in 2019, among many others. Luis Alejandro García has given concerts and masterclasses in Europe, the United States and Latin America, and has collaborated with orchestras such as the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra and OSLP. In 2018, he released his first recording, Lazos sobre el Atlántico (JSM Guitar Records). He is a member of Canary Guitar Quartet, who released their first recording, called 21. In October 2019, he gave his debut recital as a soloist at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona.



Cheng Shi / China

The classical guitarist Cheng Shi was born in Liaoning Province, China in 1991. She began learning the guitar with Professor Guangxu Jiang in Shenyang in 2006. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from Shenyang Conservatorium in 2010, she left for Germany in 2014. There, she completed a one-year professional performance course (Zertfikat) with Reinbert Evers at the Musikhochschule Münster, where she completed her Masters summa cum laude in 2018. In 2020, she graduated from Musikhochschule Münster again with summa cum laude for the Konzertexamen. Early on in her studies, Cheng Shi began winning prizes, such as First Prize at the Longshan CUP in Heilongjiang in 2006, at the Internationalen Vladivostok Competition for Classical Guitar in Russia, in 2009 and First Prize at the Liaoning International Guitar Competition in 2011. Since 2016, Cheng Shi has been performing with the Korean guitarist KyungHeon Yoo, in a guitar duo called ‘Le Due’; they both are also members of the Polaris Guitar Quartet with the German guitarists Andreas Maria Marcus and Peter Kersting. Cheng Shi has been invited to perform as a soloist in recital and with orchestra in Germany, Italy, China and South Korea

Cheng Shi



The International Guitar Festival – City of Mottola, which was founded in 1992, is organised by the Associazione M. & C. Accademia della Chitarra. The distinguishing feature of the festival is its itinerant format, embracing the surrounding towns of Mottola and also cities in different provincial administrations. Usually, the Festival lasts for ten days, with an average of 70 musicians participating. The festival’s guests come from all over Italy and stay in the Ionian city. They can enjoy many festival activities, such as the International Competition of Musical Performance for Guitar, the International Competition ‘Young Guitarists’, concerts, masterclasses, the Biennial Exhibition of ‘Luiteria’ and the Orchestral Workshop for young guitarists. The festival is held in historic venues, such as Church S.S. Immacolata (Convento), Evangelical Baptist Church and the Auditorium of the A. Manzoni Junior High School.



Domenico Savio Mottola / Italy

Domenico Savio Mottola was born in Gragnano in 1993. He began to play the guitar in 2004 with Fabio Mastroianni and then with Marco Caiazza from 2006. In 2012, he began studying with Vincenzo Amabile at the Royal Conservatory San Pietro a Majella, in Naples, graduating with honours in 2015. Following this, he studied with Paolo Pegoraro and Adriano del Sal at the Segovia Guitar Academy in Pordenone and is now working towards his Masters with Frédéric Zigante at the ‘Antonio Vivaldi’ Conservatorio in Alessandria. Domenico Savio Mottola has won prizes at many competitions, including first prizes in the National Guitar Competition ‘Giulio Rospigliosi’, in Lamporecchio. in 2013, the Andrés Segovia International Guitar Competition, Pescara, in 2014 and at the Second International Guitar Competition ‘Andrés Segovia’, in Linares, Spain in 2015. Since 2009, has been performing concerts as a soloist and playing chamber music in Italy and abroad.



Dimitris Soukaras / Greece

Born in Corinth in 1995, Dimitris Soukaras received his first guitar lessons from his father, Nikos Soukaras, at the age of 11. In 2011, he began his studies with Yorgos Bechlivanoglou, for his guitar degree and guitar diploma, both with honours. He was the first student to complete the five-year course in three years at the Ionian University Department of Music Studies, with Costas Cotsiolis and Korina Vougiouka. He is completing his Masters at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Among many competition prizes and awards, he received the Academy of Athens Music Award/Scholarship in 2018. As a soloist, Dimitris Soukaras has performed with the Ionio Symphony Orchestra as well as the Athens Mandolin Orchestra ‘N. Lavdas’. He works as a composer, particularly for the theatre. Since 2016, he has been cooperating with the Theatrical Organization of Hiliomodi in Corinth and has already composed music for three theatre productions.

Dimitris Soukaras_BW-min


Carlo Curatolo / Italy

Carlo Curatolo began his studies with Pino Forresu, Francesco Taranto and Stefano Palamidessi and graduated with honours from the Conservatorio di Musica ‘G. Paisiello’ of Taranto in 2010. He continued his music studies at the Segovia Guitar Academy in Pordenone with Paolo Pegoraro and Adriano del Sal, and at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena with Oscar Ghiglia. He is currently enrolled on a postgraduate course in music performance and interpretation at the Conservatorio di Musica Arrigo Boito in Parma. He has also taken masterclasses with Carlo Domeniconi, Judicaël Perroy, Jorge Cardoso, Leo Brouwer and Carlo Marchione. Alongside his musical studies, in 2016, Carlo Curatolo achieved a Masters in Physics from Sapienza University of Rome. He has been awarded prizes in more than 30 international competitions in Italy and abroad. Since 2006, he has been performing both as soloist and in ensemble in Italy, Austria, Portugal, Slovakia and Hungary.



Eleonora Perretta / Italy

The classical guitarist Eleonora Perretta was born in Naples, in 1995, and began studying the guitar at the age of six. As early as 14, Eleonora Perretta won First Prize at the International Guitar Competition ‘Luigi Denza’ in 2010 and has continued to win prizes in national and international guitar competitions. She won First Prize at ‘Eduguitar’ International Guitar Festival in 2016. In 2018, she graduated summa cum laude from the Conservatory of Music ‘San Pietro a Majella’, Naples, where she studied with Vincenzo Amabile. She also studied with Aniello Desiderio at ‘Stefano Strata’ Academy in Pisa. In 2020, Eleonora Perretta won the ‘Special Edition Prize’ at Koblenz International Guitar Competition and First Prize at Mottola Festival International Competition. She is currently studying with Aniello Desiderio for a Masters at the Conservatorio di Musica ‘Domenico Cimarosa’ in Avellino, and with Paolo Pegoraro at Segovia Guitar Academy in Pordenone, Italy. Eleonora Perretta has several recording projects for DotGuitar records: as soloist, she is recording a collection of guitar sonatas, as well as an album dedicated to J.S. Bach; in duo, with Lucio Matarazzo, a première recording of music by Ida Presti for two guitars. They are also working on Perretta–Matarazzo Collection of original music and transcriptions for two guitars for the publisher Ut Orpheus; the first volume is of Scarlatti’s Sonatas.

Eleonora Peretta



The International Guitar Festival Nürtingen is an internationally renowned festival, which takes place every two years in the beautiful town of Nürtingen, close to Stuttgart in Germany. Since 1995, guitarists from all over the world have met in the town hall and in the Kreuzkirche church to enjoy around 15 concerts throughout the week. Guitar students can participate in public masterclasses or workshops held by the visiting artists and spend their leisure time either at the exhibition or in cafés nearby. The young guitar players are the future – that’s why the International Guitar Festival Nürtingen places emphasis on the promotion of opportunities for young guitarists. The international guitar competition at Nürtingen is always a major attraction for audiences and guitar students and not only because of the substantial prizes offered. The winner of the Audience Award is invited to play a concert at the following festival.



Jesse Flowers / Australia/Germany

Born in Sydney, Jesse Flowers was inspired to pursue a career in music from a young age. He completed his Bachelor of Music at the Australian National University studying with Minh Le Hoang and Timothy Kain. In 2014, he moved to Germany to further his studies with Tilman Hoppstock at the Akademie für Tonkunst Darmstadt. He completed his Masters of Music at the Universität der Künste Berlin with Thomas Müller-Pering. The Australian composer Phillip Houghton was an important mentor throughout his studies. Currently based in Berlin, Jesse Flowers is developing a reputation as an exciting talent among the next generation of classical guitarists. Further recent awards include the Musicians’ Company Award 2018/2019 New Elizabethan Award. In 2017/2018, he performed over 20 chamber music recitals throughout Germany as part of the Bundesauswahl Konzerte für Jünger Künstler

Jesse Flowers_EuroStrings Winner 2018


Peter Graneis / Germany

Peter Graneis was born in Stuttgart and received his first guitar lessons at the age of nine. As a young scholar, he began his studies with Johannes Monno at Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart, where he later received a Bachelor of Music degree with distinction. After completing a Master of Music under the tutelage of Professor Zoran Dukić at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, Peter Graneis continued with Zoran Dukić at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, the Netherlands. There, he published a research exposition on classical guitar technique and received his Master of Music degree in 2018 with distinction. Peter Graneis performs as part of Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now scheme and is a scholarship holder of the prestigious German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). He recorded his first CD, Portraits (Trekkel Records) in 2017. He regularly gives recitals in Europe



Bianka Szalaty / Poland

Bianka Szalaty was born in Wrocław, Poland, in 1994. She first performed with orchestra at the age of 13 – Concerto in D by Antonio Vivaldi with the Koszalin Philharmonic Orchestra; since then Bianka Szalaty has played the guitar concertos by Joaquín Rodrigo, Manuel Maria Ponce and Heitor Villa-Lobos. Currently, she is preparing for her Konzertexamen with Tomasz Zawierucha at the Folkwang Universität der Künste in Essen. She completed her Masters at the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań with Łukasz Kuropaczewski. As a soloist, Bianka Szalaty has been a prizewinner at numerous international competitions – she won First prize at the 10th J.S. Bach International Guitar Competition in Tokyo, Concorso Internazionale di Chitarra ‘Alirio Diaz’ in Rome and at the International Guitar Competition Nürtingen in Germany – and has received scholarships from the Ministry of Culture and Prime Minister of Poland. She performs music by John Dowland and J.S. Bach, as well as more modern music by Leo Brouwer, Stephen Dodgson and Peteris Vasks. Bianka Szalaty has given solo and duo concerts at many international festivals in Moscow, Brno and Copenhagen. She has a duo with the lyric mezzo-soprano, Ewelina Koniec, Meninas Duo, for which she transcribes the music of Leonard Bernstein, Benjamin Britten, Francis Poulenc as well as Manuel de Falla and Karol Szymanowski.

Bianka Szalaty



The International Guitar Festival Rust was founded by Gabriel Guillén in 1999. Since that time, the festival has grown into one of the most important guitar festivals in Europe. Initially, the festival was dedicated to international composer, tutor and journalist John W. Duarte, who passed away in 2005. Now, the International Guitar Festival Rust is dedicated to the memory of the virtuoso Venezuelan guitarist Alirio Diaz, who died in 2016. The Festival consists of five concerts (inaugural concerts, recitals, the winners’ gala and award ceremony), masterclasses, workshops, an international competition, and an exhibition of instruments and sheet music. Rust’s International Guitar Competition is judged by a panel of Austrian and international experts. In 2017, a composition competition for the promotion of classical guitar music was held for the first time. It was a great success with more than 40 contributions from composers from all over the world.



Niklas Johansen / Denmark

Niklas Johansen was born in 1989 in Copenhagen and began playing the guitar at the age of nine. He studied with Jesper Sivebæk at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. He completed his Master in Classical Guitar Performance, University of Alicante, Spain, in 2013 and spent a further year studying abroad with Ricardo Gallén at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar, Germany in 2014. He has received international acclaim through winning First Prize in a number of international competitions, such as the 21st International Guitar Competition in Mottola, Italy in 2015, the 6th International Guitar Competition in Berlin, Germany in 2016, the 3rd International Guitar Competition in Pleven, Bulgaria, in 2017 and the Shenyang International Guitar Competition, China in 2016. He regularly performs as a soloist and in chamber ensembles. In 2016, he released his debut recording with the Italian label dotGuitar.

Niklas Johansen-min


Mateusz Kowalski / Poland

Born in Koszalin, Poland in 1995, Mateusz started learning guitar at the age of seven. He went on to study with Ryszard Bałauszko at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, where he graduated with honours. Since October 2019, he has been teaching at The Frederic Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. He was awarded a scholarship winner by the Polish KFnRD and Ministry of Culture and National Heritage programme ‘Young Poland’. Mateusz recorded his debut CD, Mateusz Kowalski Classical Guitarist, in 2018 with the Polish label CD Accord, distributed by NAXOS. He is also a scholarship winner of the polish KFnRD and Ministry of Culture and National Heritage programme ‘Young Poland’. As part of winning First Prize in the Second EuroStrings Guitar Competition in July 2019, Mateusz Kowalski has embarked on an international concert tour in Europe, America and Asia, where he is being received with critical acclaim. Classical Guitar Magazine describes him as a ‘spectacular’ musician with ‘truly breathtaking’ interpretations.



Agustín Nazzetta / Argentina

Agustín Nazzetta has studied with three renowned Argentinian guitar players Pablo Márquez, María Isabel Siewers and Javier Bravo. Born in 1990 in Argentina, he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in music from the National Arts University Institute (IUNA) Department of Musical Arts ‘Carlos López Buchardo’, studying with Javier Bravo. In 2012, he pursued a Masters at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg with María Isabel Siewers. He currently studies in Basel, Switzerland with Pablo Márquez. In February 2011, he was selected by the 2011 La Falda International Classical Guitar Meet as a soloist in a series of concerts with the Orchestra of the National Congress. He won First Prize at both the Incontri Chitarristici di Gargnano in Italy and the International Guitar Festival Rust 2019 in Austria. In addition to his career as a soloist, his interest in contemporary music has led him to work with young composers, ensembles and conductors.



Jiujiu Wu / China

Jiujiu Wu was born in 2001. At the age of nine, he began to learn classical guitar with his father. He later studied with Bing Wu. Jiujiu Wu has been educated and cultivated by Associate Professor Bao Xu of Sichuan Conservatory of Music and the Chinese guitarist You Wang. Jiujiu Wu’s studies with Guillem Pérez-Quer at the Liceu Conservatory of Music, in Barcelona, also offered many performing opportunities. Jiujiu Wu has won awards at international competitions, including Third Prize in the 14th Boston International Guitar Festival Competition in 2019, Second Prize of Shenzhen Guitar Art Festival in 2020 and First Prize at the International Guitar Festival ‘Alirio Diaz’ 2020 in Rust, Austria. As a soloist, Jiujiu Wu enjoys repertoire such as La Maja de Goya by Enrique Granados and Serenata Española by Joaquín Malats, contrasted with the virtuosic Caprice No. 24 by Paganini. His flute and guitar repertoire includes Valses Poéticos by Enrique Granados, Astor Piazzolla’s Café 1930 and the Sonatina Burlesca by Herbert Baumann. Jiujiu Wu arranges music, from J.S. Bach’s Chorales: ‘Nun komm der Heiden Heiland’, BWV 599 and G.F. Handel’s Allegro in D minor, HWV 475, to songs from Japanese anime, such as ‘I Always Smile, But My Eyes are Sad’ by Keiichi Oku from Marmalade Boy. He also plays pop and jazz music on fingerstyle guitar.

Jiujiu Wu



London Guitar Festival is one of four or five annual festivals, which the International Guitar Foundation (IGF) presents in the UK, alongside concert series, summer schools and outreach projects. IGF is a charitable organisation (nonprofit) founded in May 1994. Its work is defined by the LISTEN.PLAY.CREATE programme, which features the guitar as the ideal vehicle for diverse and accessible concert and festival programming (Listen), participatory music making (Play) and an extensive new music commissioning programme (Create). IGF stages a range of events nationwide including festivals in London, the northeast (Newcastle and Gateshead) and south-west (Bath). Two of IGF’s key objectives are young artist development and the commissioning of new music: so far 97 from mostly mainstream composers including Terry Riley, Max Richter, Kevin Volans, Léo Brouwer, Sérgio Assad, Howard Skempton, Laura Snowden and Errollyn Wallen. IGF has presented 232 world, European and UK premières of works for guitar solo and in ensemble. IGF’s young artist development programmes offer performance opportunities to young guitarists as well as training in subjects such as PR and marketing and business skills. Many of its alumni and laureates have gone on to important international careers such as Ana Vidovic, Laura Snowden, Amanda Cook and Daniela Rossi.



Giacomo Susani / Italy

Giacomo Susani was born in Padua in 1995. He started playing the guitar at the age of seven and eventually studied with Stefano Grondona in Italy, graduating with the highest marks and honours in 2013. He continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, with Michael Lewin, where he has completed his Bachelor of Music, gaining First Class Honours and Bach Fund Prize, and is now studying for his Masters. He was awarded the prestigious Julian Bream Trust Scholarship, after an audition with Julian Bream himself. Giacomo Susani has regularly taken part in guitar competitions from an early age, always obtaining excellent results. In 2015, he released his first solo recording Giacomo Susani plays Petrassi, Bach, Tansman, Weiss (Stradivarius). He composes and often premières his own works. He is the Artistic Director of Momùs-More Music, a Musical Association based in Italy, which promotes and organises classical music concerts.



Emmanuel Sowicz / United Kingdom / Chile

Born in London to British and Chilean parents, Emmanuel graduated from the University of Chile in 2014 with Ernesto Quezada. He later received a scholarship to study under Michael Lewin at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he completed his Master of Arts and Advanced Diploma with Distinction, the DipRAM award for an outstanding final recital, and the Dove Prize for an outstanding studentship. He also completed a postgraduate course with Marco Tamayo at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg. Radio Beethoven FM in Chile described Emmanuel Sowicz as ‘the next star of the guitar’, demonstrated by his increasingly prestigious performances as a soloist and with orchestra. Recent engagements include performances at London’s Barbican, Abbey Road Studios, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Kings Place, Canterbury Festival, and a televised concert as soloist with the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Chile under maestro Maximiano Valdés.



George Tarlton / United Kingdom

From a young age, George Tarlton began singing with the South London-based choir ‘Libera’, performing on television, for recordings and in concerts in Britain and abroad. The guitar later became an all-consuming passion and he studied with Robert Brightmore and David Miller as a scholarship student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, graduating with first-class honours in 2015. In 2015, he performed Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez as a soloist with the Cerddorfa Dinas Powys Orchestra. In 2012, he formed the Housden-Tarlton Duo with Jiva Housden. The duo went on to perform on IGF’s Young Artist Platform, including a concert at London Guitar Festival 2018, where they premièred a work written for them by the composer Errollyn Wallen. George is also a member of the Mela Guitar Quartet, who released their recording of Stephen Dodgson’s Guitar Chamber Works in 2017 and a second album called Pluck, Strum, and Hammer in 2018.



Kevin Loh / Singapore

Born in Singapore, Kevin Loh is one of the leading classical guitarists of his generation, having won many international awards, including the Cambridge University Musical Society Concerto Competition and, in 2020, London International Guitar Competition. Kevin Loh has performed at Wigmore Hall, London, Konzerthaus Berlin and Suntory Hall, Tokyo. In 2013, he premièred the Guitar Concerto by Bernard Tan with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. In 2019, as Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s ‘President’s Young Performer’, he performed the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo. Kevin Loh’s broad repertoire includes Bach, Dowland and Weiss, his arrangements and transcriptions of Schubert and Schumann, as well as modern works by Stephen Dodgson, Graham Fitkin and Steve Reich. Kevin Loh is passionate about giving back to society. He actively visits schools to share more about the guitar and music education. He also raises funds in Singapore and in the region for various charities and initiatives such as ChildAid, to provide opportunities for underprivileged children to have exposure in the arts. Kevin Loh studied with Richard Wright for seven years at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Britain. After finishing two years of mandatory military service in the Singapore Armed Forces, he is now pursuing his undergraduate degree in Music at Girton College, University of Cambridge as the College Music Scholar and a scholar of the Loke Cheng-Kim Foundation.




The Montenegro International Guitar Competition was founded in 2006 under the auspices of Nikšić Guitar Festival and the patronage of the Nikšić Municipality. Since then, it has established itself as a significant professional and international event, with the aim of promoting the highest achievements in the contemporary performance of classical guitar. Due to its rich prize pool, the competition has been recognised as an important opportunity in the career development of young classical guitarists. The award winners of the previous editions have come from all over the world and many are today the leading guitarists of the younger generation. Until recently, Montenegro International Guitar Competition had been the only professional competition for classical music in Montenegro, which was broadcast live by RTV Atlas until 2016, and since 2017, the competition has been broadcast live on National Television RTCG. The competition is organised by NGO Anagastum Guitar Society and Montenegrin Music Centre.



Antoine Morinière / France

Antoine Morinière first started guitar with Jean-Luc Rocchietti, continuing then with Olivier Chassain at the Conservatoire Jacques Thibaud in Bordeaux, where he graduated with the highest jury distinction. In 2016, Antoine Morinière obtained his Masters degree with the highest distinction from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP), where again he studied with Olivier Chassain. He also received professional guidance from Jérémy Jouve during two years. Antoine Morinière is now in pedagogic studies at the CNSMDP and he teaches in the Conservatoire de Saint-Maur-des-Fossés in France. The Japanese composer Rikako Watanabe dedicated his piece Suite pour guitare to Antoine. He performs in a guitar clarinet duo with the clarinettist Raphaël Sévère, in a guitar duo with Thibaut Garcia, and with the soprano Marianne Croux, the violinist Marianne Pikett and the pianist Jean F. Neuburger.



Julia Trintschuk / Germany

Julia Trintschuk was just four years old when she began playing guitar, studying initially with her father Anatoli Trintschuk and then, at age six, became a student of Mario Sicca in Stuttgart. Later, she also studied with Martin Wiedmann, Johannes Monno, Ivo and Sofia Kaltchev and Mateus dela Fonte. Julia Trintschuk launched her career at the age of 16 with a performance of Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra by Joaquín Rodrigo. She has won numerous prizes in competitions such as the Certamen Internacional de Guitarra de Barcelona Miquel Llobet and the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, and first prizes at the International Bratislava Guitar Youth Competition, the Hannabach Guitar Competition, the Heinrich Albert Guitar Competition, as well as the special prize for the best interpretation of romantic music at the Forum Gitarre Wien. She made her debut recording in May 2017. She has been a ‘Savarez Artist’ since 2017.



Silvio Bilić / Croatia

Silvio Bilić started playing guitar at the age of eight in the small town of Omiš with Neno Munitić. In 2017, he began his studies with Maroje Brčić at the Arts Academy of Split. Since 2008, he has won 20 first prizes as a soloist and 12 first prizes as a member of chamber ensembles at competitions such as the International Competition for Young Guitarists ‘Andrés Segovia’ in Velbert, Germany, the Montenegro Guitar Competition, the Concorso Internazionale di Chitarra Classica ‘Enrico Mercatali’ in Gorizia, Italy, and the Omiš Guitar Fest and Poreč Fest in Croatia. In 2014, 2017 and 2019, Silvio Bilić won the award ‘Oscar of Knowledge’ from the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports for winning the First Prize at the National Competition both as a soloist and as a member of chamber ensembles. He often works in collaboration with well-known Croatian actors at various cultural events.



Marcin Kuźniar / Poland

Marcin Kuźniar was born in Krakow, Poland, in 1992. He started studying the guitar at the age of six with Adam Makowski and, later, with Wlodzimierz Lerner. During his university years, he worked with Alina Gruszka, Marcin Dylla and Paolo Pegoraro. By age 20, he had performed the Concierto de Aranjuez and Fantasia para un Gentilhombre by Joaquín Rodrigo, and Concerto by Heitor Villa-Lobos – all with orchestra; and later also Concierto del Sur by Manuel María Ponce and Guitar Concerto, Op. 36 by Mauro Giuliani. By 25, he had won prizes in about 40 guitar competitions, such as Grand Prize at Ex-Aequo International Classical Guitar Competition, New York, in 2020, Special Prize for the Best Interpretation of Contemporary Music at Forum Gitarre, Vienna, in 2019. Marcin Kuźniar has a strong interest in performing the works of contemporary composers not often heard in guitar recitals, such as Tristram Cary and Tristan Murail. His debut CD of 2018, Song Without Words, includes works by Richard Rodney Bennett, Alan Rawsthorne and György Ligeti complemented with a transcription of Moments Musicaux by Schubert (rarely performed on guitar), and music by Mertz and Tárrega/Arcas. During 2020, he released videos of Escarraman by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Variations on a Theme of Debussy by Tilman Hoppstock, and began to transcribe music by Polish composers Penderecki, Weinberg, Szymanowski and Lutoslawski.

Logo FIGP-min



The Paris International Guitar Festival, which is celebrating its 16th edition this year, continues in its ambition to promote the classical guitar. For 35 years, Paris was a major international centre for the classical guitar, which had at its heart the prestigious International Guitar Competition of Radio France, created by Robert J. Vidal (1925–2002). When this event ended in 1996, guitar concerts became a rarity in Parisian cultural life. Addressing this void was the impetus behind the establishment of the Paris International Guitar Festival by the Association ‘Vous avez dit guitare?’ The objective of the annual Paris International Guitar Festival is to offer a high quality programme featuring some of the most prestigious guitar players in the world giving concerts and masterclasses, and to establish an international competition, a luthier exposition and a venue for the promotion of young guitarists.



Cassie Martin / France

Cassie Martin started playing the guitar at the age of five and, by the age of nine, was already win prizes in competitions. More recently, she won First Prize at: the International Guitar Competition in Béarn, at the Roland Dyens-Révélations International Competition Classical Guitar Magazine in 2018, and at the International Competition in Carry-le-Rouet. After training at the Conservatoire d’Orléans with Josiane Rabemananjara, she entered the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional in Paris, where she studied with Gérard Abiton and obtained her Diplôme d’Études Musicales. She has participated in masterclasses with Jérémy Jouve and Judicaël Perroy. In 2018, she worked with Sérgio Assad and played Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Guitar Concerto No. 1, conducted by Xavier Delette with the youth orchestra of the Conservatoire, in at concert at the CRR in Paris. Presently, she divides her time between the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Dance in Paris, where she studies with Olivier Chassain, and performing, which is her absolute love, with repertoire ranging from early to contemporary music.



François-Xavier Dangremont / France

François-Xavier Dangremont began playing guitar at the Le Mans Conservatory in Brigitte Palisson’s class, with whom he obtained his Diplôme d’étude musicale (DEM). After having followed a specialised course with Tania Chagnot at Hay-lesRoses, he entered Judicaël Perroy’s class at the Pôle d’enseignement supérieur de Lille (ESMD). In 2017, he obtained his diplomas in musicology, performance (DNSPM) and pedagogy (DE). Eager to develop as an interpreter, he participated in several international competitions, winning First Prize at: the Concours International de Carry-le-Rouet in 2017, in France; Concurso Internacional de Guitarra ‘Ciudad de Coria’, in Spain in 2018; and at Kutna Hora International Biennial Guitar Competition, in Czechia in 2019; and Second Prize at: the Amarante International Guitar Competition, in 2018, in Portugal, the Alberto Ponce International Competition, in France, and the Forum Gitarre Wien International Competition, in Austria; as well as Third Prize at the Koblenz International Guitar Competition, in Germany. Inspired as much by the great works of the repertoire as by the search for forgotten pieces, François-Xavier Dangremont performs early music such as Francesco da Milano, to Dionisio Aguado through to the twentieth-century composers such as Eduardo López-Chavarri and Sérgio Assad in his concerts. In 2020, he began teaching at the Conservatoire de Grenoble and also organises a guitar workshop at the Carlton Hotel in Lille, with Raphaël Feuillâtre and Antoine Fougeray.




The GuitArt Festival is an event driven by the passion of the local musical community for the guitar and its ability to unite professional musicians and amateurs from diverse cultural backgrounds. As one of the most popular and widely played musical instruments, the guitar is celebrated in all its facets. The festival aims to be an educational and social platform for the development of Bulgarian musical talent, and to underscore the place of the guitar in the history and development of modern music across the globe. By organising workshops with local and world-renowned guitarists and educators, panel discussions with popular local musicians, an expo of Bulgarian guitar manufacturers and musical instrument importers, free lessons, showcases, film screenings and children’s activities, the festival immerses its visitors in the world of the guitar in all its colours.



George Dimitrov / Bulgaria

Born in Sofia in 2000, George Dimitrov began his classical guitar studies at the age of ten with Stolina Dobreva and Tsvetan Andreev at the National School of Music ‘L. Pipkov’, Sofia; he graduated in 2018. He is a student of Paolo Pegoraro at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria. George Dimitrov won the Olga Kamburova Award at the Bulgarian Annual Ceremony ‘Musician of the Year’, of Bulgarian National Radio in 2017. He made his solo concert debut with the Sofia Soloists Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Plamen Djuroff, in 2017. His first recording, performing Tres Piezas Españolas by Joaquín Rodrigo and La Catedral by Agustín Barrios Mangoré, was released by Bulgarian National Radio. George Dimitrov performs regularly as a soloist with orchestra at music events such as the Art Foundation Stoyan Kambarev Annual Charity Ball in London under the patronage of HRH Prince Kyril of Bulgaria, among many others.

George Dimitrov-min


Pavel Ralev / Bulgaria

Pavel Ralev is a Bulgarian guitarist based in London. Shortly after his first guitar lessons at age twelve, Pavel began studying with Milena and Valentin Valtchev at the National School of Music and Dance Arts ‘Dobrin Petkov’ in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He studied with Michael Lewin at the Royal Academy of Music, London on a full scholarship and received his Masters with distinction from the University of Surrey with guitarist-composer Professor Stephen Goss. Pavel Ralev has performed live on both the Bulgarian National Radio and Television, and in venues such as Royal Academy of Music, London, University of Surrey, House of Commons, St. James’ Piccadilly and Bulgarian National Opera. He often performs music by young composers such as Stanislav Hvartchilkov, Giacomo Susani and Kiril Boshikyov. Pavel Ralev is a founding member of the Metropolitan Guitar Quartet, together with guitarists Michael Butten, Giacomo Susani and Emmanuel Sowicz, who made their debut in October 2019.



Jack Hancher / United Kingdom

Jack Hancher is an award winning classical guitarist. He completed his Master in Performance at the Royal College of Music (RCM), London in 2018 where he studied with Gary Ryan and Chris Stell and won the RCM Guitar Award 2014 while still in his second year as an undergraduate. In 2020, Jack Hancher won First Prize at both the Zagreb Guitar Festival Competition and the Plovdiv GuitArt Festival Competition. He was also awarded Fourth Prize at the Changsha International Guitar Competition 2020. In 2015, in duo with the guitarist Haydn Bateman, he performed for the IGF Aspire Stage Concert at Kings Place, and later that year as a soloist at Proms at St Jude’s performing music by Rodrigo, Piazzolla and Houghton. In 2017, he was accepted onto the International Guitar Foundation (IGF) Young Artists Platform, and performed at the IGF London Guitar Festival at Kings Place in October that year. Jack Hancher made his debut at Wigmore Hall, London, in July 2018, performing his arrangements of Albeniz’s piano music and at the Cheltenham Contemporary Arts Festival with music by Arnold, Britten and Dowland. He has performed in European venues such as the Großer Ehrbar Saal, Vienna and the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi, Turin.

jac hancher-min


Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo International Guitar Festival has a continuing history of nourishing art music in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was established in 2011 by the Association of Guitarists in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the desire to advance the art of guitar playing in the country. Since then, the festival has offered over 40 concerts by internationally renowned guitarists, while the educational component has featured lecturers and pedagogues from over 20 countries, whose workshops have been attended by over 700 young guitarists, teachers and professors. The main goals of the festival include strengthening national and international cooperation among artists, pedagogues and instrument makers, all of whom, by forging mutual ties, allow students to elevate their own knowledge to a higher level and spread their positive artistic experiences and impressions of Bosnia and Herzegovina across the world. Thus, the Sarajevo International Guitar Festival structure is based on four fundamental elements: concerts, an international guitar competition in five categories, masterclasses and a Guitar Expo aimed at promoting regional instrument makers.



Vedran Vujica / Bosnia

Vedran Vujica was born in 1993, in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), where he finished Elementary and Secondary Music School with Lejla Ekinović and Igor Mijatović. He graduated in 2016 from the Music academy in Sarajevo, where he studied with Đani Šehu. During his studies, he participated in many national and international competitions (in BiH, Croatia, Montenegro and Italy), where he received numerous awards. He is a member of the Sarajevo Guitar Quartet, with which he performed a series of concerts. The Quartet has also performed at three international competitions where they won prizes. Guitarras Contreras have generously loaned one of their guitars for him to perform on as a EuroStrings Artist. He is currently studying for his Master’s Degree of Musical Arts in Sarajevo.



Viktor Đuknić / Serbia

Viktor Đuknić began playing at the age of eight. In 2011, he enrolled in the Faculty of Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia, studying with Zoran Krajišnik and later completed his Masters there with Srđan Tošić, receiving highest commendations. He was awarded a scholarship by the Embassy of Azerbaijan as the most relevant soloist of the Faculty of Arts in Novi Sad. He has worked with renowned professors such Ernesto Bitetti, Roman Viazovskiy, István Römer and Johannes Möller, among others. Since 2014, Viktor Đuknić has been winning prizes in many competitions continues to impress audiences. He was the soloist in a performance of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Romancero Gitano, Op. 152, with the choir of Faculty of Arts in Novi Sad in 2016.



Jonas Egholm / Denmark

Jonas Egholm was born in 1997 and started playing the guitar at the age of seven. As a ten-year old, he went on his first concert tour in Denmark and Germany as part of winning the First Prize in the Danish National Symphony Orchestra’s competition for young musicians. He is currently finishing his Masters in classical guitar at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen with professors Jesper Sivebæk and Per Pålsson. Jonas has performed as a soloist with the South Denmark Philharmonic Orchestra, Vejle Symphony Orchestra and the Fredericia City Orchestra. He regularly performs at music events and festivals in Denmark, China, Japan, Germany, Sweden and the Faroe Islands; he has upcoming concerts and tours in France, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Turkey, Faroe Islands and more. In January 2020, he will start the Master in Classical Guitar Performance at the University of Alicante, Spain.



Özberk Miraç Sarıgül / Turkey

The Turkish guitarist Özberk Miraç Sarıgül was born in 2000. From a young age, he began performing not only as a soloist but also with orchestra, including performances of the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo with the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in 2017, and the Fantasía para un Gentilhombre by Joaquín Rodrigo with BGSO in 2019. As a soloist, he plays a broad range of repertoire, from the Elizabethan music of John Dowland, to the Baroque music of J.S. Bach to more contemporary music by Joaquín Rodrigo, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Joaquín Turina. In 2018, Özberk Miraç Sarıgül was selected for the prestigious 8th Donizetti Classical Music Awards for ‘Under 18, Musician of the Year’ in Turkey. He has won prizes in many national and international competitions, winning First Prize at the International Istanbul Guitar Festival Competition, at the Estonia Lions – Thomas Kuti European Classical Guitar Competition and at the Florida Guitar Foundation’s Virtual Competition Intermediate Division in 2020. Sarıgül is currently studying in Bilkent University Music and Performing Arts Faculty with Kağan Korad and has had masterclasses with leading guitarists such as Leo Brouwer, Pepe Romero, Aniello Desiderio, Hopkinson Smith, David Russell and Hubert Käppel. Özberk Miraç Sarıgül has performed in duo with Mesut Özgen at the Türkiye Gitar Buluşması Festival, as well as being invited as soloist to perform there and at other festivals.




The Szeged International Guitar Festival (Szeged IGF) is a multi-venue, regional festival in Hungary for open-minded and curious fans of the guitar, which presents diverse music genres, innovative combinations of various art forms, an exciting competition and a showcase for the young stars of classical guitar, as well as a networking platform for amateurs and professionals. Since 2018, the festival has presented its wide range of programmes not only in the city of Szeged, but also in its neighbouring regions. These performances are often sold out quickly as Szeged IGF invites great guitar maestros from all over the world. The Szeged IGF was founded by the guitarist-composer Dávid Pavlovits in 1999. The aim of the festival is not only to create a long-lasting tradition in Szeged, but also to bring internationally acclaimed musicians to local audiences every year.



Péter Girán / Hungary

Péter Girán was born in Hungary in 1994. He started playing the guitar at the
age of eight. Since then, he has received several prizes both in national and
international competitions. Some of his recent achievements include the first
prize in international competitions in Budapest, Szeged, Belgrade, and the third
prize and the audience prize in Gorizia. He graduated at the University of
Szeged in 2017 under professors Dávid Pavlovits and András Csáki.



Gábor Hart / Hungary

Gábor Hart was born in 1995 and has been immersed in professional music since his childhood. Inspired by rock music, he started playing guitar at the age of 11 and he is proud to say that his music is still influenced by rock. In 2010, he was admitted to Szeged Music Secondary School where he studied with Andrea Bozóki. During this period, he fell passionately in love with classical music. He studied at the University of Szeged Music faculty, where he was mentored Dávid Pavlovits and András Csáki. Gábor Hart has been working at the Szeged National Theatre since 2016, playing not only classical guitar but also electric guitar and sometimes even banjo. He is also often performing in rock/funk/jazz bands and with chamber ensembles. This varied background has brought him success at international classical guitar competitions, where he has won a number of first prizes.



Dávid Fellegi / Hungary

Born in 1995 in Pécs, Dávid Fellegi started studying the guitar at the age of eight. After winning a number of competitions, he studied at the High School of Arts of Pécs with Tamás Straub, where he also showed an interest in composition. In 2014, he began his studies with András Csáki and József Eötvös at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he completed both his Bachelor’s degree with honours and his Masters. He has participated in masterclasses with Roberto Aussel, Costas Cotsiolis, Ricardo Gallén and Judicaël Perroy, among others. Dávid Felligi’s interests cover both classical and jazz music. As a composer, he won First Prize and the ‘Special Prize for Best Composition’ at the 2019 International Guitar Contest of Szeged. Dávid premièred his own Sonata Fantasy for solo guitar in November 2018; and the Venti Chiavi Guitar Trio premièred his Mixations in October 2016.



Marcell Nickmann / Hungary

Marcell Nickmann was born in Budapest, Hungary and started playing the classical guitar at 14 with his first teacher, Sándor Árok. He quickly achieved success in regional and national competitions, winning several first prizes, which offered opportunities such as performing with the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Chamber Orchestra in their matinée series. In 2016, he began studying with Andrea Bozóki at the Music Faculty of University of Szeged. Since 2018, he has been working with Dávid Pavlovits. In 2019, after finishing his Bachelor degree, Marcell Nickmann won Third Prize in the Tallinn International Guitar Competition and Second Prize in the Harmonia Cordis International Guitar Competition. Marcell Nickmann is involved in contemporary music projects playing in different chamber formations. In February 2019, he premièred Claude Vivier’s Pour guitare in Hungary, and with his duo partner, the guitarist Dóra Cserenyec, they premièred Salita in discesa – a microtonal work written for them by the electroacoustic composer Ákos Nagy. In 2020, as well as continuing to première pieces in Hungary with Dóra Cserenyec, and performing Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Tierkreis, Marcell Nickmann began to focus on early music, recently transcribing the works of the French Baroque composer Louis Couperin. In October 2020, Marcell Nickmann won First Prize in the Szeged International Guitar Competition.




The Tallinn Guitar Festival’s objective is to develop the guitar culture in Estonia and more widely in the rest of Europe. The festival has been running since 2006 and is a significant entity in the Baltic states and in Europe generally. It offers concerts, seminars, workshops and masterclasses as well as educational events for guitar teachers. The Tallinn Guitar Festival is a part of a cultural network of 40 different events in Estonia. It takes an active role in the cultural sector and has launched several innovative projects. Tallinn Guitar Festival also has strong connections with other European guitar festivals and professionals in the arts internationally and offers experience in music project management and international cultural affairs.



Andrea Roberto / Italy

Andrea Roberto was born in Foggia, Italy in 1995. He began studying guitar at age of four with his father. At nine years of age, he was admitted to the Conservatorio di Musica Umberto Giordano in Foggia to study with Sandro Torlontano; by the age of 14, he received his diploma with honours. Subsequently, he studied with Aniello Desiderio both in Naples and at the Koblenz International Guitar Academy in Germany. He completed his studies with Carlo Marchione at the Conservatorium Maastricht in the Netherlands. Andrea Roberto has won numerous prizes and awards. In June 2010, he won the Valter Cococcia Prize as the youngest graduate of all conservatories in Italy with the highest grades. Since May 2012, when he was selected to participate in the Parkening International Guitar Competition – the youngest guitarist in the history of the competition – he has continued to win prizes at numerous international competitions.



Tomasz Radziszewski / Poland

After graduating from the Grażyna Bacewicz Elementary School of Music in Nowa Sól and the Mieczysław Karłowicz Secondary Music School in Zielona Góra, Tomasz Radziszewski now studies at the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław with Piotr Zaleski, the teacher of many of Poland’s finest guitarists. Tomasz Radziszewski was awarded the ‘Eurydiki Prize’ by the mayor of Zielona Góra city for his artistic achievements. In 2014, in duo with the guitarist Monika Konik, Tomasz Radziszewski recorded a collection of easy pieces for elementary school students, composed by Zdzisław Musiał. He is also a tenor and has sung in the National Forum of Music conducted by Andrzej Kosendiak in a number of opera projects as well as with Warsaw Chamber Opera. Not only is Tomasz Radziszewski an awarding winning guitarist and a tenor but he is also a composer, and has composed chamber music for guitar, string quartets and an opera.



Ema Kapor / Serbia

Ema Kapor was born in 1998 in Belgrade, where she graduated from Stanković Music School having studied with Boris Đujić. Afterwards, she completed two years of study at the Koblenz International Guitar Academy, Germany with Hubert Käppel. Currently, she is studying at the Cologne University of Music and Dance with Hubert Käppel. Ema has taken summer courses at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg with Marco Tamayo, the Zbaszyn International Masterclass, Poland with Łukasz Kuropaczewski and the International Music Academy – MusicAlp in Tignes, France with Judicaël Perroy, as well as masterclasses with Oscar Ghiglia, Pepe Romero, David Russell, among many others. Ema Kapor has won more than 40 prizes at national and international guitar competitions. She regularly gives solo recitals in Europe. As a soloist, she has performed Joaquín Rodrigo’s Fantasia para un Gentilhombre in Timisoara, Romania and in Belgrade. Ema Kapor is promoted by the association Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now – Cologne



Steve Cowan / Canada

The Canadian guitarist Steve Cowan has performed as a soloist and in ensemble throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. His debut album of Canadian music, Pour guitare (McGill Records, 2016), helped to establish him as ‘one of Canada’s top contemporary classical guitarists’ (Classical Guitar Magazine). In 2018– 2019, Steve Cowan made his concerto debut with Ensemble del Arte in Germany, his New York solo recital debut, and released his second solo recording Arctic Sonata (EMEC discos). As a chamber musician, Steve Cowan performs regularly with Forestare, a Montréal-based string ensemble; in 2022, he will tour New Zealand with flutist Hannah Darroch, as well as the Canadian Prairies with guitarist Adam Cicchillitti. The Cowan–Cicchillitti duo has premièred 15 new works and released an album of Canadian music titled FOCUS (Analekta, 2019); their next recording, Impressions intimes (Analekta, 2021), features original arrangements of Debussy, Ravel, Mompou and Tailleferre. Steve Cowan has won awards at ten national and international competitions, including First Prize at the Tallinn Guitar Competition in Estonia. Originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Steve Cowan holds degrees from Memorial University, the Manhattan School of Music and McGill University. His teachers include Sylvie Proulx, David Leisner and Jérôme Ducharme. Since 2019, Steve Cowan has been a guitar instructor at Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montréal.




The Tampere Guitar Festival (TGF), which was established in 2005, presents the gems of acoustic guitar from various styles for a wide range of audiences. This world-class guitar music is heard in churches, cafés and concert halls, and also in more unusual and informal venues such as a Finnish sauna; in this way, it reaches new friends of this intimate instrument. Guitar lessons for all ages, lectures and workshops complement the programme in which half of the events are free to attend. An important part of this annual festival is The International Classical Guitar Competition of Finland.



Antero Pellikka / Finland

Antero Pellikka was born in 1988. He was given his first guitar at the age of seven and soon after began his guitar studies with Esko Virtanen. After graduating from the Music Institute, Pellikka studied with Petri Kumela at the Helsinki Conservatory and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. In 2016, he completed his Master’s degree at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague with distinction under the guidance of Zoran Dukić and is currently finishing his studies at the Sibelius Academy in Finland. He complements his studies by having masterclasses with such teachers as Eliot Fisk, Marcin Dylla, Ricardo Gallén, Carlo Marchione and many others. Antero Pellikka also performs in various chamber music ensembles as well as being involved in a variety of contemporary music projects. Pellikka has been awarded in various competitions as a soloist and as a part of an ensemble.



Misael Barraza-Díaz / Mexico

Misael Barraza-Díaz is one of the most outstanding Mexican guitarists of his generation. In 2018, he was awarded first prize at the most important national competition in Mexico – the XLIII Concurso Nacional de Intérpretes de Guitarra Clásica. Since 2013, he has been winning first prize at international competitions including the Montreal International Guitar Competition and the Indiana International Guitar Competition. He graduated Summa cum laude from the Master in Classical Guitar Performance at the University of Alicante, Spain. He holds a second Master’s degree from the University of Arizona, where he is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Musical Arts and continues to study with Thomas Patterson, David Russell and Sérgio and Odair Assad. Misael Barraza-Díaz was the soloist in the première of Viva Piazzolla! a collaboration of Ballet Tucson and the Tucson Guitar Society at the 2019 Tucson Desert Song Festival.



Flavio Nati / Italy

Flavio Nati graduated with honours from the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in his hometown, Rome, in 2012, where he studied with Arturo Tallini. He gained his Masters in Classical Guitar Performance studying with Carlo Marchione at the Conservatorium Maastricht, the Netherlands. He has a Masters in the Interpretation of Contemporary Music from the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia and in Guitar Performance from Conservatorio di Musica Arrigo Boito in Parma. Flavio Nati recently gave a series of recitals in Japan and Korea. Since 2013, he has been a member of the guitar octet Supernova, directed by Arturo Tallini. He has won prizes at competitions such as the Tokyo International Guitar Competition and First Prize at the International Guitar Competition ‘Ferdinando Carulli’ in the chamber music section. In 2018, he won the Respighi Prize offering him the opportunity to play as a soloist with the New York Chamber Orchestra in 2019/2020, at Carnegie Hall.



Álvaro Miranda / Costa Rica

The classical guitarist Álvaro Miranda was born in San José, Costa Rica in 1993. He received his first guitar lessons with Jorge Aguilar and Sergio Carrera. In 2014, he studied with Juan Carlos Laguna in Mexico for three years. In recent years, he has received virtual classes with Denis Azabagić and Carlo Marchione. Currently, he has virtual lessons with Paolo Pegoraro through the Segovia Guitar Academy in Pordenone, Italy. Álvaro Miranda won First Prize at: Florida Guitar Foundation Guitar Competition, National Guitar Competition in Costa Rica, Competition of the Latin-American Guitar Festival in Chicago and the International Music Competition ‘Salzburg and Amsterdam’ Grand Prize Virtuoso, among other awards. Álvaro Miranda has participated in a movement to rescue the music and traditions of his native Costa Rica, attending different festivals of music and traditional dance around the world. In 2012, he was chosen to represent Costa Rica at the World Folkloriada in Anseong, South Korea, an event of the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts (CIOFF) where he performed traditional music of his country adapted to solo guitar. He has also performed in the United States, England, Mexico, Czechia and Switzerland.




The Twents Gitaar Festival has been held in the beautiful city of Enschede in the very east of the Netherlands for the past 14 years. Every year, the festival starts on Ascension Day. The festival offers a great variety of concerts of classical guitar, as well as different styles such as flamenco and fingerstyle. The concerts take place in different theatres around the city and on the outdoor stage at the historic Old Market. Most invited artists also give masterclasses and workshops, which are open to everyone – professionals as well as amateurs. The festival ensemble is an integral part of the programme, where guitarists of all levels can enjoy the fun of playing together. As part of the festival, competitions in different categories are held such as solo guitar competitions and ensemble competitions both for guitars or guitar with other instruments.



Dmytro Omelchak / Ukraine

Dmytro Omelchak was born in 1990 and first started to play the guitar when he was eight years old. From 2005, he studied at the College of Arts in Lugansk and continued his studies at the National University of Arts in Kharkov from 2010. In 2013, Dmytro Omelchak began studying with Reinbert Evers at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold in Münster, Germany and has been studying since 2015 with Tomasz Zawierucha at the Folkwang Universität der Künste in Essen, Germany. Since 2010, he has been winning prizes in international guitar competitions. He has had the privilege of attending and participating in masterclasses with musicians such as Marcin Dylla, Olaf van Gonnissen, Allan Neave, Roman Viazovskiy, Hubert Käppel, Jens Wagner and Zoran Dukić.



Yuki Saito / Japan

Yuki Saito was born in Tokyo and started playing the guitar at the age of five. His early music studies in Tokyo included composition, French horn and double bass. For guitar, he studied guitar under Japan’s leading teachers and performers such as Kazuhito Osawa, Noboru Muraji, Daisuke Suzuki, Mariko Tsubokawa, Kiyoshi Shomura, Tsuneo Ema, Yong Tae Kim and Soichi Muraji. Since 2016, he has been combining studies with Ricardo Gallén in Weimar, Germany with continuing success on the international competition circuit. Yuki Saito has won more than 50 prizes at national competitions and several international competitions in Europe, Asia, the USA and Australia, including the Melbourne International Guitar Festival Competition in Australia, Omiš Guitar Fest in Croatia, Veria International Guitar Competition in Greece and the Aalborg International Guitar Competition in Denmark.



Pablo Menéndez / Spain

Pablo Menéndez was born in 1992 in Asturias, Spain and started playing guitar at the age of ten. He completed his Bachelor’s degree with Marco Socías at Musikene, in San Sebastian, Spain and obtained his Masters ‘cum laude’ after studying with Carlo Marchione at the Conservatorium Maastricht in the Netherlands. He also studies orchestral conducting with orchestral conducting with Miguel Romea and Andrés Salado. Pablo Menéndez has won prizes in several international music competitions and has given solo concerts in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy. He played on the recording Oda a Jovellanos (Cantata) y Canciones de su tiempo – nineteenth-century Spanish music performed with the tenor Joaquín Pixán and pianist Mario Bernardo and the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias and the Coro de la Fundación Príncipe de Asturias. Pablo Menéndez combines his concert activity with teaching at the Conservatorio Nacional Superior de Música in Córdoba, Spain.




Held in a beautiful university city, the Uppsala International Guitar Festival is the most influential guitar event in Scandinavia; it is a meeting place for celebrating music and learning. Artists such as John Williams, Paco de Lucía, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Anabel Montesinos, Marco Tamayo, Anoushka Shankar, David Russell, Duo Assad, Badi Assad, Manuel Barrueco, Pat Metheny, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Léo Brouwer and Vicente Amigo have all been part of this festival’s great story over the past 15 years. The festival organises an annual International Young Talent Competition, masterclasses, workshops as well as open forums and a guitar fair. The festival was founded by Klaus Pontvik in 2003 in a small cultural centre in Uppsala – Ekocaféet. Today, the festival takes place at the impressive Uppsala Concert Hall bringing audience, artists and guitar enthusiasts from all around the world. The festival is now led by its Executive Director Klaus Pontvik and Stefan Löfvenius, a well-known guitarist who holds a prominent position in the field of music education in Sweden.



Katarzyna Smolarek / Poland

Katarzyna Smolarek was born in 1995 and she started playing the guitar at the age of eight. She studied classical guitar in Polish music schools with Lidia Przyłęcka and Ryszard Bałauszko. In 2015, she began her Bachelor studies at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg with Marco Tamayo. She has been awarded over 20 prizes in competitions across the globe from Austria to Australia, including first prizes at the Internationale Gitarrenwettbewerb des Kunstinstituts BAJA in Templin, Germany, in 2007, at the International Guitar Festival in Trzęsaczu, Poland, in 2009, and at the Sydney Eisteddfod Guitar Competition in Sydney, in 2016, at the International Guitar Competition Sinaia, Romania, in 2017 and at the Sanremo International Guitar Festival, Italy, in 2017.



Maja Kralj / Slovenia

Maja Kralj was born in 1999 and started playing guitar at the age of seven at the elementary music school Sežana with Nataša Črnugelj. She continued her education at the Conservatory for Music and Ballet in Ljubljana, studying with Anton Črnugelj. Maja has participated in masterclasses with guitarists such as Judicaël Perroy, Andrea De Vitis, Paolo Pegoraro, Álvaro Pierri, Brian Head, Xuefei Yang, Margarita Escarpa, Mak Grgić, Xhevdet Sahatxhija, Nejc Kuhar, Gabriel Bianco, Anders Miolin, Costas Cotsiolis, Olaf van Gonnisen and Laura Young. She won First Prize at the Zagreb International Guitar Competition in 2017 and First Prize at the Uppsala International Guitar Festival in 2019. She now studies at the Academy of Music Ljubljana with Andrej Grafenauer.

Maja Kralj-min


Cristina Galietto / Italy

Cristina Galietto is a 20-year-old classical guitarist from Naples in Italy, whose guitar playing has taken her to many countries in Europe, where she has given concerts, participated in masterclasses with artists such as Aniello Desiderio and Carlo Marchione. Among the numerous international competitions that she has won, the highlights include winning First Prizes at: Rago International Guitar Competition in Stuttgart, International Competition for Young Guitarists ‘Andrés Segovia’ in Monheim am Rhein and the Uppsala International Guitar Festival competition in Sweden. She began her musical studies at the age of seven with his father, a guitar teacher and then attended the Music High School ‘Margherita di Savoia’ in Naples studying with Enzo Amat. She completed her studies at the Conservatory of Music ‘San Pietro a Majella’ of Naples and the Conservatory of Music ‘Domenico Cimarosa’ in Avellino in the class of Lucio Matarazzo with honours and a special mention and is currently studying with Paolo Pegoraro and Lukasz Kuropaczewski at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, in Graz. Her new album Avant l’Aube, released at the end of 2020 (Timespan recordings), features music by composers such as Joaquín Rodrigo, Domenico Scarlatti and Alexis Rago, all of whom are representative of an intimate, delicate and passionate musical feel – characteristics that stand out in her playing and to which her audience are drawn.

Cristina Galietto-min



The Zagreb Guitar Festival was founded in 2015 by the Music School Bonar of Zagreb with two main development programmes in mind: Striving for Excellence and Guitar for All. Striving for Excellence includes promoting excellence on several levels by organising: concerts of the world’s foremost established guitarists and the top guitarists of the younger generation, an international competition of classical guitar and masterclasses with the world’s leading guitar masters. Guitar for All includes organising performances by festival orchestras, guitar exhibitions open to all visitors, a strategy designed to retain the existing success and work towards the further expansion of the audience, through the development of cultural marketing strategies to reach out to wider multicultural audiences. The ultimate goal is to promote fine music, to create a cultural experience and additionally to promote Zagreb as one of the leading cultural centres in Europe.



Dominik Carević / Croatia

Dominik Carević was born in 1998 in Zagreb. He started playing the guitar at the age of 11, studying with professor Hrvoje Ton at Ivan Zajc Music School and immediately showed a distinct talent for music. He continued his education at Fortunat Pintarić Art School in Koprivnica with professor Antonio Rumenović, where he completed three years of High School and then enrolled at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria with Paolo Pegoraro. Dominik Carević has won prizes in over 20 competitions; at the age of 18, he won First Prize at the International Guitar Competition Bale-Valle 2016 in Croatia, in open age category. He continues to study with renowned professors such as Łukasz Kuropaczewski, Hubert Käppel, Carlo Marchione, Zoran Dukić, Lorenzo Micheli, Marcin Dylla, Petrit Çeku, Martin Mysliveček, Brian Head, Margarita Escarpa and Jorgos Panetsos among many others.



You Wu / China

You Wu was born in 1993 in Lishu, China. She has been winning prizes regularly since 2006, when she won First prize at the Liaoning Guitar National Guitar Competition; in 2009, she won First prize at the Shanghai National Guitar Competition. After graduating from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, he was accepted by the guitar programme in Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, in Vienna, where he continues to study with Álvaro Pierri. In April 2018, You Wu made his debut at the Musikverein in Vienna. You Wu has won multiple awards and has held a scholarship from Thyll Durr Foundation in Switzerland since 2015. The internationally renowned Japanese guitarist Shinichi Fukuda has referred to You Wu as the ‘Lang Lang of the guitar world’.



Zsombor Sidoo / Hungary

Zsombor Sidoo was born in Budapest in 1997. He received his early musical training from József Eötvös at the Franz Liszt Academy for Music in Budapest. In 2013, he began studying with Paolo Pegoraro at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz and, in 2016, received a scholarship from the city of Graz for the best music student. He graduated in 2019, with the highest marks and is now pursuing his Masters. He has been studying composition with the Swiss-born Austrian composer and conductor Beat Furrer. Zsombor Sidoo has won many competitions in Hungary, Italy, Germany and Austria and he performs at venues such as the Ehrbar Saal, Vienna, Mozarthaus, Augsburg and Fricsay Hall, Szeged. He has often performed the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo, as well as the guitar concertos Trois Graphiques by Maurice Ohana and Luca Francesconi’s A fuoco: ‘4 studio sulla memoria’. His debut CD with sonatas by J.S. Bach, Manuel María Ponce and Hans Werner Henze was released in October 2019.



Filip Mišković / Croatia

Filip Mišković was born in Split, Croatia, in 2002. At the age of nine, he started his guitar studies at the Music School ‘Josip Hatze’, Kaštela with Vicko Novak and, in 2013, he continued with Maroje Brčić. At 17, two years earlier than usual, he began studying at the Academy of Music, University of Zagreb, where is now in his second year, studying with Darko Petrinjak. Filip Mišković has won First Prize in more than 40 guitar competitions, including Anna Amalia Competition for Young Guitarists in Weimar, Rago International Guitar Competition in Stuttgart and the International Guitar Competition for Young Guitarists ‘Andres Segovia’ in Monheim am Rhein; he won Second Prize in the Senior Division of the GFA Annual International Youth Competition in Miami 2019. In the open age category, he won First Prize at the Poreč Fest Competition and Second Prize in the Zagreb Guitar Festival Competition. As a soloist, Filip Mišković has performed a Vivaldi Concerto with ‘I Giovani Solisti’ from the USA, conducted by Emmet Drake, and Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Guitar Concerto with Croatian National Theatre Orchestra in Split, conducted by Gianna Fratta. The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports awarded him five ‘Oscars of Knowledge’. In 2019, he was given the title ‘Splitski pupoljak’ as a rising star in Split and, in 2020, he received the Rector’s Prize from the University of Zagreb.

Filip Mišković


In its fourth year, EuroStrings has introduced another level of participation in the form of Associate Festivals.

The winner of an Associate Festival’s an international competition has the privilege of competing in the EuroStrings Guitar Competition, as well as taking part in one of the 17 EuroStrings full member festivals.

Associate Festivals take part in the EuroStrings Conference.

Associate Festivals receive one of the EuroStrings Artists to take part in their festivals and give out one scholarship to a local young artist of modest means.

In addition, Associate Festivals promote a concert for the Winner of the EuroStrings Guitar Competition.



Copenhagen Guitar Festival was created in 2013 by the classical guitarist and composer Peter Strömgren. It is a derivative of the International Guitar Festival Aarhus, Denmark, which was created by Strömgren in 2001. The simple aim of the festival is to create and present musical joy, using the classical guitar and related instruments as its vehicle. Copenhagen Guitar Festival presents musical quality above all from talented artists of all ages to enchant their audiences.



The Peja International Guitar Festival was launched in 2015 as a joint initiative of the Cultural Administration of the City of Peja and its Artistic Director, Xhevdet Sahatxhija, to present an international event celebrating the long tradition of classical guitar playing in this city. So far, this four-day festival has attracted over 400 guitarists from all over the world, and the festival has become one of the main guitar events in this part of Europe for young guitarists to gain higher professional knowledge; it features lectures, guitar exhibitions, as well as masterclasses by leading professors, and the International Classical Guitar Competition ‘Ehat Musa’.



On its fifteenth anniversary, the Vojvodina Guitar Fest has become a part of the EuroStrings platform, in the same year that the City of Novi Sad will proudly take the title of European Capital of Culture. Through the International Guitar Competition ‘Dr Jovan Jovičić’, the festival is keeping alive the memory of one of the most important guitarists of the twentieth century in Southeast Europe. In 2010, Vojvodina Guitar Fest launched its World Guitar Competition, which has pushed the boundaries of the traditional classical guitar and composition competitions.



Vuk Dragičević / Serbia

Vuk Dragičević was born in 1996, in Novi Sad, Serbia. While he was still studying at Josip Slavenski Music School, with Slobodan Milivojević, he won prizes at national and international competitions, including: First Prize at the Guitar Art Festival in Belgrade in 2013 and 2015, First Prize at the Serbian Republic Competition in 2012 and 2014, and in the chamber music category in 2015, First Prize at the Sarajevo International Guitar Festival. As a competitor, in the open age category, he won the Third Prize at International Jeunesses Musicales Competition, in Belgrade, in 2018, as well as Second and Third Prizes on the Guitar Art Festival in 2017 and 2018. He completed his Bachelor and Masters degree with Srđan Tošić at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. As well as performing solo recitals, Vuk Dragičević plays in the ‘Quintessence’ guitar trio. He has also performed in duo with cello covering a range of repertoire and also with a guitarist/singer, focusing only on English Renaissance music. He has performed the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo with the Radio and Television of Serbia Symphony Orchestra. Vuk Dragičević is expanding his repertoire by transcribing works such as two harpsichord sonatas by Rameau (for two guitars), and encouraging composer friends to write for both the six-string guitar and eight-string guitar; and he also composes.


EuroStrings has Affiliate Partners in China and America, making this is a truly global project.

Affiliated Partners in America

Austin Guitar Society

Connecticut Guitar Festival

Friends of the Guitar Hour, Spokane Washington

Internal Creations, New York

Las Vegas Academy

Louisville Kentucky Guitar Society

New York City Guitar Society

US Classic Guitar

Affiliated Partners in China

Altamira Foundation



To help young people of modest means study the guitar in an international context, EuroStrings has developed an annual scholarship programme for young guitar students. Every EuroStrings platform festival gives one scholarship, resulting in 17 scholarships being granted each year. The scholarship includes entry to all festival concerts, lectures and masterclasses as well as participation in the festival’s international competition. The open call for scholarships is launched on the EuroStrings website in advance of each EuroStrings platform festival.


EuroStrings Scholarship Recipients 2017/2018

Ana-Maria Bibescu / Romania
Scholarship Winner of Montenegro
International Guitar Competition


Ricardo Brito / Portugal
Scholarship Winner of Festival International
de Guitarra de Guimarães


Carlotta Dalia / Italy
Scholarship Winner of Zagreb Guitar Festival


Marija Grujić / Serbia
Scholarship Winner of Sarajevo International
Guitar Festival


Nelli Kiviaho / Finland
Scholarship Winner of Tampere Guitar Festival
Kasperi Leponiemi FinlandScholarship Winner of London Guitar Festival


Giorgos Lyratzis / Greece
Scholarship Winner of Plovdiv GuitArt Festival

David Marton / Serbia
Scholarship Winner of International Guitar
Festival Nürtingen


Rebeca Oliveira / Portugal
Scholarship Winner of Tallinn Guitar Festival


Bianka Szalaty / Poland
Scholarship Winner of International Guitar
Festival Rust


Martin van Hees / Holland
Scholarship Winner of Szeged International
Guitar Festival


Marco Vega / Chile
Scholarship Winner of International Guitar
Festival José Tomás Villa de Petrer


Mauricio Zúñiga / Chile
Scholarship Winner of Twents Gitaar Festival


EuroStrings Scholarship Recipients 2018/2019

Emanuele Addis / Italy
Scholarship Winner of Plovdiv GuitArt Festival


Sotiris Athanasiou / Greece
Scholarship Winner of Montenegro
International Guitar Competition


Gianluca Cappetta / Italy
Scholarship Winner of Mottola Guitar Festival


Chiara Corriero / Italy
Scholarship Winner of London Guitar Festival


Nino D’Amico / Italy
Scholarship Winner of Harmonia Cordis
International Guitar Festival


Dominic Flynn / USA
Scholarship Winner of Szeged International
Guitar Festival


Cristina Galietto / Italy
Scholarship Winner of Festival International
de Guitarra de Guimarães


Valeria Galimova / Russia
Scholarship Winner of International Guitar
Festival Rust

Finlay Hay  / UK
Scholarship Winner of Twents Gitaar Festival


Ema Kapor / Serbia
Scholarship Winner of Tallinn Guitar Festival


Tamás Kőrös / Hungary
Scholarship Winner of Tampere Guitar Festival


Beatrix Kovács / Hungary
Scholarship Winner of Zagreb Guitar Festival


Maja Kralj / Slovenia
Scholarship Winner of Uppsala International
Guitar Festival


Milica Ristić / Serbia
Scholarship Winner of International Guitar
Festival José Tomás Villa de Petrer


Stanislav Steshenko / Ukraine
Scholarship Winner of Antwerpen Gitaarfestival


Miloš Vuković / Serbia
Scholarship Winner of Sarajevo International
Guitar Festiv


EuroStrings Scholarship Recipients 2019/2020

Dimitar Angelov / Macedonia
Scholarship Winner from Plovdiv GuitArt Festival

Florian Babțan-Varga / Romania
Scholarship Winner of Szeged International
Guitar Festival

Joan Furió Vivas / Spain
Scholarship Winner of Paris International
Guitar Festival

Eleanor Kelly / UK
Scholarship Winner of Uppsala International
Guitar Festival

Cosmin Mariciuc / Romania
Scholarship Winner of Harmonia Cordis
International Guitar Festival

Elia Portarena / Italy
Scholarship Winner of Festival International de Guitarra de Guimarães

Harald Trass / Estonia
Scholarship Winner of Tallinn Guitar Festival


These CD recordings were inspired by the wish to share the EuroStrings project –
and especially the wonderful playing of the young EuroStrings Artists – with a
wider audience.

The first two CDs were recorded in London, simply because the highest number of EuroStrings Artists came together there, especially in 2019 when 17 young players competed in London in the prestigious Second EuroStrings Guitar Competition. In the days after this competition, the second CD was recorded at Strongroom Studios in London.

Our intention is that the next CDs will also be recorded at the next EuroStrings Festivals that organise the EuroStrings Guitar Competition.

In addition to the physical CDs, these recordings are also available on the usual digital platforms.

EuroStrings Artists: The 2018 Players

This CD features ten of these brilliant young players. It was recorded at London Guitar Festival 2018. All the performers will no doubt develop into even greater players in the future so rather than offering performances one could describe as in some sense ‘definitive’, they should be seen as a particular moment in time of the development of these very talented young guitarists.

1 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
Largo and Allegro Assai
Dominik Carević

2 Miklós Rózsa (1907–1995)
Sonata for Guitar, Op. 42, 1st movement
Péter Girán

3 Rossen Balkanski (b. 1968)
Cradle Song
Boyan Doychev

4 Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806–1856)
Vedran Vujica

5 Gregorio Huwet (1550–1617)
Domenico Savio Mottola

6 Astor Piazzolla (1921–1992)
Invierno Porteño
Andrea Roberto

7 Girolamo Alessandro Frescobaldi (1583–1643)
La Frescobalda
Giacomo Susani

8 Arthur Kampela (b. 1960)
Percussion Study
Antero Pellikka

9 John Dowland (1563–1626)
Come Heavy Sleep
Antoine Morinière

10 Philip Houghton (1954–2017)
Kinkachoo, I Love You
Jesse Flowers

Recorded at Strongroom Studios, London, in October 2018
Produced and engineered by Robin Kelly
Artistic Direction by Mak Grgić and Tom Kerstens
Executive Producer: Matt Buchanan for BGS Records
Track 10 was engineered, edited and produced by John Schneider and recorded at
Earthstar Studios, Venice, California: 27 October 2018
Mastered by Mike Hatch at Floating Earth



EuroStrings Artists: The 2019 Players

1 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
Prelude in E major from Suite BWV 1006a
Viktor Đuknić

2 Antonio José (1902–1936)
Pavana Triste from Sonata
Katarzyna Smolarek

3 Marek Pasieczny (b. 1980)
Two Stories About Patrick
Zuzanna Wężyk

4 Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806–1856)
Fantaisie Hongroise, Op. 65, No. 1 from Trois Morceaux
Emmanuel Sowicz

5 Manuel María Ponce (1882–1948)
Misael Barazza-Díaz

6 Leo Brouwer (b. 1939)
Toccata de Pasquini from Sonata No. 1
Gábor Hart

7 Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
Lob der Thränen (arr. J.K. Mertz)
Dimitris Soukaras

8 Catalin Stefanescu-Patrascu (b. 1971)
Radu Vâlcu

9 Manuel De Falla (1876–1946)
Homenaje pour le Tombeau de Claude Debussy
Simone Rinaldo

10 Astor Piazzolla (1921–1992)
Invierno Porteño
Mateusz Kowalski

11 Carlos Guastavino (1912–2000)
Andante from Sonata No. 1
Julia Trintschuk

12 Vlastimir Trajković (1947–2017)
Prelude No. 9
Peter Graneis

13 Agustín Barrios Mangoré (1885–1944)
Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios
Yuki Saito

Recorded at Strongroom, London, in July 2019
Produced and engineered by Robin Kelly
Artistic Direction by Mak Grgić and Tom Kerstens
Executive Producer Matt Buchanan for BGS Records
Mastered by Mike Hatch at Floating Earth
Album artwork design by Colourblind
EuroStrings logo and branding by Jurana Puljic Jacmenovic
Liner Notes by Thérèse Wassily Saba


I would like to congratulate EuroStrings once again for the excellent work in favour of the guitar at European and world level. Twenty or thirty years ago it could be said that the guitar was like an unwanted child with almost no rights and no place in an adult conversation. The guitar is no longer that unprotected, fragile child, it has become stronger and has a voice of its own. In the last two decades, the guitar has grown in number of performers, recordings, videos, concerts, contest and festivals. Thanks to EuroStrings and its creators who work for a more united guitar.

Léo Brouwer
1 March 2021



An Interview with Ružica Gelo Ciglenečki

The EuroStrings project is a huge project, requiring great imagination and many hours of work. As you had already been organising the Zagreb Guitar Festival, perhaps that made it easier?

Ružica Gelo Ciglenečki: Zagreb Guitar Festival is a relatively young festival that only existed for three years when we developed the idea for EuroStrings platform and applied for the Creative Europe call. But, Zagreb Guitar Festival is just one of the projects organised by the Music School Bonar, which is also the initiator of EuroStrings. Music School Bonar was established more than 20 years ago, and during that
time, we have had various big projects, therefore the organisation of the festival was not so difficult for us. EuroStrings is a demanding and large project but when the platform members gather together, we make a great team, sharing a collegiate spirit, so then working on this project is not only a job, but it also brings pleasure.

Before you began the EuroStrings project, were European guitar festivals collaborating with each other?

As far as I know, there were several regional collaborations and connections between festivals, which is very important for the survival of such events. Ours is a classical guitar field in which the enthusiasts who lead it often encounter the problem of financing concerts and other accompanying expenses. Therefore, collaboration is one of the most important ways through which we can, much easier and louder, send the message and fight for all of us.

The most important people here are the young guitarists and the support that EuroStrings offers. So you can be happy with the success you have achieved over the past three years. Is it much greater than you imagined it would become?

Yes, the most important part of this project is the young EuroStrings Artists. The
measure of EuroStrings is not only in how much this platform has been heard or in
the number of EuroStrings Artists who have gone through it, but also in what we have
given them. EuroStrings offers young artists the opportunity of networking,
connecting, playing concerts, of educating them both as artists and guitarists, but
nowadays that is not enough for them. A well-known Croatian poet and songwriter,
Arsen Dedić, stated that: ‘young people should be held back, and old people should be
encouraged’. In Croatia, this saying is often jokingly mentioned whenever a young
artist gets encouraged because we are all aware of how absolutely important this
encouragement is in their development. For this reason, here in EuroStrings, we try to
teach young people that alongside perseverance, hard work and effort, they must also
cultivate professionalism, modesty, respect and relationships with the people they
work with, and I think all the artistic directors of our platform insist on that.

Do you feel that you have created a change in attitude among the platform members?

I didn’t think about it in that way because we are just doing what we believe in. It took time for EuroStrings name to be heard but, in the last few months, as we have started to expand, I can see the changes have started to happen. Now, big guitar names that previously we could only have dreamed of collaborating with are reaching out to us for collaboration. This means that we have been heard, and that we have expanded on our original idea. Over these past three years, a New Year’s greeting from the EuroStrings Artist Mateusz Kowalski has cheered me up the most. In it, he thanked us and said that we changed his life! My reply to him was that now he should also try to change the lives of young guitarists through his work and influence, because this is the message that is spreading. I sincerely believe in this project and I have no fear for the future of my own children, because that linking of support and kindness will reach them as well.


Each year you have added new aspects to the EuroStrings platform, and now there is
an even greater expansion to include non-European countries as Associate and
Affiliate festivals.

In fact, since the first year, the EuroStrings winner has been performing in the USA
and China and thus spreading the European culture beyond Europe. This is not
something new, as these opportunities have existed since the beginning of the
platform, but what is new is the addition of Associate Partners. The idea behind
Associate Partners is to connect as many festivals as possible within the EuroStrings
project. After all, the goal of European platforms is expansion and sustainability. We
are just at the beginning of our journey, and we believe that we are going to keep
moving forward.

An Interview with Antonio Rumenović

Coordinator of the EuroStrings Guitar Competition and Coordinator of the EuroStrings
Composition Contest
Speaking with Thérèse Wassily Saba and Tom Kerstens

Antonio Rumenović is also the main guitar teacher at the Bonar Music School (Glazbena škola Bonar) in Zagreb, which has a large number of guitar students.

Antonio Rumenović: I have been working as a guitar teacher since 2005. After I graduated from Music Academy, then I started to teach in one school, and then five years ago, I was invited to teach at the Bonar Music School in Zagreb. Along with piano, in Croatia, the most popular instrument is the guitar. In the Bonar Music School, we have five or six teachers and they all have full classes of students, with nine
students in each class, which means more or less 60 guitarists. In Croatia, many children and young people play the guitar; according to government sources, the numbers are very high indeed. As a
result, there are many competitions in a variety of age groups. I have often been invited to be a jury member over the years, which is how I have built my knowledge and experience. I saw
that there are many approaches to organising competitions and how rules are formulated and implemented. When I was invited by the Zagreb Guitar Festival to help them create the rules and guidelines for the Zagreb Festival Guitar competition, I had a good idea of what to do. I imagine what I did worked well because later I was also invited to be the Coordinator of the EuroStrings Guitar Competition.

As the Coordinator of the EuroStrings Competition, Antonio Rumenović also developed a digital application for use by juries in competitions, which also has a very efficient scoring system.

We created an application which is called Music Score because we wanted to make the processes involved in a competition much more simple and to produce the jury results much faster and, mostly importantly, we wanted to make everything in that process transparent. For EuroStrings, I created rules and systems that are result of the knowledge that I gained from being on the jury of many different competitions, and I developed it into an application that I am satisfied with. We wanted to create something that reflects the time that we live in by using the advanced technology that we have at our disposal in 2021. The Music Score application for scoring a competition is very simple and very easy to use. It has various options to choose from, depending on how you would like to score participants in the competition: you can score from 0–25 or 0–100, or vote who is the winner and the application will do the counting. The setting up of the system was more or less my idea but of course, developers were brought in to put my ideas into practice. It was a big job as the process of creating this application was complex in order to make it work in a simple way. We did test it in several competitions, using the demo version. Everything ran perfectly, however, with experience you always have little ideas on how things could be made even better and to run more smoothly, so that is what we are doing at the moment. We still have some little things that we want to improve but I am an optimist by nature, so I believe that the application will be finalised within a matter of months. In general, I would say the application is innovative and is a perfect system for use in competitions. The application was made by the Zagreb Guitar Festival and we are using it for the EuroStrings Competition but, in the future, we believe that the application will be useful for many festivals, that also might want to simplify the competition process. The application requires a lot of preparation before the competition because you can uploadall of the participants’ programmes and copies of the scores, pictures and biographies of the competitors, and all the necessary information for the jury, but once the competition starts, everything is set up there in the application and ready. There is a place where every jury member can add some remarks as well as the scores. Once you input your scores, the application adds it all up quickly, so you have the final scores immediately after the moderator closes the competition. It can immediately be printed out. It makes things so much simpler. In many competitions where I was on the jury, we had to wait for a few hours for the results, which is particularly difficult in a competition for young players, with impatient children and their parents waiting for the results. We have 17 platform members in EuroStrings and I believe they should all keep the autonomy of their judging system, including their scoring systems and choice of jury members. They are all doing excellent work. I always believe that there is room for improvement but my opinion is that they should continue working as they do now and then take the initiative to change things when they feel the need. At the same time, I do think that our Music Score application will have a use in the future throughout the world.

You are giving the EuroStrings Artists the opportunity to perform in very prestigious venues, and although EuroStrings is Europe-based, you are reaching out and making connections for the EuroStrings Artists beyond Europe, to America and the Far East, giving you a global outreach.

That is something that we are very proud of and I can tell you that all of the EuroStrings Artists have had success after being a part of the programme: one went on to get a teaching post at an American university, another won the Guitar Foundation of America International Competition, so they are presenting their work in many different countries and at many festivals and building connections throughout Europe. There are so many positive results from the EuroStrings project for young performers, we can conclude that it is working!


The EuroStrings Guitar Competition is only for the laureates of the EuroStrings platform festival – top young performers and with a broad range of musical personalities – so judging is not an easy task.

Yes, I must agree, with all due respect to all other international competitions, and I do respect everybody else’s work, but when you have 17 selected guitarists who are the winners of other international guitar competitions, then it is a really difficult job for the jury to decide who is the best because for each of them, they all perform very well and at a high level. It becomes a matter of personal preferences and how they performed on the day but these are really fine details. It is a big task but we have had three editions of
the EuroStrings Guitar Competition up until now, and I can say that we are extremely satisfied with the progress that we have made and with how the EuroStrings Guitar Competition has been going over the last three years.

Two years ago, the EuroStrings project also established the EuroStrings Composition Contest, which is also coordinated by Antonio Rumenović.

Over the past two years, we have had two winners EuroStrings Composition Contest, who each presented compositions of a very high standard – their compositions would fit well into the normal concert programme of a professional performer. In the first year, we had a very healthy number of participants; in the second year, we needed to make some changes because received some guidelines from Brussels and put an age limit on participants. Now, the participants must be not more than 35 years old but we still received a good number of applicants. We are satisfied with the development of the EuroStrings Composition Contest and the connection that it makes with the EuroStrings Artists: it is the set piece for the EuroStrings Guitar Competition and in addition, the winner will perform the winning piece throughout the world, in the United States, Europe and Asia. This is great exposure for the young composer and for EuroStrings in general. Another aspect of winning the EuroStrings Composition Contest is that the winning composer is invited to be on the jury of the next Composition Contest. This is also a great learning opportunity for them as a composer, to be on a judging panel with internationally renowned composers such as Sérgio Assad and Stephen Goss. Of course, being on the jury for the EuroStrings Composition Contest is a huge job, not only do they have to assess the composition but also its playability on the guitar. This is an honour for the winning composer and also shows an appreciation of their status as a composer.

An Interview with Mak Grgić

EuroStrings Artists Coordinator
Speaking with Thérèse Wassily Saba and Tom Kerstens

In your important role as EuroStrings Artists Coordinator, could you describe what it is
like to work with so many brilliant young guitarists?

Mak Grgić: The role is a rewarding but challenging one. Not only do we see how much young talent is around in the world of classical guitar, but we are also witness to an exponential growth of that pool of young players. For EuroStrings, this is a blessing because each EuroStrings Artist we have worked with has brought so much to the table, but this has also meant that our responsibility is growing. All of this talent deserves to be heard, and I hope that we, as a platform, have been helpful in that regard, and we will continue to do this as much as we can. Personally, I am continuously inspired by the quality and dedication that our EuroStrings Artists exhibit on both a personal and professional level.

Are there other aspects of this work that you find most rewarding?

With absolute certainty, the most rewarding part would be my very own education. It is said that we learn best from others who are great at what they do, and that is absolutely true. I have cherished every single friendship made with our EuroStrings Artists during the past four years and I have been privileged to have experienced a good deal of self-evaluation as well as learning a lot, while working with these young talented musicians; I would like to stress how thankful I am for this opportunity to work with our EuroStrings Artists.

Of course, there must also be challenges?

The challenges are the other side of the coin to the rewards. Having so much diversity in talent, personalities, goals, aspirations, it is hard to be equally beneficial to each of the EuroStrings Artist, despite our aim to offering equal resources and support to all of them. I have been counting our blessings as we wrap up each year having achieved a sense of community with a positive attitude among our EuroStrings Artists because, in the long run, that is so important for all of us. The EuroStrings Platform members all have individual approaches, some of us are also performing musicians, but it is our community that supports us and provides us with attention. The main challenge is to acknowledge this and work towards maintaining that sense of a community.

Do you think there has been a change in the level of performance in recent years?

Absolutely so! Each year brings a higher and more dedicated level of playing. It has to do with the ever-evolving superb pedagogy that is becoming easier to access and also the hunger from all the young
players to be heard and resulting in their finding new ways of making themselves present on the international music scene.

You were a very successful artist in your youth. Do you wish that EuroStrings had been around at that time? In what ways would it have made a difference?

EuroStrings as a community has always been my dream. I would have loved to be able to forge long-lasting friendships with my peers instead of feeling the eagerness to be competitive. I know now that having those friendships would have benefitted me more, both musically and personally. Music is, in the end, a form of expression that we make together, be it on a high professional level or simply an amateur one. When we recognise that, it is easier to be happy about it. For me, ultimately, EuroStrings represents this potential and ideal.

What impact do you think EuroStrings will make on the careers and lives of these young players?

It is my hope that we have played and are still playing a role, however small, in a positive
unfolding of their development. Careers and lives can develop in so many ways, but if even just a handful of EuroStrings Artists will remember their experiences with a smile on their face, I will see this as an impact well achieved. The performing opportunities, educational opportunities, networking opportunities and ultimately the camaraderie are values that EuroStrings stands for to provide something positive for the EuroStrings Artists. I am hopeful we will continue doing this for years to come.



The year 2020 and early 2021 have been very different times for everyone and difficult ones for many. The Covid-19 pandemic, which began at the start of 2020, changed all the plans that had been made for that year, which was also to be an important one for the classical music world as we looked forward to celebrated the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven in December 1770. For guitarists, the loss of Julian Bream on 14 August 2020 was particularly sad, for he remains a great inspiration for young guitarists, both as a performer and for the commissioning and premièring of repertoire.

Despite the challenges that the Covid-19 lockdown has brought, most of the EuroStrings platform festivals managed to feature some of their planned events, online if not live, and each was able to hold its guitar competition, so that new EuroStrings Artists for 2020/2021 could be selected. The support and information sharing of EuroStrings platform members was a vital part of their success. Many EuroStrings platform festivals were pleased with the extension of their audiences through their online activities and plan to maintain these global connections for the future, even when the pandemic restrictions have been lifted. Despite the steep learning curve required to adapt to using new technology and produce quality results, most festivals reported with pride that the increased efforts were all rewarding. In 2021, we will see a gradual return to normal and be able to move from online concerts back to live events. However, some of the best new practices, which have been developed during the lockdown, could also be continued and hopefully will keep evolving.

EuroStrings Competition 2019©TW Saba431bbb-min

EuroStrings Contacts
Executive Director:
Ružica Gelo Ciglenečki
EuroStrings Artists Coordinator:
Mak Grgić
Competition Coordinator:
Antonio Rumenović
Finance Director:
Ivan Barnjak
Communications Manager:
Dunja Stanković
International PR:
Larisa Lieberman / Tom Kerstens
Jurana Puljić Jacmenović / Oliver McGhie


Text written, compiled and edited by
Thérèse Wassily Saba and Tom Kerstens
Design by Colour Blind Design
EuroStrings logo and branding by
Jurana Puljić Jacmenović