Thrilling concerts and an exciting competition at Antwerpen Gitaarfestival 2018


During November, EuroStrings Artists had the opportunity to perform concerts and attend masterclasses in Belgium at the 8th Antwerpen Gitaarfestival. During the nine days of the festival, over 15 artists participated and more than 1100 people visited the festival.

Eurostrings Artist Mateusz Kowalski had a great honor to open the festival in the Districtshuis of Deurne, and on 14 November, EuroStrings Artists Simone Rinaldo, Dimitris Soukaras and Viktor Djuknic gave a wonderful afternoon concert in the historic setting of the Vleeshuismuseum, which currently hosts a collection of historic musical instruments. No better place to make their ensemble playing of Bach shine as if they were an existing guitar trio.

After a rainy, touristic day in the city of Antwerpen where the EuroStrings Artists got to know the unhealthy benefits of Belgian chocolate and fries, all EuroStrings Artists received masterclasses from guitar virtuoso Jan Depreter in DeKunsthumaniora, a special school where young talents go to before entering the conservatory. Everybody in the room could notice the outstanding level of guitar playing from the EuroStrings Artists. During the festival, 33 masterclasses took place with renowned teachers such as Roberto Aussel, Irina Kulikova, Rene Izquierdo, Fernando Espi and Jan Depreter

On Friday 16 November the Guitar Expo with 20 builders from 8 countries opened. For the artists, VIP’s and EuroStrings Artists there was a pre-opening session, followed by a joint dinner and reception to offer networking opportunities. The evening program consisted of very high-level guitar concerts by Irina Kulikova and Jan Depreter, with 2017 competition winners Matthijs van Delft and Kristina Vårlid as supporting act.

EuroStrings Artists also took a part in outreach activities at Antwerpen Gitaarfestival.

On 10, 17 and 18 November the Antwerpen Gitaarfestival junior Competition (≤18y) and the Antwerpen Gitaarfestival master Competition (≤25y) took place. No less than 40 competitors coming from 15 countries aimed for the prizes. In the junior category Guy Hirschberger (ISR) won. In the master category, Lovro Peretic (CRO) won the prize money of 2500 euro, a concert guitar from Zoran Kuvac, a video recording with Siccas Guitars and the invitation to join the EuroStrings Artists Program 2019-2020.

On the final festival day – after the competition finals – the guitar orchestra started with a world première of Nursery Rhyme by a composer in residence Nejc Kuhar, followed by a stunning performance of a Vivaldi concerto with Andrzej Grygier and EuroStrings Artist Mateusz Kowalski as soloists. The evening concluded with inspiring concerts by the Greek D&A guitar Duo and Argentinian Guitar legend Roberto Aussel.