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Stay up to date with all the latest happenings in the guitar world. On this blog, you'll find information about competitions, notable awards, obituaries, job openings and placements, and more. To submit an entry for Reverberations Live, please email


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GFA 2013 Competition Winners

Posted By Connie Sheu, Sunday, July 14, 2013

GFA International Youth Competition – Junior Division

1 Grace Sheppard (USA)
2 Katie Cho (USA)
3 Beiyan Liu (China)
4 Alberto Quintanilla (Mexico)


GFA International Youth Competition – Senior Division

1 XiaoBo Pu (China)
2 Louis Xavier Barrette (Canada)
3 Alec Holcomb (USA)
4 Henry Johnston (USA)


GFA International Concert Artist Competition

1 Anton Baranov (Russia)
2 Artyom Dervoed (Russia)
3 Chad Ibison (USA)
4 You Wang (China)


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Remembering Rick Gartner

Posted By Connie Sheu, Thursday, June 27, 2013

A founding editor of Frets Magazine (a sister publication of Guitar Player), where he worked from 1978 to 1986, Rick Gartner was especially known for his insightful interviews with classical guitarists, including Andrés Segovia, Julian Bream, John Williams, Narciso Yepes, and Christopher Parkening.

Born on 3 December 1950, Rick began playing when he was 14. Before landing the Frets job in 1978, which enabled him to bring his deep love for classical guitar to a large audience, he had graduated from California State University, Chico (1978), and taught guitar at nearby Butte Community College (1973 to 1978). In recent years, he had worked on a book concerning his decades-long battle with chronic back and neck pain.

His suffering ended on 16 May 2013, when he died of natural causes at the age of 62, taking with him the rare ability to understand things that he did not directly experience, including aspects of music. It recalls the quote by Leo Tolstoy, ‘All, everything that I understand, I understand because I love’.

Rick was a talented guitarist, gifted writer, and good friend to many. It was an honor to know him.

-Jim Ferguson

Tags:  Obituary 

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Summer Guitar Program with Matthew Dunne

Posted By Connie Sheu, Monday, June 24, 2013

Guitarist/composer Matthew Dunne will begin teaching a week-­‐long summer guitar program specifically designed for guitar composers in beautiful Keene Valley NY, near Lake Placid in the heart of Adirondack Mountains, in the summer of 2013. The dates for this class are July 29-­‐Aug 2, 2013. The class is intended for student guitarist/composers, classical guitarists who are highly interested in composing for their instrument, and composers who play nylon-­‐string guitar and who have good music reading skills. The class will involve a daily group class and is designed to help students find and refine their voice as guitarist/composers. We’ll work on specific exercises to improve creativity and compositional technique, and we’ll explore issues that are central to developing a personal style on our instrument that has such an incredibly diverse set of traditions.

The class will conclude with a public recital of some of the music we worked on during the week.

Matthew Dunne is an award-­‐winning guitar/composer with an international reputation, having written several works for the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, the set piece for the GFA competition, and several other works performed and recorded by leading soloists and ensembles. Several of his works are published by Guitar Solo Publications, including the recent 20 Miniatures in a book/CD format. He has a distinguished career as an educator, and is dedicated to helping emerging guitarist/composers increase their skills and refine their creativity.

Keene Valley, NY is a small town in the heart of the beautiful Adirondack High Peaks region near Lake Placid. Fantastic hiking, climbing, camping, swimming, and paddling opportunities are in the immediate area. Even for those not inclined to these activities, the area provides a wonderful environment for creative thought and relaxed, stress free study.

For the inaugural class in Summer 2013, space is limited to 4 students. There is also a limited opportunity for student housing with host families in the town. This makes the class an exceptional value at $350, including housing for the week. Those wanting more info should contact Matthew Dunne at

Tags:  summer 

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Julian Gray Joins Faculty at Shenandoah Conservatory

Posted By Connie Sheu, Wednesday, June 19, 2013

This Fall Julian Gray will be joining the faculty of the Shenandoah Conservatory of the Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia where he has been appointed as Professor of Music and Director of the Guitar Studies. As he begins his new role at Shenandoah he will remain Chair of the Guitar Department at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University continuing his studio there.

Recognized as one of the most gifted and eminent performers, recording artists and teachers in the guitar world, Julian Gray's career over three decades include critically acclaimed recordings on the Dorian-Sono Luminus label and concert appearances and masterclasses throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. His work in helping to establish the guitar duo repertoire include his many arrangements for duo with partners Ronald Pearl and Serap Bastepe-Gray and the commissioning and premieres of works by composers such as Roberto Sierra, David Leisner, Gilbert Biberian, Loris Chobanian, William Bland, Oliver Hunt and Benjamin Verdery. His students are frequent top prize winners at major national and international solo guitar, guitar concerto and chamber ensemble competitions and his many former students are members of University, College and Conservatory faculties in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

In commenting on his new position, Mr. Gray stated "I am tremendously pleased to become a member of the faculty of the Shenandoah Conservatory. With a long tradition of excellence and community, exciting new hires as the great Irish pianist John O'Conor and Jonathan Snowden (former principal flute of the London Philharmonic) and the visionary leadership of Dean Michael Stepniak, I see nothing but the most exciting prospects for the Conservatory's future. I am also looking forward to exploring the creative synergies possible between the Shenandoah and Peabody Conservatories and partnerships with Shenandoah's vibrant Theatre and Dance programs."

For more information about the Shenandoah Conservatory, please visit

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Lanciano International Guitar Seminar

Posted By Connie Sheu, Sunday, June 9, 2013

New Italian Guitar Festival Debuts

Special Rates for Participants from the Americas

July 23 - 28, 2013

A new partner with the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes, the I° Lanciano International Guitar Seminar will launch July 23 - 28 in the spectacular medieval town of Lanciano, Italy.

Located just two hours east of Rome in the Abruzzo region -- renowned for its stunning mountain vistas, seaside resorts, outstanding cuisine and wines, and historically significant architecture -- the seminar will feature top international faculty.

For more information, please visit the Web site:

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Sharon Isbin Receives CAG Award

Posted By Connie Sheu, Thursday, June 6, 2013
Sharon Isbin receives CAG Award, Public Television Concert, Rave review in DC, TM Magazine profile, & Documentary debut; Juilliard students on NPR’s From the Top & WQXR

Concert Artists Guild honors Sharon Isbin this month with their prestigious Virtuoso Award. Past Winners include Ned Rorem, Paquito D'Rivera, and Eugenia Zuckerman. On June 25, a one-hour documentary on Sharon Isbin produced by Susan Dangel will receive its world premiere at the GFA convention in Louisville. For future updates re screenings and television broadcasts of the documentary, sign up for newsletter notices at and on Facebook and Twitter.

Public Television’s broadcast of Sharon Isbin’s live solo concert at the Portland Festival is now viewable in HD! Click here to watch the one-hour program:

The Washington Post gave Isbin a rave review of her recent solo recital in DC:

Following her performances this season with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung wrote: ‘Sharon Isbin is nearly a legend in the guitar scene. She created such a refined sound & elegant expression…As a guest of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra (ZKO) in the Tonhalle, she played with exquisite colors & poetry, the guitaristic effects & dynamic layers were gorgeous.’

She was recently profiled in The Transcendental Meditation Magazine:

and has been featured on the cover of over 45 magazines, including Gramophone and Fanfare:

Sharon is also dedicated to mentoring the next generation. Hear her remarkable Juilliard students featured in a broadcast this month on WQXR’s Young Artists Showcase from their live concert at Juilliard:!/programs/youngartists/2013/jun/05/

Included is 18yr-old sophomore Bokyung Byun who recently appeared on NPR’s nationally syndicated program "From the Top” – hear her performance at 11:50 in the NPR audio file:

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US Youth Classical Guitar Scholarship Deadline June 21

Posted By Connie Sheu, Friday, May 31, 2013

Deadline is June 21st, for the full all inclusive US Youth Classical Guitar Scholarship offered by the Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation (COCGF)a Montana based non-profit organization now in its fourth yearfor individuals 16 – 18 years old. We invite you to visit our website www.cocguitarfoundation.orgfor details of this year's weeklong workshop and festival August 25 – September 1, 2013. The scholarship includes: full tuition, travel, room and board at the 4 Star Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork, Montana (including all lodge amenities), daily instruction with Scott Tennant and Andrew Leonard, participation in Artist in Residence sessions, jams, ensemble work, festival attendance and participation in all other workshop and festival activities.

The deadline for receipt of scholarship applications is June 21, 2013. For complete details and for the scholarship application please click on this link:

Tags:  festivals  scholarships 

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Michael Kudirka Joins Faculty at UNCSA

Posted By Connie Sheu, Sunday, May 19, 2013
Guitarist Michael Kudirka will be joining the faculty of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts as an Artist/Teacher of Guitar. UNCSA, part of the University of North Carolina system, contains a 4-year boarding arts high school, bachelors, masters, and performance certificate programs. Located in Winston-Salem, NC, the school houses departments of Dance, Design & Production, Drama, Filmmaking, Music, and Visual Arts. UNCSA has a thriving guitar program with two studios, each with 12 students.

Kudirka will be moving to UNCSA after teaching full-time at the Interlochen Arts Academy for two years. During those two years, he brought about a significant increase in applications and enrollment to the guitar program, hosted a variety of guest artists such as William Kanengiser, Duo Amaral (Jorge Amaral & Mia Pomerantz-Amaral), Jeremy Collins, and Stevan Jovic. He also spearheaded Interlochen's new Internet 2 video conferencing system by collaborating with Jason Vieaux on two masterclass exchanges. His students have gone on to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin, Manhattan School of Music, and California State University. His website is

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"Inside Classical Guitar" New Weekly Radio Show

Posted By Connie Sheu, Sunday, May 5, 2013

"Inside Classical Guitar"

New Weekly Radio Show

from the

St. Louis Classical Guitar Society

Premiers Monday, May 6th 7:00 pm!

The St. Louis Classical Guitar Society is pleased to announce its new classical guitar show, hosted by the Radio Arts Foundation St. Louis (at analog radio at FM107.3 and in hybrid digital at KIHT HD2 (96.3). Content is also streamedlive at of the show will be available on the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society website for later listening access at

The show is entitled "Inside Classical Guitar," produced and funded through the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society. The show Host is William Ash, St. Louis Classical Guitar Society President, and Co-Hosted withlongtime St. Louis Radio Personality John Clayton.

The general focus of Inside Classical Guitar will be to feature both interviews and quality recordings of outstanding classical guitarists--both emerging talent and artists of significance--with discussions of interest to guitar followers. Many of the playersto be featured will be ones that the St. LouisClassical Guitar Society has sponsored or willbe sponsoring in liveperformance in St. Louis.

The first installment airs Monday, May 6, 7:00 – 8:00 pm CST. Our first show will feature our wide-ranging interview with American guitarist Christopher Parkening, where our discussion includes his reasons for his recent retirement from active touring. And of course we will play some of his most beautiful and legendary recordings.

Upcoming shows will feature guitarists with special connection to St. Louis, all of whom will be performing at our 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration on Sunday, June 9, at the Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Among our Special Guests will be none other than Christopher Parkening himself! Mr. Parkening will also conduct a Commemorative Master Class earlier that same day.

Subsequent editions of Inside Classical Guitar throughout the month of May and June 3 will feature interviews and music from the following guests:

May 13 Rodney Stucky and Douglas Back - recordings of Douglas Back

May 20 Alan Rosenkoetter and Douglas Niedt -recordings of Douglas Niedt

May 27 Kirk Hanser and John McClellan-recordings of both and in duo

Jun 3 Ronald Radford - flamencorecordings of Ronald Radford

All on Mondays at 7:00 pm CST

Full information about both all Gala activities and archives of the radio show is available on our website at

Tags:  guitar societies 

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Classical Guitar Weekend in Cleveland, OH

Posted By Connie Sheu, Monday, April 22, 2013

The thirteenth annual Classical Guitar Weekend - one of North America’s oldest, most respected classical guitar festivals - will take place at the Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday, May 23 through Saturday, May 25, 2013. All recitals will take place in Mixon Hall, CIM's award winning new concert hall.

Please join this spring’s roster of internationally acclaimed artists in a concentrated series of recitals, debut performances, world premieres, master classes, lectures, and exhibits celebrating the classical guitar and art music, solo and ensemble, old and new. For further information, artist’s biographies and video samples, and to purchase recital tickets on line visit or call 216.752.7502.

Classical guitarists:

Jason Vieaux (USA, CIM Guitar Department Head)

Colin Davin (USA)

Jiyeon Kim (Republic of Korea)

Jonathan Leathwood (England)

Raphaella Smits (Belgium)

Assisting Artists:

Jinjoo Cho, violin (Republic of Korea)

Jeffrey Irvine, viola (USA)

Melissa Kraut, cello (USA)


Stephen Goss (England)

Riho Esko Maimets (Canada)

Erin Rogers (Canada)

Classical Guitarist and Distance Learning Guest Instructor:

Jesper Sivebak (Denmark)

Classical Guitarist and Lecturer:

Brad DeRoche (USA)

Master Guitar Maker:

German Vazquez Rubio (USA)

We note with pride that both the diversity of our artists and audience members over the years (representing more than fifteen states and as many foreign countries) and the breadth of repertoire our artists have performed attest that the musical arts we celebrate here are heartfelt, universal, and dynamic.

Classical Guitar Weekend is presented in University Circle - Cleveland, Ohio's world renowned cultural and educational center - by Guitars International in cooperation with the Cleveland Institute of Music with generous additional support from the Cleveland business community and beyond.

Armin Kelly, Artistic Director

Classical Guitar Weekend 2013


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