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Festival Review: International Guitar Festival at Brno

Posted By Connie Sheu, Wednesday, November 21, 2012


By Jim Skinger

Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic. This historical city, nestled in the surrounding south Moravian hills, boasts a skyline filled with magnificent church spires, golden domes and an ample supply of 17th/18th century buildings, to satisfy the most ardent architectural historian.

Wide "pedestrian only” streets lined with sidewalk cafes, restaurants and endless varieties of shops and stores extend well beyond the historical district. This year marked the 21st anniversary of this Festival, under the direction of Vladislav Bláha.

Looking back to past programs and events celebrated here, it is a virtual who’s who of the guitar world that have participated, no doubt giving it the status as one of Europe’s most important guitar festivals. Divided into four main parts, the program included: Concerts, Competitions, Master Classes and afternoon Lectures and Concerts. From the 5th to the 9th of August, six concerts were presented, each featuring traditional repertoire as well as new works, often composed by the performers themselves.

The Competition, known as Guitar Talent, is organized yearly by the Czech Guitar Society. All competitors are divided into two age groups. Group I is required to play one round and group II, two rounds.

Group 1

1st place: Barbora Kubiková, Czech Republic, Vera Danilina, Russia

2nd place: Ronald Janeček, Slovakia

3rd place: Martin Cabá, Czech Republic

A guitar made by Czech guitar maker Pavel Kriha was presented to 1st place winner Barbora Kubiková, and a guitar made by the Czech company Strunal, was presented to Vera Danilina.

Group II

1st place: Adam Woch, Poland

2nd place: Dimitry Kudryaustov

3rd place: Oleg Sergeev, Czech Republic, Igor Klokov, Russia, Darius Lampkouski, Poland

The first prize winner, Adam Woch, received a Guitar made by luthier Masaki Sakurai

All competition winners received a generous supply of guitar strings from Savarez and D’Addario, plus accessories such as guitar support by FEEL, nail files from SOFIT and handcrafted guitar cases from IKA Company – Jiri Bednar.

In closing, I say wholeheartedly that the Brno festival remains one of the biggest and most successful guitar festivals in Europe. The quality of the performances, staff and students that attend make this festival one of the most enjoyable experience one can hope for.


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