2017-18 Fundraising Goal

Collected: $1,755.00
Goal: $10,000.00


2018 Philadelphia Classical
Guitar Festival

April 7 & 8, 2018

Our annual festival will feature a vast array of events for guitarists of all ages including:

Upcoming events

    • Thursday, February 15, 2018
    • 11:59 PM (EST)
    • Philadelphia, PA

    Complete this registration form to compete in the


    The 2018 Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition is part of the 2018 Annual Philadelphia Classical Guitar Festival.

    There are two separate divisions:

    The Adult Division is a national competition open to advancing classical guitarists up to 30 years of age and residing in the United States..

    2. The High School Division is open to students in grades 9 ‐ 12 from PA, NJ & DE.

    Applications and recordings are due 

    February 15, 2018 (11:59pm, EDT)

    There are three rounds:

    > The Preliminary round – The jury will review unmarked/anonymous recordings
    and select up to 12 advancing competitors from each division.  Entrants will be
    notified if they have advanced to the semifinal round no later than March 3, 2018.

    > The Semifinal round - will take place in front of a live audience in Philadelphia, PA on Saturday, April 7, 2018. Time & venue TBA, Free Admission

    > The Final round will take place on Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 9:30 AM at the 2018 Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society Festival at  Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St. (free parking). 

    Winners will be announced later the same day 
    after the festival closing concert.


    • Saturday, April 07, 2018
    • 7:30 PM
    • Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA

    Legendary guitarist Manuel Barrueco is internationally recognized as one of the most important guitarists of our time. His unique artistry has been continually described as that of a superb instrumentalist and a superior and elegant musician, possessing a seductive sound and uncommon lyrical gifts. 

    His career has been dedicated to bringing the guitar to the main musical centers of the world such as the Musikverein in Vienna, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Royal Albert Hall in London, Philharmonie in Berlin, Teatro Real in Madrid, and Palau de la Musica in Barcelona. He has completed a dozen tours of Japan and made repeated appearances in Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, and Hong Kong, and in Latin America he has performed in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Puerto Rico. 

    Barrueco's commitment to contemporary music and to the expansion of the guitar repertoire has led him to collaborations with many distinguished composers such as Steven Stucky, Michael Daugherty, Roberto Sierra, Arvo Pärt, Jonathan Leshnoff, Gabriela Lena Frank, Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, and Toru Takemitsu. 

    Manuel Barrueco has appeared on a wide array of television programs including "CBS Sunday Morning", A&E's "Breakfast with the Arts", and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" on PBS. He was featured in a Lexus car commercial, and his work in music inspired Michael Lawrence’s biographical documentary: “Manuel Barrueco: A Gift and a Life”. 

    Barrueco’s recording catalogue includes over a dozen recordings for the EMI label. His recording of Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez with conductor and tenor Plácido Domingo and the Philharmonia Orchestra was cited as the best recording of that piece in Classic CD Magazine. 

    In 2007 Manuel Barrueco received a Grammy nomination for the “Best Instrumental Soloist Performance” for his Solo Piazzolla, which was the first recording to be released on his exclusive Manuel Barrueco Collection on Tonar Music. Tango Sensations and Sounds of the Americas followed in collaboration with the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, the latter received a Latin Grammy Award for “Inca Dances” by Gabriela Lena Frank for “Best Classical Contemporary Composition.” In 2010 he released, Tárrega!, which received a Latin Grammy nomination for “Best Classical Album,” Medea, which includes Barrueco’s arrangement of the ballet by flamenco guitarist/composer Manolo Sanlúcar recorded with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra and Víctor Pablo Pérez conducting and received a Latin Grammy nomination for “Best Classical Album” as well. His latest release is China West, a recording of guitar trios in collaboration with his protégés, the Beijing Guitar Duo. 

    Manuel Barrueco began playing the guitar at the age of eight in his native Cuba and he immigrated with his family to the United States in 1967 as political refugees. Later, he completed his advanced studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he now shares his love for music with a small number of exceptionally gifted young guitarists from all over the world.

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    • Sunday, April 08, 2018
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia, PA

    Award-winning guitarist Oscar Somersalo performs as a soloist and chamber musician in America and Europe. In recent seasons Somersalo has appeared with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra at Finlandia Hall, and with Panama National Symphony Orchestra.

    Somersalo won 1st prize in 2017 at Appalachian GuitarFest Solo Guitar Competition in Boone, NC and Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition in the USA as well as 2nd prize in 2009 at the International Guitar Competition “Ciudad de Llerena” in Spain and was awarded as the young soloist with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2011. Somersalo has performed solo concerts on festivals such as Kauhava Chamber Music Festival in Finland, Tuscia Guitar festival in Italy and Panama Guitar Festival in Panama, as both performer and masterclass instructor.

    Somersalo’s repertoire encompasses great classics and innovative new compositions. His concerts often include pieces by Bach – such as the Chaconne from the Partita No. 2 – as well as titles like “To build a House” by American composer Scott Lee, which Somersalo premiered in 2014 at a concert sponsored by the Baltimore Guitar Society.

    In addition to solo repertoire Somersalo has appeared in duos together with flute and piano, and guitar duo and guitar quintet. Somersalo has also appeared in larger groups with repertoire such as “Electric Counterpoint” by Steve Reich at SibaFest in Finland and in more rare performances such as performance with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra in Baltimore, performing Mahler’s 7th Symphony, where the guitar is a part of the orchestra. Somersalo is also a cellist and emphasizes the importance of experiencing music from different angels in order to build a strong foundation of musicality and diversity.

    Somersalo earned the Master of Music degree and the Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where he studied under international virtuoso Manuel Barrueco. He is also a graduate of the famed Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where he earned the Bachelor of Music degree.

    • Sunday, April 08, 2018
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia, PA

    Application will be available in early 2018.

    • Sunday, April 08, 2018
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia, PA

    • Sunday, April 08, 2018
    • 4:30 PM
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia, PA

    Award-winning guitarist, Joseph Palmer, has earned a reputation as one of the most highly captivating and dynamic young performers on the American guitar scene. 

    Palmer has been featured as a soloist in cities throughout the U.S. and abroad. Performance highlights from 2016 include concerts in Jalisco, Mexico; Hamilton, Ontario; Wilmington, Delware; Los Angeles, CA; Denver, CO; Fort Worth, Texas; and multiple performances in Austin, Texas. 

    Joseph began studying classical guitar at the age of fifteen in his hometown of Rockwall, Texas. He went on to earn degrees in music performance at Columbus State University (2009, B.M.), and the University of Texas at Austin (2011, M.M. & 2015, D.M.A.). In the later years of his studies, Palmer toured the competition circuit and was awarded 16 prizes in international competitions, including the World Guitar Competition and Guitare Montreal

    In recent years, Joseph has developed a passion for connecting with new audiences through outreach performance. In 2015, he began working in collaboration with Austin Classical Guitar as Performance Engagement Artist. He has since given over a hundred interactive concerts to under-served communities and is a passionate advocate for music's potential to inspire and transform.

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Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society
Address: 2038 Sansom street - Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: +1 (215) 567 2972
Email: info@phillyguitar.com 

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