News and Events
Fifteen Emerging Guitarists Vie to Win Third Triennial Parkening International Guitar Competition
The triennial Parkening International Guitar Competition will once again capture the attention of the classical music world from Tuesday, May 29, through Saturday, June 2, at Pepperdine's Smothers Theatre. Now in its third installment, the competition has attracted 15 standout competitors representing 10 countries to vie for the world's largest prize purse among guitar competitions. There is a separate contest for young guitarists, 17 and under, which will take place prior to the main event.
Six years ago, the first Parkening competition tested the pluck of 15 classical guitarists from around the world. The guitarist left standing, Pablo Sáinz Villegas, took away $30,000 in dramatic fashion and has since emerged as one of the world's leading classical guitarists. Three years later, Emanuele Buono, 21, of Italy won with his stirring performance of Concerto no. 1 in D Major by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, saying, "It feels like a dream. I can't believe it."
Christopher Parkening is a distinguished professor of music at Pepperdine University's Seaver College Fine Arts Division. He is celebrated as one of the world's preeminent virtuosos of the classical guitar; this competition honors Parkening's lifetime commitment to fostering musical excellence in young artists. Learn more about Parkening here.
The weeklong event will begin on May 29 with the Parkening Young Guitarists Competition. Ten outstanding young guitarists (17 years and younger) from the USA and Bolivia, will compete for a combined purse of $4,250. Five finalists will be selected to perform a 15-minute program on Wednesday, May 30. The winner will be announced thereafter.
The main event will begin Thursday, May 31, with 15 competitors ranging in age from 16 to 29. This year's field is made up of some of the international community's most talented guitarists. They are Rafael Aguirre, 27, Spain; Tim Callobre, 19, USA; Riccardo Calogiuri, 22, Italy; Petrit Ceku, 26, Croatia; Silviu Ciulei, 26, Romania; Ricardo Escobar, 26, USA; Fabian Freesen, 28, Germany; Samuel Hines, 20, USA; Alberta Khoury, 16, Australia; Adam Kossler, 28, USA; Florian Larousse, 24, France; Nemanja Ostoich, 28, Serbia; Andrea Roberto, 16, Italy; Solomon Silber, 29, USA; and Marko Topchii, 21, Ukraine. Learn more about the competitors here.
Judging the competition will be Dave Grusin, film composer and jazz artist; Costa Pilavachi, Senior Vice President of Universal Music Group and one of the judges at the 2009 Parkening Competition; David Russell, guitar virtuoso; Julie Smith, Classical Project Manager for The Recording Academy (presenter of the Grammy Awards); and Jim Svejda, Classical KUSC radio host and producer.
Three of the competitors will advance to the final round on June 2 to perform a concerto with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra before a live audience in Pepperdine's Smothers Theatre. The gold, silver, and bronze medalists will be announced at the conclusion of the final round.
For more information about the competition, contact the Center for the Arts at (310) 506-4079 or visit the Parkening International Guitar Competition website.