Regional guitar and music lovers are getting ready for the upcoming JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. The highly anticipated competition witnesses some of the world’s most talented guitarists gathering in Buffalo to compete at this biennial event. In the end, the audience and the judges will have a chance to declare the winner, who will walk away with great accolades. JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition is considered “the world’s first concerto competition for classical guitarists with accompaniment by a full symphony orchestra.” The event is co-sponsored by The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and WNED.
There are some exciting surprises in store for the audience this year, including an appearance by internationally renowned classical guitar player Liona Boyd. The guitarist is one of the hottest names in the guitar world these days, as she has been awarded five Honorary Doctorates, and is now set to receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. The award will be awarded to Boyd at the competition finals.
Following are the eight semi-finalists:
- Jack Cimo, a seasoned chamber musician and soloist who has been active in competitions as both an organizer and competitor, representing the United States
- Bokyung Byun, a multi-competition winner and doctoral candidate at University of Southern California who has been performing publicly since age 11, representing South Korea
- Igor Klokov, a graduate student at Mainz Hochschule fur Musik/Koblenz and winner of many guitar competitions in Europe, representing Russia
- Junhong Kuang, a 17 year old who has recorded for Naxos and won top prizes in the ARD Music Competition, representing China
- Bradly Pupa, a faculty member at California Conservatory of Music and a graduate student at the San Francisco Conservatory, representing the United States
- Chinnawat Themkumwun, a 37-time prizewinner in Asia and Europe, representing Thailand
- Congyi Zhang, a graduate student at Mannes School of Music and frequent performer throughout Canada and the United States, representing China
- Tengyue “TY” Zhang, the first-prize winner of the 2017 Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artists Competition, representing China
“We’re also pleased to announce that several of our competitors have answered the challenge of the William and Carol Greiner Award. As a result, three works will be heard in the semi-finals for the first time: Concerto for Guitar by Malcolm Arnold; Concierto Antillano by Ernesto Cordero, and Concierto Elegiaco by Leo Brouwer. The Arnold and the Cordero works have never been performed in Buffalo at all. We’re looking forward to a great competition. Don’t miss it!” – JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition