presents the twenty-first annual
Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival®
and the second annual
James Stroud Classical Guitar Competition

About the CICGF®

[Among] two of the most important annual American classical guitar events
(Classical Guitar Magazine)

Please join us in welcoming our Spring 2021 roster of world renowned artists, teachers, and the James Stroud Classical Guitar Competition Finalists in a concentrated series of video concerts and events celebrating the classical guitar and art music: solo and ensemble, old and new.

Our reasons for presenting this Festival are several: (1) To engage and inspire our participants both emotionally and intellectually; (2) to encourage deeper thought and discussion about how we listen to, perform, and evaluate fine music; (3) to nurture new and old relationships worldwide, artistic and social; and, most important, (4) to facilitate shared moments of universal insight. For it is in live, heightened moments of musical magic in our experience—when art and chance coalesce; time stops; and egos dissolve—that often we become most mindful of our shared humanity.

The Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival® is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Please consider making a tax deductible DONATION to support our events. Concert ticket sales cover less than one third the cost of bringing the worlds' finest classical guitarists, lutenists, and assisting artists to Northeast Ohio. Most Festival events are open to guitarists of all ages and levels and to non-guitarists. This season all our events are free.

I look forward to welcoming new and returning audience members from around the world.

Armin Kelly, Founder and Artistic Director
Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival®


Jason Vieaux (USA), guitar - Grammy Award Winner
[He is] perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation..... (NPR)

Stephen Aron (USA), guitar
[C]ultivated and musical... (New York Times)

Bokyung Byun (Republic of Korea), guitar
[C]onfident and quite extraordinary... (Classical Guitar magazine)

Colin Davin (USA), guitar
[He is a] player with a virtuoso's technique, a deeply expressive musicianship, and a probing imagination. (American Record Guide)

Robert Gruca (USA), guitar
Robert Gruca is a brilliant player with gorgeous tone and a flawless sense of rhythm. (

Antonis Hatzinikolaou (Greece), guitar
Hatzinikolaou… proves to be one of the most eloquent advocates for British guitar music you could wish for. (Gramophone)

Drew Henderson (Canada), guitar
Drew is an amazing guitarist, recording engineer, and video producer. (This is Classical Guitar)

Ji Yeon Kim (Republic of Korea), guitar
Talented, sensitive...brilliant... (Calgary Herald)

Yolanda Kondonassis (USA), harp
[K]een sense of dramatic timing and a range of colour that’s breathtaking... (Gramophone)

Daniel Lippel (USA), guitar
Guitarist Dan Lippel was simply brilliant, knowing exactly when to thrust above the string quartet and when to melt into its textures. (Boston Musical Intelligencer)

Duo Melis (Spain and Greece), guitars
Duo Melis' playing was technically superb, musically convincing, and demonstrated fantastic ensemble. (Soundboard)

Nigel North (England), lute - Gramophone Award Winner
Perhaps he is the greatest performer on his instrument of all time.... (Birmingham Post)

Petra Polácková (Czech Republic), guitar
[Her] playing was so technically secure and musically insightful, it was unimaginable that anything she played could possibly be difficult. (Cleveland Classical)

Jack Sanders (USA), guitar
Sanders took advantage of the music’s range to thoroughly captivate his audience. (Soundboard)

James Stroud Classical Guitar Competition (USA), guitars
Four Finalists to be announced

Meng Su (China), guitar
[S]eemingly effortless and stunningly polished…. (New York Concert Review)

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