presents the twenty-third annual
Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival®
and the fourth annual
James Stroud Classical Guitar Competition
in cooperation with the
Cleveland Institute of Music
June 1 - 4, 2023

About the CICGF®

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

Please join us in welcoming our June 2023 roster of world renowned artists, teachers, lecturerers, and the fourth annual James Stroud National Classical Guitar Youth Competition Semi-Finalists to a concentrated series of live concerts and events celebrating the classical guitar and art music: solo and ensemble, old and new.

Now in its twenty-fourth year the Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival® strives to:

INSPIRE guitarists and non-guitarist of all ages, genders, and backgrounds;
ENCOURAGE deeper thought, discussion, and understanding about how we perceive, perform, teach, and evaluate fine music;
NURTURE new and old musical relationships;
PROMOTE the creation and dissemination of fine musical art.

FOR WE BELIEVE that it is in heightened moments of live musical magic—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 artists and events. Concert ticket sales cover less than one third the cost of bringing the worlds' finest classical guitarists, lutenists, teachers, lecturers, and assisting artists to Northeast Ohio, USA.

We look forward to welcoming new and returning participants from near and far to our twenty-third annual Festival.

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


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

Jonathan Leathwood (England), guitar
Jonathan Leathwood is a genius. (Classical Guitar)

Matteo Mela (Italy), guitar
Co-recipient of numerous first prizes in chamber music competitions: ARAM (Rome, 1992), F. Cilea (1993), GMI (1994), Città di Gubbio (1995), Città di Caltanissetta (1995), and Perugia Classico (1995).

Lorenzo Micheli (Italy), guitar
First prize winner of the Guitar Foundation of America International Competition and many others.

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

Kimberly Patterson (USA), cello
[A] superb cellist...  (Chicago Sun Times)

Mari Sato (USA), violin
Mari Sato is “a visceral and engaging storyteller.” (

Patrick Sutton (USA). guitar
Patrick Sutton's performance was absolutely beautiful. (Opus Colorado)

Hao Yang (China), guitar
Recipient of the Clifton Foundation’s Emerging Artists Award and a Winner of the 2021 Astral National Auditions.

2023 CICGF program book
Additional Support Provided By: