is pleased to present the twenty-fourth annual
Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival®
in cooperation with the fifth annual
James Stroud Classical Guitar Competition
hosted at and with support from the
Cleveland Institute of Music
June 6 - 9, 2024

CICGF® 2024 Festival Profiles

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

Jason Vieaux biography
Grammy Award Winner
[Jason Vieaux is] perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.... (NPR)

Grammy-winner Jason Vieaux, “among the elite of today's classical guitarists” (Gramophone), is the guitarist that goes beyond the classical. NPR describes Vieaux as, “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.” Among his extensive discography is the 2015 Grammy Award ...
Daniele Chiesa biography
Along with [Chiesa's] own individual perspective, his teachers and those he’s worked with shape every guitar he makes.

Daniele Chiesa was born in Bergamo, Italy in 1973; he has studied classical and jazz guitar since the age of 12. In 1994 he enrolled in the International Violin-making school of Cremona, learning traditional violin-making and repairing and building guitars in his own shop; he graduated in 1998. One year after, he moved to...

Thomas Flippin biography
His playing is musically compelling and precise, with good stage presence and great contact with his audience...." Marija Ilic, Artistic Director, OSilas Series

Thomas Flippin is an original and versatile voice in the world of contemporary classical music. In 2018 his ensemble, Duo Noire, released their critically-acclaimed album, Night Triptych, featuring new works for guitar duo composed exclusively by women composers...
Jonathan Leathwood biography
Jonathan Leathwood is a genius. (Classical Guitar)

Jonathan Leathwood is Teaching Professor at Denver University's College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences' Lamont School of Music. He is one of the few guitarists to perform on six-string and ten-string guitars, mixing modern and traditional works in his innovative programs. His last London concert led Classical Guitar to call him “a genius,” the Musical Times of London has written of his “remarkable talent and singular artistry”...
Lorenzo Micheli biography
First prize winner of the Guitar Foundation of America International Competition and many others.

Lorenzo Micheli has taken up a busy concert career throughout the world since winning first prize in some of the most prestigious international guitar competitions, including both the Alessandria and Guitar Foundation of America International Competitions. As a recitalist and orchestral soloist, he has performed in more than 600 concerts throughout Europe, in two hundred US and Canadian cities, and in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Latin America...
Petra Polácková biography
[Her] playing was so technically secure and musically insightful, it was unimaginable that anything she played could possibly be difficult. (Cleveland Classical)

Since 2002 classical guitarist Petra Polácková has won numerous national and international guitar competitions. As a result of her competition successes she has been invited to perform at many of Europe’s most prestigious guitar festivals, including: Bonn, Vienna, Budapest, Madrid, Genéve, and Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem...
Andy Poxon biography
Andy Poxon;s arrangements have been performed by Grammy winning artists such as Jason Vieaux and Sasha Cooke, as well as the esteemed concert violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. 

He has performed at venues across the United States and Canada as a soloist and with various bands and orchestras. Andy Poxon is a faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he teaches guitar for the Joint Music Program with Case Western Reserve University...  
Mari Sato biography
Mari Sato is “a visceral and engaging storyteller.” (

Violinist Mari Sato has enjoyed a rich and varied career as a chamber musician based in Cleveland. Mari was the second violinist of the award-winning Cavani String Quartet for twenty-four years. During her tenure with the Cavani Quartet, Mari gave concerts on major series, including Carnegie Hall, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Festival de L’Epau in France, and the Honolulu Chamber Music Society.Ms. Sato is honored to have collaborated with ...
Nicolò Spera biography
Spera’s joy in playing this music was contagious to all, making this a performance to relish and remember. (Sharps & Flatirons)

Italian guitarist Nicolò Spera is one of the few guitarists to perform on both six-string and ten-string guitars. He has published recordings of the complete guitar works by Maurice Ohana; new commissioned works for guitar and choir; his own transcriptions of Bach’s Cello Suites; selected works by Catalan composers Federico Mompou and Enrique Granados; a recording focused on the passacaglia form; and the complete works with...
Hao Yang biography
Recipient of the Clifton Foundation’s Emerging Artists Award and a Winner of the 2021 Astral National Auditions.

Hao Yang has won top prizes in numerous competitions, including fourth prize in the Guitar Federation of America International Concert Artist Competition and first prize in the Youth Competition. She was awarded first prizes in both high school and college divisions at the Columbus State University International Guitar Competition, and first prize in the Andres Segovia...
2024 CICGF program book
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