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

Review: 10th annual Classical Guitar Weekend May 21-23, 2010 by Jim Doyle

[One of] two of the most important annual American classical guitar events
(Classical Guitar Magazine)
This past weekend I traveled two hindred thirty-six miles to University Circle, where the Cleveland Institute of Music is located, to attend the 10th annual Classical Guitar Weekend. I was amidst 4 of the world's finest classical guitarists and top CIMu guitar students. I attended master classes,lectures and recitals during the entire weekend while absorbing some of the area's interesting local attractions. Staying at the Glidden House, which is located next to the CIM, allowed me to walk to all the events. As a result, I never had to start my car the entire weekend. It was very exciting to be around the plethora of students who are seriously studying guitar, and see how enthusiastic they are about their playing!

The weekend began Friday evening with a recital by lutenist Nigel North performing selected pieces by John Dowland. Nigel's playing was as sensitive as his teaching personality that I witnessed later in his master classes. He is passionate about musicianship, listening to the music and being sensitive to how the composers would have wanted their music to be played.

Daniel Lippel, guitarist, and Tony Arnold, soprano, treated the audience on Saturday afternoon to a duet of guitar and voice with music that I had never heard before. I especially liked the world premier of two Indian pieces, "Alap" and "Jhala," by composer Vineet Shende. The songs required in-performance tuning and retuning, and placement of items on the strings to mimic Indian instruments like the sitar.

Saturday evening, Duo Melis, Spanish Guitarist Susan Prieto and Greek Guitarist Alexis Muzurakis, impressed me with a duo recital which I will never forget! I have never in my life seen two guitarists in duet as responsive and connected as these two artists were. Even though there were two performers on stage, the impression was that they played as one instrument. I was on the edge of my seat the whole performance! Susana did something unique in performance that I have never seen before. She sat facing her duo partner instead of facing the audience, watching every move he made. The connectivity and sensitivity were astounding!

The final performance on Sunday afternoon with Jason Vieaux was worth the wait. His tone and calibre of playing is amazing! I had a chance to speak with his father during intermission. I asked him this question: "When Jason was growing up, did you ever think it would lead to this?" He said "absolutely not" and "in the beginning we didn't even know what the classical guitar was!" My favorite work of the evening was Julia Florida by Augustin Barrios. Jason's sensitive interpretation of this work made it come alive as if Barrios himself was there playing.

In conclusion, this is the reason why I devote time to travel to educational events like Classical Guitar Weekend. I wish to expose myself to expose myself to great people, the luminaries of this art, and in so doing be uplifted and inspired in my musical journey.

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