Dr. Silviu Ciulei, MTSU’s first full International Music Scholar will perform at the Tennessee Guitar Festival at MTSU. Photo courtesy of MTSU News and Media Relations
Whether you play guitar or simply love to hear one being played, MTSU is offering a wonderful opportunity May 29-31 to hear some of the world’s finest guitarists, including one of our acclaimed music alumni, alongside some of America’s best young musicians.
The 13th annual Tennessee Guitar Festival and Competition kicks off at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 29, with an opening night concert featuring Dr. Silviu Ciulei, MTSU’s first full International Music Scholar, and Austin, Texas-based emerging virtuoso Chad Ibison.
On Friday, May 30, at 8 p.m., British-born guitarist Stanley Yates, who directs the guitar program at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, will be joined in concert by the internationally renowned Tantalus Quartet — guitarists Kristian Anderson, Adam Foster, Stephen Mattingly and Lynn McGrath.
And on Saturday, May 31, a special concert featuring the guitar competition finalists is set for 8 p.m.
All the concerts are set in MTSU’s finest music performance venue, the Hinton Music Hall inside the Wright Music Building. Each is open to the public. Admission to the three concerts is $10 per event, and students 16-under will be admitted free.
This guitar competition, which offers $2,750 in prize money as well as guitars and other musical necessities, regularly draws America’s best young guitarists to compete for the $1,200 first prize. They also participate in lectures, workshops and master classes during the three-day event, all of which also are open to the public for a single registration fee of $30 that also includes concert admissions.
The talent that comes to MTSU each year for the Tennessee Guitar Festival is nothing less than breathtaking. If you need more convincing, I suggest you check out some video performances.
Ciulei, a classical and flamenco guitarist who began studying music at age 6, earned his undergrad degree in guitar performance in 2008 from MTSU. You can watch a video of Ciulei created by Florida State University, where he recently received his doctorate, at http://youtu.be/MFk1s__Aahc.
Ibison, who is currently a teaching assistant at the University of Texas at Austin, will represent the USA at the 2014 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition next month in Buffalo, New York. You can watch Ibison perform Bach’s “Sonata in E minor for flute and continuo” at http://youtu.be/-QmkHDQDIrY.
Yates, who is renowned for his transcriptions of beloved Bach suites and rediscovered 18th-century concertos and chamber works, also is known for his unique solo arrangements of Beatles tunes. A performance video of one of his favorites is at http://youtu.be/qFsVwUjH1FM.
You can watch a video of the Tantalus Quartet’s performance of “Variations on a Theme of Mozart” at the 2010 University of Louisville Guitar Festival at http://youtu.be/rcwyxb72KLg. (This was recorded before McGrath joined the group.)
Festival director Dr. William Yelverton, who teaches guitar in MTSU’s School of Music, has long noted the “world-class guitarists” that attend, teach and perform at each year’s festival. This year, he’s strongly encouraging area guitarists to attend, especially on the last night.
“The Saturday night finals will be an awesome display of solo guitar playing. I particularly hope young guitarists from the community take this opportunity to hear this event, the largest of its kind in the state. It only happens once a year.”
Don’t miss your chance to hear — and see — music at its best. You can learn more at http://www.TennesseeGuitarFestival.com.
Gina E. Fann works in MTSU’s Office of News and Media Relations and manages content for the university’s news site, MTSUnews.com.