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2013 Hamilton International Guitar Festival & Competition
Schedule of Events


Friday, June 20, 2014

8pm Concert: Jerome Ducharme (Canada)


Saturday, June 21, 2014

11am Workshop: Gohar Vardanyan
2pm Concert: Cem Celiksirt (Turkey)

8pm Concert: Johannes Möller (Sweden)


Sunday, June 22, 2014

11:00: Workshop: Baroque Ornamentation with Will Douglas

2 pm Concert: Hugo Acosta (Mexico)

8 pm Concert: International Competition Finals

*Individual lessons run from 9:00am-12:00pm and again from 3:00pm-6:00pm.

*The luthier showcase will be open from 9:00am-6:00pm Saturday and Sunday.

2014 International Guitar Competition


All festival participants will receive two lessons, access to all other lessons, concerts, workshops and the luthier showcase.

The competition will take place over three rounds. The first round of the competition will take place Friday, June 20 and should be a maximum of ten minutes. The second round will take place Saturday, June 21 and should be a maximum of 15 minutes. The final round of the competition is open to the public and will take place on Sunday, June 22, 8pm.

Registration for the competition closes on Wednesday, June 18.

Please visit the Tickets & Venue page for registration


1st Prize: $400

2nd Prize: $300

3rd Prize: $200

4th Prize: $100


Participation in the competition alone is $60. Participation in the festival (lessons, masterclasses, concerts, etc.) and the competition is $160.


All evening concerts take place at the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts

126 James St. S. Hamilton

Hamilton International Guitar Festival 2014

Jerome Ducharme
Jérôme Ducharme (Canada)

One of the most respected guitarist of his generation, Jérôme Ducharme travels through North America to perform recitals, masterclasses and for adjudication panels. His career took off when he won the first prize at the 2005 Guitar Foundation of America International Competition. His cd, released on the NAXOS label, received appraisal from various critics, as well as the mention of CD of the month from the Scena musicale.  Jérôme graduated from the Conservatoire de Musique et d’Art dramatique du Québec with great distinction in 2000 and holds a doctorate degree in performance from Université de Montréal.  Jérôme is a guitar instructor at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music and at Marianopolis College. Jérôme is also a member of the Tangere Trio. Jérôme Ducharme plays on a 2011 Daryl Perry guitar.

Johannes Moller
Johannes Möller (Sweden)

The Swedish guitarist and composer Johannes Möller has captivated audiences throughout the world with charismatic and soulful performances. In 2010 he was awarded first prize in the GFA Concert Artist Competition, considered by many to be the most prestigious guitar competition in the world.

As a performer, Johannes’s artistry has reached well beyond the usual guitar circles. This was confirmed in March 2008 when he won the Dutch Vriendenkrans Concours while competing against performers in all instrumental categories. As a part of this award his name has been engraved on a metal plate that can be seen in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He also became the first guitarist ever to win the Ljunggrenska Competition (Sweden) in 2007, and the conclusion issued by the jury was: “With the help of a breathtaking technique and all the colors of the rainbow he opens a door to a world of subtle expressions which strikes us with great power and intensity.” In 2005, he became the first guitarist to win The Bromsgrove Festival International Young Musicians Platform (England). Critics have also noted his special qualities, writing of his playing “Guitarist Johannes Moller achieved miracles with his lucid, spacious playing.” (Stephen Pettitt, London Evening Standard).

Jeffrey McFadden
Jeffrey McFadden (Canada)

Jeffrey McFadden has been acknowledged as one of the finest guitarists of his generation. Over the past years, concert engagements have taken him throughout Canada and the United States and into Europe. He has given World Premieres of works by numerous composers and has been a featured performer at several international music festivals, including "Guitar '87" and GuitarFest '91 in Toronto , Gitarren-Symposium Iserlohn, Lachine International Guitar Festival, the Columbus State Guitar Symposium, The Niagara International Chambre Music Festival, the National Flute Association (USA) Convention, the Festival Mediterraneo della Chitarra, the Acadia Guitar Festival and others.    


 In 1992, Jeffery McFadden was awarded a Silver Medal in the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America Competition and was also a prize-winner in the 1993 Great Lakes Guitar Competition. His debut recording was the first in the "Laureate Series" on the Naxos label and was released world-wide. Since it's release, this recording has sold in the thousands of copies. His playing has received enthusiastic critical acclaim; the "Daily Telegraph" of London (UK) exclaimed "McFadden's ability to make the guitar sing is second to none", and "Classic CD" has described his playing as "major artistry". His latest solo release features the complete didactic works by the 19th century composer Napoleon Coste. "" raved about this disc saying, "Jeffrey McFadden is not only an extraordinary guitarist -- he's also an inspired musician." his latest disc, soon to be released is volume three of the complete works of Agustin Barrios on Naxos.

Jeffrey McFadden
Gohar Vardanyan

Widely admired for her technique and artistry, Armenian guitarist Gohar Vardanyan has performed throughout the United States for numerous guitar societies, universities, and arts organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and guitar societies in Seattle, San Francisco, Houston, Miami, and New York City to name a few. She has appeared on National Public Radio in the United States and Radio Nacional in Argentina. Ms. Vardanyan has performed with the Juilliard Opera Center and as a soloist with the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra and Panama National Symphony Orchestra. She has also been a guest artist at the “Encuentro Internacional de Guitarra” in Panama and the Hamilton International Guitar Festival in Canada. Guitar International Magazine has described her as “the complete package,” “with a musicality and emotional quality . . . that one would expect from someone much older than the young wunderkind. Not only is she able to draw you into her performances with engaging musical interpretations, but she has the technical facility that is required of any concert level guitarist.” Her playing has been described as “passionate,” “evocative,” and “virtuosic.”

Cem Celiksirt (Turkey)

Cem Celiksirt is one of the most exciting young musicians coming from Turkey today. He had his first music lessons at the age of eight which led him to the guitar at the age of twelve. While studying at the Yildiz Conservatory in Istanbul he participated in masterclasses with some of the world's best guitarists including Pepe Romero, David Russel, Lakas David, Dale Kavanagh and Oscar Ghiglia. From 2007-2012 Cem studied at the Hochschule fur Musik Detmold under renowned Canadian guitarist Dale Kavanagh. During this time he was a sought after chamber musician known particularly for his work with the Gran Guitarra Quartett. This ensemble toured extensively and released the cd Mosaique. Cem continues to find much success in the national and international competition scene. He is currently completing post-graduate studies with Thomas Kirchhoff in Detmold, Germany. This will be Cem's debut appearance in North America.

Hugo Acosta (Mexico)

Hugo Acosta Martín del Campo is a Mexican guitarist performing classical, latin and world music.

Hugo completed an undergraduate degree at University of Guadalajara, with the guitarists David Mozqueda and Hugo Gracián, graduating at the top of his class. In 2006 he completed post-graduate studies with world-renowned canadian guitaist Dale Kavanagh at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold in Germany. During that time he performed throughout Germany as a soloist and also in the Catarsis Duo with the Mexican guitarist Juan Ramón Arceo.

He has participated in numerous masterclasses with renowned guitarists as Joaquín Clerch, Aniello Desiderio, Hopkinson Smith, Pablo Garibay, Johannes Möller, Bruce Holzman, Gonzalo Salazar, Pavel Steidl, Juan Carlos Laguna and Carlo Marchionne.

During his studies he was recognized with several awards in guitar competitons in Mexico. Recent concert appearances include “X International Guitar Festival in Sonora 2013”, “VIII International Guitar Festival in Ixlahuaca”, “VII International Guitar Festival “Ramón Noble”, “III International Guitar Festival in La Ciénega de Chapala” and “International Book Fair in Guadalajara”.

Hugo Acosta is now based in Lagos de Moreno, teaches at the University of Guadalajara.

Since 2007 Hugo presents “Sonata Radio” a classical music program in Radio University of Guadalajara.

He is very involved in arts and cultural management and is the founder and artistic director of the Classical Concert Series in Lagos de Moreno and the National Guitar Festival in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico.

In 2014 he will consolidate the Sonata a.c., an arts society formed by his students and friends to promote Mexican musicians, musical education, concerts and cultural exchanges between similar societies around the word.

He has been awarded grants by the National Fund of Culture and Arts (FONCA) in 2006 and The State Council for Culture and Arts (CECA) in 2012.

Hugo Acosta has released in 2013 the cd “Music by Antonio Gomezanda and Apolonio Moreno guitar trascriptions” available now at


Kevin Manderville
Tim Phelan (Canada)

Timothy Phelan made his CBC recording debut at the age of eighteen as concerto soloist with the Quebec City Symphony Orchestra, and he has since been heard in solo, concerto and chamber music performances over CBC Radio and Television, Radio France, Radio Caribbean, and Cuban National Television and Radio. He has performed at four of the triennial Toronto international guitar festivals, and at Leo Brouwer's festivals in Havana and Martinique. Tim’s varied recent engagements include an appearance with the Niagara Symphony and Chorus Niagara (performing his own composition for guitar, 100-voice choir and symphony orchestra), a chamber music programme featuring many of his own arrangements of music by Villa-Lobos and Piazzolla, the premiere performance and recording of a new transcription of Schumann’s Dichterliebe song-cycle with baritone Brett Polegato and members of Tafelmusik, a solo concert at the Hamilton International Guitar Festival, and performances in Germany.

Kevin Manderville
Kevin Manderville (USA)

Kevin Manderville is active as a solo recitalist, chamber musician, teacher and scholar. He has appeared in major cities and festivalsthroughout North America and Europe including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Guitar Foundation of America International Convention, the Iserlohn International Guitar Symposium, the 2nd Acadia International Guitar Festival, the Hamilton International Guitar Festival, the Columbus State University Guitar Symposium, and the New York Guitar Seminar, among others. He has won prizesin several international competitions, including first prize at the Concours International de Guitare de Lachine,second prize at the Rantucci International

Guitar Competition and consecutive top prizes at the Columbus Guitar Symposium Competition. His debutCD, titled Through theCenturies, wasreleased in the fall of 2010 on Clear Note.


Kevin Manderville began his classical guitarstudies at the age of eighteen with James Chandler. He holds degreesfrom Stetson University, where he studied with Stephen Robinson and Florida State University, where he completed the Doctor of Music degree under the tutelage ofBruce Holzman. In addition, he hasstudied in master classes with some oftoday’s most prominent guitarists, including Sergio and Odair Assad, Manuel Barrueco, Eliot Fisk, Roland Dyens, and Oscar Ghiglia. A dedicated teacher, Dr. Manderville hastaught in many diverse settings from universitiesto community programs. He currently residesin Montgomery, AL, where he directsthe classical guitar program at Carver Elementary Arts Magnet School and is on the faculty at Huntingdon College.

Will Douglas (USA)
Will Douglas has performed for some of the top names in guitar including; Tom Sheeley, Virginia Luque, Thomas Kirchhoff, Dale Kavanagh, Johannes Moller, Eduado Fernandez, Eliot Fisk and Oscar Ghiglia among many others. Will held the department chair at Lake Country Christian School for three years and is continuing his teaching career at The Guitar Studio in Fort Worth and as an Adjunct Professor of Instrumental Studies at Tarrant County College Northwest. He made his concert debut in Guitar Fort Worth’s Atrium Series in 2004. He is well-known at many international guitar festivals including the Acadia Guitar Festival in Nova Scotia, Canada and the Iserlohn International Guitar Symposium in Iserlohn, Germany. Will has also given solo baroque guitar performances and played continuo in The University of North Texas’ Collegium Musicum Baroque Orchestra, which performs operas, concerti and chambers works by the leading composers of the baroque. In December of 2008, Will took the presidential reins of Guitar Fort Worth and has continued to help provide performances and educational opportunities to the Fort Worth community. In 2011 Will was invited as a guest lecturer and master class teacher at the 2011 Hamilton International Guitar Festival and The Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. After completing a Masters in Music Performance degree at UNT, Will attended the Graduate Diploma program in Eliot Fisk's studio at prestigious The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Will maintains an active performance schedule in the North Texas area.
Shawn Pickup (Canada)
Canadian guitarist Shawn Pickup has been praised for “a technique of the highest level,” and “masterful interpretation” (Lippische Landeszeitung), his impassioned performances connecting with audiences and critics alike. A multiple national and international prizewinner, Shawn’s recent performance highlights include a radio broadcast performance live from Cologne, Germany for Radio WDR3, solo recitals for the Sauble Beach and Hamilton International Guitar Festivals, and as winner of the 2010 Solistenauswahl Concerto Competition, a performance in the Historic Stadthalle, Wuppertal, Germany as soloist with the orchestra of the Hochschule für Musik Köln, Wuppertal. Future engagements will include recitals for the Annapolis Music Festival, the Brantford Guitar Society, the Guitar Society of Toronto Café Series, and a performance at the 2014 Toronto Guitar Symposium alongside Chroma Duo.
Emma Rush
Emma Rush (Canada)

Canadian guitarist Emma Rush was involved with music from an early age and played many instruments before discovering a love for the guitar. After initial studies, Emma Rush moved to Nova Scotia to complete an undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax. During her years in Halifax, she was active in playing solo and chamber music concerts and participating in numerous masterclasses and quickly became known for her warm sound and expressive playing.

From 2002-2006 Emma Rush lived in Dortmund, Germany. She completed post-graduate studies with world renowned guitarist Dale Kavanagh at the Hochschule fur Musik in Detmold (completed February 2006). She graduated at the top of her class. The years in Germany offered her many opportunities to refine her skills in masterclasses with David Russell, Roland Dyens, Carlo Marchione, and Tilman Hoppstock, among others.

In 2011 Emma Rush was a top prize winner at the Columbus State International Guitar Competition and the Great Lakes International Guitar Competition. She has been the recipient of two City of Hamilton Arts Awards (Music and Arts Administration) and was nominated for a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Arts and Culture. Her much anticipated debut album, Folklorica, was released in the spring of 2014.

Emma Rush is now based Hamilton where she maintains a busy teaching studio in addition to faculty appointments at Mohawk College and Redeemer University College. She performs throughout North America and Europe and appears regularly as a performer and teacher at international music festivals (Iserlohn, Acadia, Great Lakes). Emma Rush is the founder and artistic director of the Guitar Hamilton concert series and the Hamilton International Guitar Festival. Recent performance highlights include the 18th International Guitar Festival in Iserlohn, Germany, the Philadelphia Guitar Society, the Fort Worth Masters Series (Texas), and a tour of the eastern provinces of Canada. Upcoming appearances include concerts in Canada, Germany, Mexico, the United States and a presitigious tour in China in 2014.

“she captivated the audience with her charm, wit and technical prowess” Frankenpost, Germany

“If there is a princess of summer concerts, let it be Emma Rush.” The Hamilton Spectator