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Great guitarists come together

There is a treat coming to Paphos in the form of a four-day guitar festival, which will be dedicated to the Cuban guitarist Leo Brouwer, who will also be present during the festival and lead two workshops.

Brouwer completed his studies at the Julliard School of Music and at Hartt College of Music and in 1987 was selected as an honourable member of UNESCO in recognition for his music career.

Brouwer has conducted orchestras around the world including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra. He has been heard as both composer and classical guitarist at many major international music events and his discography comprises over 100 commercial recordings. His work has been recorded by many musicians, including John Williams and Julian Bream.

The guitarist has also written many film scores including A Walk In The Clouds and Like Water For Chocolate. He has received numerous awards and honours.

The festival will begin next Thursday with a performance by Costas Cotsiolis from Greece. Cotsiolis is considered to be one of the greatest guitarists of our time, thanks to world-wide touring and the audiences – as well as the critics – who rave about his performances.

Cotsiolis has been Artistic Director of the Volos International Guitar Festival since 1978, a professor of the Conservatory of Athens since 1977 and of the New Conservatory of Thessaloniki since 1981. He holds more positions but let’s get back to the music.

The festival performances will continue next Friday with a performance by Sabrina Vlaskalic from Serbia. Vlaskalic, who is considered to be one of the most talented players of our time, has been playing the guitar since she was seven. In 2006 she graduated from the Vatroslav Lisinski Music High School and she is currently studying the guitar at The Faculty of Music Art in Belgrade.

Her musical talent has been praised over and over again in the form of national and international prizes. To date her biggest success was winning the first and second prize at the international competition for young guitarists Andres Segovia in Velbert, Germany in 2004.

Saturday, May 21 sees the Italian guitarist Aniello Desiderio take to the stage. Desiderio, who has attended musical interpretation classes with Brouwer, graduated with honours from the Conservatory of Music in Alessandria, Italy in 1992.

Considered a child prodigy, Desiderio grew-up to win many national and international prizes, tour extensively and be one of the founders of the World Guitar Ensemble, with which he has toured most of Europe.

The guitarists, including Brouwer, will give masterclasses at the Paphos Academy of Fine Arts. Vlaskalic will give the first one on May 19 from 3pm-6pm, Desiderio will teach the secrets of the guitar on May 20 from 3pm until 6pm, on May 21 Brouwer will give his first master class from 10am-1pm and then Cotsiolis will give one in the afternoon from 3.30pm until 6.30pm, and the last masterclass will be given by Brouwer On May 22 from 10.30am until 1.30pm.

There is no age limit to take part in a masterclass. You can be an active member and take part in performing or a non-active member. The charge for active participants is €100 for one performance and for non-active participants the cost is €50.

The recitals at Paphos Castle are free for those participating in the masterclasses.

First Guitar Festival – Leo Brouwer
Live performances by guitarists. May 19-21. Medieval Paphos Castle. 8pm. €30 festival ticket and €15/3 day ticket. Tel: 26-937670
Masterclasses. May 19-22. Paphos Academy of Fine Arts. Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 3pm-6pm, Saturday and Sunday mornings: 10.30am-1.30pm. €100/50. Tel: 99-632346

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