CGSV Solo Guitar Competition Wrap-Up and Results

This weekend we were granted the enormous privilege of hearing the latest up-and-coming talent from all parts of Australia in the 2013 edition of the Classical Guitar Society of Victoria (CGSV) Solo Guitar Competition.

The competition was hosted by the CGSV here in Victoria, and featured players ranging from the earliest grades on the instrument, right up to pretty much professional standard through five categories. It also featured a fantastic haul of prizes for the winners and “honourable mentions” in each category, with local business in the Melbourne area contributing a total of around $10,000 worth of prizes!

The day-long competition, hosted by the CGSV, was expertly adjudicated by no than the Brothers Grigoryan. Yes, the fantastically talented duo, Slava and Leonard Grigoryan, were in attendance all day long to impart their expert opinions and words of wisdom for all the competitors. I didn’t envy their job, in fact, particularly in the Open section where the standard of competitors was extremely high and not much to pick them all!

It was really heartening to see so much talent coming through the ranks and such support as well from the players’ family, friends and of course the local guitar-playing community. It really was a fantastic day, with a great collegial atmosphere akin to a festival or a concert rather than a competition as such.

It was a competition, however, and that meant thats there were some winners and people lucky enough to bag a prize or two!

Here’s the run down of the 2013 CGSV Solo Competition winners (remember these names peeps and that you saw them here first!):

E Category (Grades 1-2)

* WINNER: Joel Koay

* Honourable Mention: Zong qi Liu and Noel Ashby

D Category (Grades 3-4)

* WINNER: Joyee Koay

* Honourable Mentions: Mahen Pathirana and Finn Beckingsale

C Category (Grades 5-6)

* WINNER: Xavier Livingston

* Honourable Mentions: Christian Ewings and Thomas Nheu

B Category (Grades 7-8)

* WINNER: Jessop Shumack

* Honourable Mention: Mark Donato

Open (A) Category

* WINNER: Campbell Diamond. Campbell flies out to Tokyo in December compete in the semi-finals of the Tokyo International Guitar Competition! Good luck Campbell (not that you need it)!

* Second Place: Stephanie Jones

* Best Performance of an Australian work: Callum Henshaw

* Vice President’s Award: Andrew Blanch

As I mentioned earlier, there was some simply stunning playing in the Open section.  The playing from winner, Campbell Diamond, was extremely mature, highly expressive and played with real poise. But don’t just take my word for it – here’s the winner himself playing his winning performance of Movements 1 and 2 from Sonata by Antonio Jose and Blackwattle Caprice No. 2 by Ross Edwards:

A real highlight of the competition for me personally was Stephanie Jones’ rendition of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue (BWV 998). Her playing was simply stunning – such delicate, refined playing, with a very clear sense of musical direction and shaping of the lines. Exquisite. If there were such a thing as the Classical Guitar n Stuff prize (there’s an idea for next year’s competition…….) Stephanie would win it for this.  I can’t give you a link to her playing this divine music just yet (the team has got to have a little rest!), but once’s it has been uploaded I’ll share with you.  It was too good not to share!

Prize or no prize, I’d like to say a big “Well done!” to all that played!


Cool classical guitar resources n stuff on the web

With the increasing popularity of our darling instrument, so we find that there is an increasingly growing presence representing the classical guitar community online. Yay! Woop woop!

Some of these websites and blogs help us with selecting instruments, some guide us with tips and techniques, some tell us all about cool gigs to go and check out. I thought today that I’d share and highlight some of those that I visit from time to time.
Another very well laid out website, which is very easy to navigate, with tips, sheet music and interesting articles on the world of classical guitar.  This site also flows through into US-based Aussie Simon Powis’ (the website’s principal author) free lessons website:
This is a US-based website dedicated to classical guitar, with blog articles, some fully legal sheet music downloads (the author’s arrangements of some popular pieces) and ebooks, and generally helpful tips and information. A really well-laid out site too, and easy to use.
A seriously slick and professional website, highlighting the latest news and everything you ever wanted to know about what’s going on with classical guitar in Australia.
A great little classical guitar blog that primarily collates and curates classical guitar videos.
This is a veritable menagerie of classical guitar related tidbits, written by London-based Japanese guitarist Kazu Suwa
As well as blindingly fantastic talent, up-and-coming Aussie Dan has now added a blog to his website.
The first two offerings on the technical elements of scales and tremolo practice, are very thorough, detailed and well written. I can’t wait to see what else he’s been working on.
New York-based Aussie guitarist Rupert Boyd also has a blog, populated by anecdotes and musings on his adventures with the guitar.
A good read.
Regular followers of my blog would know that I often quote Bonell’s blog.
He has some great pearls of wisdom, and a very good-looking little website with interesting shtuff to boot.
I came across this fantastic blog article this week on correct classical guitar posture for minimising injury. A subject very close to my heart.
Becks Guitar Studio
Whilst not a strictly classical guitar-centric website, it does have some interesting little thought pieces applicable to guitarists of all genres.

So, you want to buy a new guitar, but not quite sure what’s good or not.
This little link might help…
OK, I’m a little biased in adding this one, as it’s my home guitar society, but what they heck!
Check it out for all your news, views, concerts and other goings on in Victoria’s classical guitar scene
Nope, not the Gliding Federation of Australia (I’m sure they’re very nice folks, albeit a little crazy for going up in a plane with no engine…).
This is the Guitar Foundation of America and so is primarily focussed on the US guitar scene. It’s a good website for checking out little nuggets on their famous competitions and winners of said competitions
I’ll add these into a dedicated page (which in blog-interweb-speak is apparently a “blogroll”. Sounds inappropriately like “bogroll” to me…Anyway…), and update as come across more interesting, cool or helpful stuff. Feel free to make any suggestions to add in.