Top Guitar Talent in Playing in Melbourne in June and July

Today’s post demonstrates that not only is Melbourne the world’s most liveable city (according to The Economist’s Intelligence Unit), but it’s also pretty flipping good if you’re a guitarist.

The next few months will see Melbourne play host to an absolute wealth of classical guitar talent. If you’re in town make sure you head along to check these folks out!


Melbourne Guitar Quartet “Baroque Reworked” – Tuesday 17th June, 6pm, Melbourne Recital Centre

Melbourne Guitar Quartet are joining forces with Donna Coleman (keyboard) and Ron Murray (didgeridoo) for a very unique program of Baroque music.

The program will feature the quartet’s impressive arrangements of Vivaldi and Bach works, including their fantastic reworking of J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. We will also be treated to the quartet teaming up with Donna Coleman to perform  J.S. Bach’s Concerto in D minor, BWV.1052 along with Ron Murray on didgeridoo. Can’t wait to hear this one!!

Melb Guitar Quart new.jpg

Make sure you get your tickets here:

Ifyou’d like a taster you can listen to their recent ABC Classic FM radio broadcast recorded live at the launch recital for their latest album (“in colour”) in March this year:


Campbell Diamond – Saturday 21st June, 7pm, St Bartholomew’s Anglican Church, Richmond

Campbell Diamond is living up to his surname, and is a true up-and-coming talent on the Australian classical guitar scene. Campbell won the the Open Class of the 2013 Classical Guitar Society of Victoria Competition with his 2010 C900 Lance Litchfield cedar top. Definitely one to watch – and a concert to get yourself along to!
Listen to his 2013 award-winning performance here:
Daniel Nistico – Sunday 6th July, 3pm, St Bartholomew’s Anglican Church, Richmond
The super-talented Daniel Nistico is back in Australia fresh from his studies in the USA. I’m seriously looking forward to how the young maestro has developed over the last few months. Very exciting!
Maximo Pujol Trio  Saturday 12th July, 7:30pm Melba Hall, University of Melbourne
Tickets available through
Another “do not miss” event! Check out a recent post on the upcoming concert from the Argentine master and friends here: Maximo Pujol Trio in Melbourne
Johannes Möller – 22nd July, 7pm Early Music Studio 27 Royal Parade, University of Melbourne, Parkville
If the preceding guitaristic talent weren’t enough for you, the 2010 Guitar Foundation of America competition winner is making his way to Melbourne next month. Needless to say places in his masterclass were snapped up faster than a hot snag at a barbie!
This guitarist is just as hot, and his Melbourne recital is another “do not miss” event. This is what’s in store:
Adelaide International Guitar Festival

And it that were not enough six stringed feasting for you, Adelaide plays host to the Adelaide International Guitar Festival next month too, with classical, blues, jazz, rock and folk guitar styles all featuring:


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!