guitar festivals that you can’t miss
In Spain there are various music festivals that make classical guitar stand out. Ponferrada, Córdoba and Seville are some of the host cities. Guitarists from different parts of the world participate in them, who not only play, but also give lectures and master classes to people of different ages.
The need for international meetings
The experiences and years of study of some guitarists can help improve the technique and performance of others. In addition, the way to learn to play guitar varies according to the context of the country. It may be that a musician from Spain has different knowledge compared to another from Mexico, even guitars sound different depending on who plays them.
Therefore, it is important to hold international guitar encounters where different cultures mix and share knowledge. This is where the festivals in Spain come into the picture, which are some of the best in terms of classical guitar, both in manufacturing and execution. Meetings of this magnitude become a great opportunity to share musical genres, compositions, arrangements and much more. Likewise, all participating countries gain new knowledge to evolve in the area of guitar teaching and learning.
30 years doing the Ponferrada festival
At the end of 2019 the city of Ponferrada celebrated its 30 years by organizing guitar festivals. There are many anecdotes that those who have attended this international festival could tell, because since its creation, each meeting of guitarists has had the participation of high-level international artists.
Currently, the Ponferrada International Guitar Festival is directed by María José Cordero, but it was the Cuban Flores Chaviano who helped create it 30 years ago.
In November 2019, the 3 decades of this meeting were celebrated. Perhaps it was the best opportunity to perform the Aranjuez Concert by Joaquín Rodrigo, which was played by José Manuel de la Fuente and accompanied by the Ponferrada Camerata Clásica.
Another main concert was a tribute to the poet Antonio Gamoneda, who received the 2006 Cervantes Prize. In it the Spanish guitar picks were fused very well with various poems by the artist.
Also, being the 30-year anniversary, the event organizers decided to emphasize classical guitar works. It was like going back to the origins of the festival, when it was still part of the Ponferrada Conservatory. And apart from the classical songs, other musical genres such as folk, country and jazz entered the scene, giving this festival a different touch.
Famous musicians and groups such as David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and Tomatito have participated in this event. José Miguel Moreno, a virtuoso vihuela player, has even played at the festival. In short, the Mousike association, which has carried out the events during all this time, surprises each year with different international guests.
In addition to this, the association has performed concerts in other places such as Bembibre, Astorga and Villafranca del Bierzo, so it has not only contributed culturally to Ponferrada.
Cordoba Guitar Festival
Córdoba is called the city of the guitar, because every year in July it offers a festival of up to 10 continuous days. Different artists or national and international groups have performed in it, such as Orquesta de Córdoba, Iván Ferreiro, David Russell, Miguel Ríos, Manuel Barrueco, etc. Therefore, many people from all over the world attend to enjoy the festival, which increases the tourism of the city.
This is a festival that is divided in two ways, the educational part and the concerts. Therefore, the craftsman who wants to make the best Spanish guitar should go to this event, since the educational area provides courses on the construction of flamenco, classical, antique, modern and contemporary guitars. Likewise, as part of the training, the festival offers composition courses for flamenco guitar, dance and singing. The latter serves as a reinforcement of the cultural values of Córdoba and other cities in the country, in addition to cultivating a taste for flamenco in the music students who attend the activities.
On the other hand, in the concert area the guest musicians play a very important role, who play various genres in which the guitar is the main instrument. In this sense, every year artists of jazz, old, classical, modern guitar and, above all, flamenco, which is a musical genre of Spanish origin, perform at the festival. Also, this meeting has different complementary activities, that is, the history of the guitar, publications, presentations and exhibitions. Thanks to them, the participants will be able to receive a more complete guitar training.
The Seville festival
Although it is the last festival we mentioned, it is of great importance for Spain and the world, since from 2010 to this day it has brought together more than 80 professional musicians from the country and abroad.
In the same way, more than 170 concerts have been held at the festival from its first edition to the present. Not only are there activities for the enjoyment of adults, but it also holds educational concerts in which more than 1800 children from the city have benefited.
And, if someone goes to the festival in search of master classes, they will find them, since it is one of their main objectives, teaching at a high musical level.
Another activity that you can enjoy if you go to this festival is the Seville International Classical Guitar Competition, in which more than 260 guitarists have participated and the number continues to increase every year. Also, for those who like Spanish music there is the Seville International Flamenco Guitar Competition.
Finally, we mention the Manuel de Falla Composition Contest; there guitarists will be able to show their own songs and meet other people’s songs.