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News 07 Mar 16

Belgrade Guitar Art Festival - an Eclectic Mix

Belgrade hosts one of the world’s most important guitar music festivals and features a wide range of international artists.

David Galic
Jeremy Jouve. Photo: Facebook

The Guitar Art Festival, which has become one of Belgrade’s most popular music festivals over the last decade, will be celebrating its 17th annual event this year.

Starting on March 8 and lasting five days, this year’s festival looks more diverse than it’s ever been. Through the years, the festival has made a deep impact on the global guitar scene and is always ranked in the top five of the best international classical guitar festivals.

As always, the lineup is deep and varied. This year’s event features classical, jazz, tango, flamenco, fado and even traditional Indian music artists. But each year there is one feature performer whose concert is most anticipated. And this year, that guest is undoubtedly Spanish diva Luz Casal.

She will be performing on March 12, the closing night of the festival, at Sava Centre. Casal will perform songs spanning her 35-year career and will be accompanied by a quintet featuring two guitar players.

Casal is considered the most popular and successful Spanish singer of all time, selling over five million records across the world. And while her concert is easily the most anticipated, it should be stressed that over 100 artists are going to be participating in the Guitar Art Festival this year, whether at concerts, discussions or workshops.

The education portion has always been an integral part of the festival and this year is no different. Over the course of six days, more than 200 guitar students will take part in over 300 guitar classes and ten expert-led master classes. There will also be competitions for young guitarists held in six different categories.

As for the other musical performers, classical guitar will again be at the forefront of the festival. The Guitar Art Festival prides itself in showcasing some of the best talent in the genre, young and old, and this year is no different. The classic guitar lineup this year includes names like Rovshan Mamedkuliev, the Amadeus Guitar Duo, Jeremy Jouve, Raphaela Smitts, and Kyuhee Park.

One of the more interesting and exotic performers at the festival will be famed Indian musician Vishwa Mohat Bhatt, a Grammy Award winner. Many music lovers consider him to be one of the most emotional and expressive musicians in the world.

The Alfonso & Miguel Linares sextet from Spain is the biggest name in Flamenco music this year, while the Ricardo Parreira Fado Trio will be representing the Portuguese musical tradition.

Tickets for all concerts are on sale at the Dom Omladine ticket desk, but also at every Eventim location and at the festival’s offices. Concerts taking place at 7pm and 8pm each night cost six euros, while the main event shows at 10pm cost ten euros.

You can also call to make ticket reservations at (011) 220-6244 or by sending an email to [email protected] A full list of events, workshops and concerts can be found at the festival’s official website: http://www.gaf.rs/sr/

This article was published in BIRN's bi-weekly newspaper Belgrade Insight. Here is where to find a copy.

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