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Appalachian Guitar Fest Begins March 30

BOONE–Thirty guitarists from Russia, Mexico City, Canada and the United States are among the competitors vying for a $1,000 cash first prize during the Appalachian Guitar Fest at Appalachian State University.

The festival runs March 30-April 2 in Broyhill Music Center’s Recital Hall.

In addition to the solo guitar competition, renowned guitarists Elliot Frank, Douglas James, Stephen Robinson, Pasquale Rucco and Richard Savino will perform in concert. They also will present master classes to advanced guitar students as well.

Concert admission is $10 for nonstudents and $6 for students. The master classes are open to the public for a $5 admission.

Because of limited seating, advanced ticket purchases are advised. Tickets are available in the School of Music office. For more information call (828) 262-3020.

Rucco, James and Robinson will perform in concert March 31 at 8 p.m. Rucco is a native of Italy and founding director of a consortium of music academies in Naples.

James directs the guitar studies program at Appalachian as well as the Guitar Fest. He has performed in Europe, Mexico and the United States and has received two National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowships and top prizes in the Arturo Toscanini Solo Guitar Competition.

Robinson directs the guitar studies program at Stetson University and has won several international guitar competitions.

The duo of Rucco and James will perform works by Gragnani, de Fossa, de Barro, and Giuliani on 19th century guitars.

Rucco and James specialize in guitar literature of the 19th century on authentic instruments of the period. They met at a guitar festival in Italy in the early 1990s and have performed together in Italy and the United States.

The de Fossa works are rarely heard arrangements based on the works of Joseph Haydn. The Giuliani arrangements are of Rossini operatic overtures, including “The Barber of Seville” and “The Thieving Magpie.” The de Barro is a newly discovered rondo by the Viennese guitarist/composer.

Robinson will perform an arrangement from Verdi’s “Rigoletto” by Johan Kasper Mertz, a sonatina by Maximo Diego Pujol, “Torre Bermeja” by Isaac Albeniz and “Libra Sonatine” by Roland Dyens.

Activities April 1 include semi-finals of the guitar competition, which begin at 2 p.m. The competition is free and open to the public.

Frank and Savino perform in concert April 1 beginning at 8 p.m. Frank founded the guitar studies program at East Carolina University. He has won two international guitar competitions and regularly performs recitals and as a concert soloist throughout the Americas. He will perform “La Catedral” by Barrios; “Three Venezuelan Waltzes,” “Venezuelan Suite” and “Three Waltzes” by Lauro; and three etudes by Villa-Lobos.

Savino will perform “Passacalle” and other selections on the baroque guitar by de Murcia, variations on “La Folia” by Giuliani on the classical guitar and “Bardenklange” by Mertz. Savino is a professor of music at California State University at Sacramento. He has performed at international festivals and as a concert soloist in the United States, Canada and England.

The final rounds of the guitar competition begin at 1 p.m. on April 2. Admission is charged.

The guitar fest is sponsored in part by the D’Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts.