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Top Pick: Classic guitar festival in Bratislava

The Johann Kaspar Mertz International Guitar Festival, which opens in Bratislava on Sunday, June 24, hosts classic guitarists from Spain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Chile, Venezuela and Slovakia. The collection of musicians will perform scores on their Spanish guitars until Friday, June 29.
The 26th annual festival was founded by Slovak guitarist Jozef Zsapka, and pays homage to famous Slovak composer Johann Kaspar Mertz.
The visiting guitar players have studied and performed around the world. In Bratislava they will play works of international classic composers, including Stanley Myers, Frederic Chopin, Francisco Tarrega, Francois Borne, Gioacchino Rossini, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert and Mertz.


The Bratislava Guitar Quartet, pictured above, will perform June 26.
photo: Courtesy Bratislava Culture Centre

The Johann Kaspar Mertz International Guitar Festival, which opens in Bratislava on Sunday, June 24, hosts classic guitarists from Spain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Chile, Venezuela and Slovakia. The collection of musicians will perform scores on their Spanish guitars until Friday, June 29.

The 26th annual festival was founded by Slovak guitarist Jozef Zsapka, and pays homage to famous Slovak composer Johann Kaspar Mertz.

The visiting guitar players have studied and performed around the world. In Bratislava they will play works of international classic composers, including Stanley Myers, Frederic Chopin, Francisco Tarrega, Francois Borne, Gioacchino Rossini, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert and Mertz.

Spanish guitarist Juan José Sáenz Gallego will open the festivities at the Klarisky Concert Hall on Monday, June 25. Gallego has written a technical guitar-playing dictionary and founded the International Guitar Week festival in his native town of Burgos, Spain. Following Gallego on Tuesday, June 26 will be three soloists: Hungarian József Eotvos, Venezuelan Gabriel Guillen and Greek Jorgos Panetsos. The Slovak duo Dagmar & Jozef Zsapka will perform both guitar and flute, and will be followed by the Bratislava Guitar Quartet.

Eotvos will focus on scores by Chopin; Guillen will perform works by Venezuelan composer Antonio Lauro; and Panetsos will perform selected Greek compositions. On June 27, Slovak opera singer Barbara Somogyiová will accompany Italian guitarist Francesco Biraghi for a stirring performance.

On Thursday, June 28, a concert will be held in the nearby Klarisky church, and on Friday, June 29, Chilean guitarist Carlos Pérez will close the festival by performing scores written by his fellow countrymen as well as by Bach and Schubert.

All concerts begin at 20:00 at Koncertná sieň Klarisky (Klarisky Concert Hall) in Bratislava on Farská 4, next to the Restaurant u Liszta off Ventúrska street. Tickets cost 70 Slovak crowns and can be bought in advance at the Town Culture Centre on Uršulínska 11, tel: 5443 2942, or an hour before the performance at the door. For more information visit: www.mksba.sk


By Zuzana Habšudová

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