Hubert Kappel is among the most influential teachers and guitarists of his generation. Born in Bensberg, Germany, he is the only German guitarist ever to win the International Interpretation Competition in Gargano, Italy. After training at the Cologne College of Music, he completed his classical guitar studies with Konrad Ragossnig at the Music Academy in Basel, Switzerland and with Oscar Ghiglia in Italy. Since completing his studies, Hubert Kappel has established himself as a leading performer and teacher of the guitar, touring extensively as a recitalist, orchestral soloist, and chamber player throughout Europe, Asia, andNorth and South America. He has given concerts and master classes at many international music and guitar festivals, as well as served on juries in most of the major guitar competitions. Hubert Kappel has made many recordings, and performed on numerous national and international radio and television broadcasts. Currently, he directs a guitar program at the Musikhochschule, one of the most successful guitar classes in Europe. Many students from this class have been international competition winners. In 2001, Hubert Kappel and composer George Schmitz created the Koblenz Guitar Academy, a school devoted to nurturing the development of exceptionally talented young guitarists. He has alsowritten a guitar method published by AMA Musikverlag.
A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Grisha Goryachev is renowned for his extraordinary musical sensitivity and technical virtuosity in both classical and flamenco styles.
Grisha is one of very few guitarists in the world who is reviving the tradition of solo flamenco guitar in a concert setting that was practiced by legendary flamenco masters such as Ramón Montoya and Sabicas. Grisha strives to keep alive older flamenco masterpieces that now exist only on records, by performing them in concerts. Instead of merely copying, he creates his own interpretations of these masterpieces, using dynamics and tone colors usually associated with classical guitar.
Grisha began playing guitar at the age of six, studying first with his father Dmitry, an acknowledged master teacher of the instrument. At nine years old, Grisha started his performing career as a child prodigy. His numerous performances before large audiences in the most prestigious concert halls in the Soviet Union were highly praised.
Following a tour of Spain, Grisha was invited to play for flamenco legend Paco de Lucía, who soon after personally intervened in support of his application for an American visa, which was awarded in 1997 on the basis of “Extraordinary Ability”.
In May 2005 Grisha was awarded the prize for Best Performance of Spanish Music at the VI International Classical Guitar Competition “Julian Arcás” in Almería, Spain.
Grisha received his Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he studied under famous guitar virtuoso Eliot Fisk. He was one of the 30 people in 2006 to become a fellow of the distinguished Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship, recognizing him as exceptional in his chosen field.
Since his immigration to the United States, Grisha has toured extensively in the states and abroad as a performer, instructor, and judge for many prominent festivals and venues. A firm believer in exposing the young generations to the beauty of classical and flamenco guitar, he likes to include Outreach performances and workshops at schools as part of his concert tours.
Grisha’s YouTube videos have collected over two million views and many notable comments. Grisha recorded two CDs: “Alma Flamenca” and “Homenaje a Sabicas”.
The French guitarist, Ehat Musa, won the first award at the National Competition of Young Soloists as back as in 1969. Since 1970 he attended master-classes of Alirio Díaz in Italy. Later he moved to Paris and went on to study guitar with Alberto Ponce at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, exploring in the area of acoustics and following the tradition of Tarrega and Pujol. That was the beginning of his artistic career. Ehat Musa has given concerts, throughout the world, travelling from New York to Moscow, appearing as soloist and with grand symphonic orchestras. His repertoire includes works of J.S. Bach, Sor, Barios, Lauro, Villa-Lobos, Powell, Reis, Brouwer.
Setting new standards with technical virtuosity and his characteristical interpretation of old and new repertoire makes Goran Krivokapić one of the leading guitarists and chamber musicians of the new, international scene.
He won his first international competition at the age of fourteen, and continued to win eighteen more, including two of the most prestigious guitar competitions – “Guitar Foundation of America” (GFA) in Montreal, Canada, and “Dr. Luis Sigall International Competition of Musical Performance” in Viña del Mar, Chile, both in 2004.
Two Golden Guitar awards followed at the annual “International Guitar Convention in Alessandria” in Italy – 2005 as the best young guitarist of the year and 2006 for his debut CD. Since then he has performed all over Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Russia, appearing at such prestigious halls as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Lubkowitz Palace in Vienna, and Auditorio Conde Duque in Madrid.
As a performer, lecturer and adjudicator Goran Krivokapić is a frequent guest (both as soloist and with Danijel Cerović as a member of Montenegrin Guitsr Duo) at many international festivals such as Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada, Kotor Art, Koblenz International Guitar Festival, Forum Gitarre Wien, Iserlohn International Guitar Festival, GFA International Guitar Convention, A Tempo Festival, Guitar Art Festival, Shenyang Guitar Festival and Daejon Guitar Festival.
As a soloist he has performed with the Slovak Chamber Orchestra of Bohdan Warchal, Symphony Orchestra of Moscow “Russian Philharmony”, New Russian Symphony Orchestra, Turin Philharmonic Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Montenegrin Symphony Orchestra, Romanian National Radio Orchestra, Folkwang Chamber Orchestra, Chilean Symphony Orchestra, Primavera Orchestra, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, St. George String Orchestra, Berliner Camerata, Philharmonic Orchestra Bremerhaven and Shenyang Symphony Orchestra.
Goran Krivokapić has given masterclasses, lectures on Bach and workshops at universities such as Grieg Academy (Norway), State University of New York, University of Toronto, Hochschule für Musik Detmold, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Florida State University, Conservatorium Maastricht, University of Cape Town, University of Texas at Dallas, Victoria Conservatory of Music, Chapman University, Royal Conservatory of Music in Montreal, Seoul National University, University of Manitoba, University of Texas in Brownsville, State Consevatory M.I. Glinka Nizhny Novgorod, University of Wisconsin, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Arkansas State University, University of Veracruz and Tianjin Conservatory.
He has been active in the “Rhapsody in School” project on a regular basis, an outreach initiative of Lars Vogt which devotes itself to bringing classical music into the classroom.
Regular broadcasts and interviews for television and radio include WDR, BBC, Hessischer Rundfunk, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Radio Bremen, Arte, Fox 7, WBGH Boston, Fine Music Radio, ClassicFM, ABC Classic and RTCG.
His recordings and performances have been highly praised and featured in Gramophone Magazine (UK), Classical Guitar Magazine (UK), Soundboard Magazine (USA), The WholeNote (Canada), Akustik Gitarre, Neue Musikzeitung, (Germany), Gendai Guitar Magazine (Japan), Musica, Seicorde, Il Fronimo and La Stampa (Italy), Les Cahiers de la Guitare (France), Beeld and Die Burger (South Africa), Vijesti and Mobilart (Montenegro).
Goran Krivokapić’s musical focus is on the development of new works for classical guitar, mainly through making his own transcriptions from the baroque and classical works, and collaborating with contemporary composers such as Gerard Drozd, Hendrik Hofmeyr and Atanas Ourkouzounov, who have dedicated several of their solo and chamber music works to him and Montenegrin Guitar Duo.
Montenegrin Guitar Duo performances have been highly acclaimed by both audience and critics who praise their live performances as well as their world premiere Naxos recording of J. S. Bach’s complete English Suites in two volumes, transcribed by the duo.
Born in 1979, Goran Krivokapić started his music education when he was eight with Mićo Poznanović at the Music School of Herceg Novi in Montenegro and furthered his studies at the Faculty of Music Art in Belgrade in the class of Srđan Tošić, graduating in 2000. He continued with Hubert Käppel and Roberto Aussel at the “Hochschule für Musik Köln” in Germany, where he graduated and received the “Konzertexamen” degree. He then pursued his master’s degree at the Conservatorium Maastricht, the Netherlands, under the tutelage of Carlo Marchione and Masters after Masters under the tutelage of Raphaella Smits at LUCA School of Arts Campus Lemmensinstituut in Leuven, Belgium. He is teaching guitar at the Lemmensinstituut and is professor of guitar at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, Germany. He lives in Cologne with his wife and son.
The young French classical guitar virtuoso Florian Larousse, at the age of 30, has already wowed audiences on multiple continents. From numerous prizes in the some of the most significant international competitions of the guitar world to audience choice awards and recording contracts, Larousse has shot to the forefront of his field. Florian Larousse has earned prizes in a number of international competitions in various countries including France, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Spain, and the United States. His performance at the Jose Tomás Competition (Spain) earned him first prize and the Audience Choice Award in addition to resulting in a tour of Spain to 10 different cities as well as a recording contract. In 2009 he won the Koblenz International guitar Competition “Hubert Kappel” (Germany) and later that year won the coveted first prize of The Guitar Foundation of America International Artist Competition. His win at the 2009 GFA International Concert Artist Competition will result in a 9-month concert tour in the United States, including a performance at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in New York, as well as a number of concerts in Brazil, Canada, China, and Mexico. Born in 1988, French guitarist Florian Larousse began studying guitar at the age of 8 with Philippe Vanderstichele, later continuing his studies at the prestigious National Conservatory of Paris with Pedro Gonzalez. After four years, he graduated with highest honors in classical guitar. That same year, he began his studies with French virtuoso and Guitar Foundation of America laureate Judicael Perroy and entered the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris where he also worked with critically acclaimed artist, teacher, and composer Roland Dyens. Florian Larousse is currently studying in the Netherlands, but is still actively competing and performing. He is also hoping to record another DVD in the upcoming year. Florian plays a guitar by the French luthier Hugo Cuvilliez and is endorsed by Savarez strings.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Offermann began to play the Guitar at the age of seven. As soloist, with orquestras, as chamber musician in different ensembles and together with the internationally outstanding DUO SONARE Thomas travelled to more than 40 countries worldwide. Concerts, master classes, member of juries and lectures at the important Guitar festivals of the world and at numerous international Music universities. He has numerous international radio and TV productions, eight CD recordings with DUO SONARE. Together with the Duo Sonare; since 1985 Thomas was amongst the first to open the repertoire of the classical guitar to music by composers such as Chick Corea, Frank Zappa or Mike Oldflield. After his severe illness in 1996, Thomas gave up playing concerts in 2002. Ever since, he focusses his interest on teaching, writing, conducting and holdings lectures at Guitar festivals and universities. As a D’Addario Artist, since 2010 Thomas represents D’Addario Strings/New York as D’Addario’s “European classical guitar representative”. Doctorate in 2014 (Dr. phil.); title of the dissertation: “The integrative guitar technique”. He studied at the Musikhochschule Köln (classes Tadashi Sasaki and Hubert Käppel, and graduated “with distinction”. Thomas was also awarded the “Solistendiplom der Musikakademie Basel” (Class Oscar Ghiglia) Further teachers: AMADEUS–String Quartett, Manuel Barrueco, Leo Brouwer, David Russell, Karl Scheit, John Williams. Thomas was awarded several scholarships by the DAAD and also was awardee of the “Richard-Doerken-Stiftung”; he was finalist and prizewinner at several international Guitar competitions (International Scandinavian Guitar Competition, Finland, Certamen International „Andres Segovia“ und Certamen International „Francisco Tárrega“, Spain).
Xhevdet Sahatxhija graduated from the Music Academy in Zagreb in the class of Professor Darko Petrinjak. As a guitar professor, he has been working for many years in Music scholl Pavla Markovca. Currently, he is an External Associate at Music Academy in Zagreb and a Docent at Faculty of Art in Pristina. He educated generations of young guitarists among which are those who won valuable awards at national and international competitions and who are now recognized artists and music teachers. In 2004 he received Croatian Society of Music and Dance Teachers Annual Award. From 2003 to 2009 he was the head of professional council for guitar pedagogues and a mentor to many young teachers. Sahatxhija is the President of Croatian Society of Guitar Teachers and since 2009 the Principal of Music Scholl in Novska. In addition to regular teaching work he also leads the International Summer Guitar School in Pucisci and Milna on Brac and in Porec as well. Besides being a jury member at many national and international competitions, he also performs solo and as a member of various chamber ensembles in Croatia and abroad.
Aysegül Koca was born in Ankara, Turkey. She started to play guitar at the age of 8. At just 12, she was admitted to Bilkent University Music Preparatory School Department of Classical Guitar the most prestigious conservatory in Turkey¬ with scholarship, and studied with Kürsad Terci and Kagan Korad until she graduates high school. In a short period of time, she accomplished a huge progress in her technique and performance, and gave many concerts and soon achieved successes at numerous guitar competitions such as José Tomas Guitar Competition in 2007 Almería¬,Spain (First Prize), Eduard Pamfil Young Guitarists Competition in 2005 in Romania (First Prize and Special Jury Award), National Mavi Marti Guitar Competition in 2006 Istanbul,Turkey (First Prize), National Inonu University Guitar Competition in 2008 in Turkey (Second Prize), Enrico Mercatali Guitar Competition in 2009 in Italy (Second Prize and Special Public Award).
She was only 19 when she held Bachelor’s Degree which she obtained from the Conservatorium Maastricht in the Netherlands, under supervision of Carlo Marchione. Afterwards, she was accepted to the class of renowned guitarist Aniello Desiderio at Koblenz Guitar Academy in Germany where she received Postgraduate degree. Finally, she graduated with a Master’s Degree at Kunstuniversität Graz in Austria where she studied with Paolo Pegoraro. In addition, Ms. Koca appeared on many radio and TV programs by interviewing and playing, such as National Public Radio of Turkey, Radio ODTU (Ankara), Radio Klasik Borusan, National Television of Serbia, Radio Helsinki (Graz), BravaNL TV channel (cooperated with Gitaarsalon) in the Netherlands, Periodico el Imparcial, COR TV and Radio Oaxaqueña in Mexico.
Ms. Koca also has been invited to perform “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquin Rodrigo with “Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie” directed by Francesco Angela in 2010 in Germany, “Antalya State Symphony Orchestra” directed by Antonio Pirolli in 2012 in Turkey, “Xalapa Guitar Orchestra” directed by Alfonso Moreno in 2016 in Mexico and additionally she performed with them “Concierto del Sur” by Manuel Ponce in Teatro Macedonio Alcala which is one of the most important and historic halls in Mexico. A year after, this concerto was performed by her, together with Silvestre Revueltas Youth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jesus Almanez Casillo in Celaya, Mexico. The same year, Ms. Koca played Turkey premiere of Concierto Madrigal by Joaquin Rodrigo with Bursa Region State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gints Glinka. In 2018, Ms. Koca released a live album collaborated with Orchestra Academic Baskent and conducted by Ertug Korkmaz. In 2019, she performed “Concerto in D major RV 93” with Presidential Symphony Orchestra.
In 2016, Ms. Koca was invited to the Benito Juárez Autonomous University of Oaxaca in Mexico to teach and worked as a professor of classical guitar.
She is the Artistic Director of Istanbul International Guitar Festival and is invited regularly to various national and international festivals, to lead masterclasses as well as being a jury member at competitions.
Giannis Paleodimopoulos was born in 1947 in Karpenissi – Greece and studied Economics at the University of Stockholm, Sweden. He lived for thirteen years in Sweden, and in 1980 he met Mr. Karl Eric Gummesson, a Swedish maker of renaissance lutes and classical guitars. Under his guidance Mr Paleodimopoulos began to experiment with stringed musical instruments. After his return to Greece in 1983, he established his first workshop in the Old Upper Town of Thessaloniki in northern Greece, and in 1999 transferred it to a small village, Kato Sholari, near Thessaloniki, where he began making classic guitars, and various Greek traditional stringed instruments, on a professional basis. Since 1988 he has devoted himself to building classical guitars, using high quality materials, and his long-term experience on the subject, and achieving successful results. For five years he was the master teacher at the school of traditional instruments at Kastoria. Mr. Paleodimopoulos has now participated for many years in the greatest guitar festivals and guitar exhibitions around the world. His famous guitars are played in Germany, Switzerland, Cyprus, Portugal, Korea, Sweden, USA, Croatia, Serbia, Mexico, Turkey and Greece. In 2007 he won the bronze medal (3d Prize, in the 1st Classical Guitar Making Competition “Cremona Mondomusica”– Italy, where the 1st Prize was not assigned). Dominique Field, Matthias Dammann and Vincenzo De Bonis were but a few of the members of the jury of the competition, under the artistic direction of the maestro Giovanni Puddu. “The main quality of this jury – stated Mr. Puddu proudly – is its variety. It consists of great Masters of Classical Guitar Schools and researchers such as Mr. Dammann. With such a jury the winning instruments will be certainly exceptional”.
Darko Bageski is born 1981 in Skopje. He started his education in music (primary and part of his secondary education) as a student in the DMBUC (State Music and Ballet Educational Centre) Ilija Nikolovski Luj in Skopje in professor Jane Penov’s class. Further on he graduates from his secondary school Pavao Markovac in Zagreb,Croatia in professor Xhevdet Sahatxhija’s class. He continues his higher education at The Liszt School of Music Weimar, Germany in professor Christiane Schpanoff’s class, and graduates within professor Jurgen Rost’s class. Consequent to this he enrolls for his three-year post graduation studies at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki, Greece in professor Gerhard Reichenbach’s class. He is currently working on his master exam in professor Kostas Kociolis’s class.In the course of his education he has participated in state competitions (winning the first and third places), as well as numerous professional seminars held by eminent professors and pedagogues of acoustic guitar: Zoran Krajishnik (Serbia), Thomas Miller Pering (Germany), Laura Young (Canada), Dimitar Dojchinov (Bulgaria). As a passive participant he has attended lectures of K. Markione, H. Kepel and A. Desiderio. He has also attended lectures in world music taught by professor Thomas Fellow (Germany) and lectures in methodics of acoustic guitar taught by professor Monica Rost (Germany). He has had many soloist concerts and performances in Macedonia, Croatia, Germany and Greece, having performed both as a soloist in many chamber orchestras, and with the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra. He currently works as a full time guitar professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts-Music, both of them in Skopje.
Drilon Çoçaj started to learn guitar at the age of 7 in the family surroundings, to continue later at Music School “Lorenc Antoni “in Prizren in the class of Professor L. Sapunxhiu. In 2004 he enrolled in Academy of Arts, University of Prishtina, in the class of the well-known professor Xhevdet Sahatxhija. Çoçaj successfully finished the Master’s degree in guitar interpretation with Professor Sahatxhija. He is the Winner of the first and second place in International competition of young musicians organized by ArsKosova in Prishtina. He participates in solo concerts and various ensembles, such as in DamFest, Tirana Guitar Sounds, ReMusica, ChopinFestival. He was a Jury member at the Ehat Musa Competition in Peja, at ArsKosova Pristina and the guitar competitions in Tivat, Montenegro. He is distinguished for pedagogic work, where his students are rewarded in various international competitions. Çoçaj currently works at the music schools “Prenk Jakova” in Prishtina, School of Music in Gjilan and Music School “Misbah & Friends” in Prishtina.