|The world's preeminent classical guitar competition, the Parkening International Guitar Competition, has selected 15 standout competitors representing 10 countries to vie for the largest prize purse among guitar competitions when it is held at Pepperdine University Center for the Arts in Malibu, California, from Thursday, May 31, through Saturday, June 2, 2012.
Renowned guitar virtuoso Christopher Parkening, the competition's namesake and artistic director, is Distinguished Professor of Music at Pepperdine's Seaver College. The competition honors his lifetime commitment to fostering musical excellence in young artists as demonstrated by his mentor, Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia.
The 15 competitors range in age from 16 to 29 years old and are among the international community's most talented guitarists. They are Rafael Aguirre, 27, Spain; Tim Callobre, 18, USA; Riccardo Calogiuri, 22, Italy; Petrit Ceku, 26, Croatia; Silviu Ciulei, 26, Romania; Ricardo Escobar, 26, USA; Fabian Freesen, 28, Germany; Samuel Hines, 20, USA; Alberta Khoury, 16, Australia; Adam Kossler, 28, USA; Florian Larousse, 24, France; Nemanja Ostoich, 28, Serbia; Andrea Roberto, 16, Italy; Solomon Silber, 29, USA; and Marko Topchii, 21, Ukraine.
Judging the competition will be Dave Grusin, film composer and jazz artist; Costa Pilavachi, Senior Vice President of Universal Music Group and one of the judges at the 2009 Parkening Competition; David Russell, guitar virtuoso; Julie Smith, Classical Project Manager for The Recording Academy (presenter of the Grammy Awards); and Jim Svejda, Classical KUSC radio host and producer.
Three of the competitors will advance to the final round on June 2 to perform a concerto with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra before a live audience in Pepperdine's Smothers Theatre. The gold, silver, and bronze medalists will be announced at the conclusion of the final round.
In addition to the Parkening International Guitar Competition, Pepperdine will present the Parkening Young Guitarist Competition on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29 and 30. The 10 competitors, ages 17 and younger, are Sergio Gallardo, 17, Bolivia; Samuel Garry, 14, USA; John Gerber, 15, USA; Alec Holcomb, 16, USA; Sean Keegan, 15, USA; Jennifer Kim, 13, USA; Noah Kim, 16, USA; Ashwin Krishna, 14, USA; David Steinhardt, 15, USA; and Audra Vigil, 15, USA.