Baltimore International Guitar Competition

Manuel Barrueco, Artistic Director

September 22-27, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Hosted by:
Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University
Towson University
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

The Baltimore International Guitar Competition, along with its artistic director Manuel Barrueco, announces the inaugural edition of the Baltimore International Guitar Competition which will take place September 22-27, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Baltimore International Guitar Competition seeks to foster the development of, and appreciation for, the art of the classical guitar, encourage performances at the highest artistic level, and promote and support the careers of the world’s most outstanding young guitarists.

The competition is open to guitarists of all nationalities between the ages of 15 and 32. It consists of three stages: Preliminary Round (video), Semifinal Round, and a 3-Day Final Round. The Semifinal Round and the Final Rounds will be open to the public.

Performers will compete for $60,000 in prizes:

1st place: $35,000 ($20,000 cash prize, $15,000 Career Award)
2nd place: $10,000
3rd place: $5,000
4th to 8th place: $500
Audience Award: $2,500

The $15,000 Career Award will be disbursed on behalf of–and in collaboration with–the winner toward their career development. The winner will receive a 60-minute consultation with Lisa Husseini at iCadenza to help formulate a career plan.

First-prize winner will be invited to perform in the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society’s 2020-2021 main-stage concert season, along with select additional performances.

All competitors will receive free hotel accommodations.

The jury will be made up of prominent guitarists and other musicians from around the world.

In order to ensure maximum fairness in the adjudicating process, during the Preliminary Round, Semifinal Round, and the first two days of the 3-Day Final Round, the jury will listen to the competitors blindly. Only on the last day of the final round will the jury be able to observe the competitors perform. The semifinals and the finals will be open to the public.

The Baltimore International Guitar Competition was envisioned and made possible
with support of music-loving visionaries who recognize the importance of
Baltimore for the international classical guitar scene.

General Information:

  • The Baltimore International Guitar Competition is organized by the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society. It will take place in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, from Tuesday, September 22 to Sunday, September 27, 2020.
  • The Competition is open to Competitors of all nationalities who are between the ages of 15 and 32 on September 22, 2020.
  • The Competition consists of three separate rounds: Preliminary Round, Semifinal Round, and a 3-Day Final Round:
    • The Preliminary Round consists of submitting a video of the Competitor performing. The Preliminary Round Jury will select up to twelve Competitors to advance to the Semifinal Round. The Jury will review all videos blindly–the jury will not know the identity of the Competitors as they listen to them.
    • The Semifinal Round will take place at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University on September 22 and 23, 2020. In the case of eight Competitors, the Semifinal Round will take place on September 23, 2020 only. The Jury will select three Competitors from the Semifinal Round to advance to the 3-Day Final Round. The jury will judge the Semifinal Round blindly–the jury will not know the identity of the Competitors as they listen to them
    • The 3-Day Final Round will take place on September 25, 2020 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, September 26, 2020 at Towson University, and September 27, 2020 at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. The Jury will judge the first two nights of the final round blindly–the jury will not know the identity of the Competitors as they listen to them. The last day will not be judged blindly–the judges will see the Competitors as they perform.
  • The order of Competitors in the Semifinal Round and the Final Round will be determined by a random drawing. The Competition will follow this order except for reasons of accident, illness, or other unusual circumstances at the discretion of the competition officials.

Application:

Completed application should be filled out online (available soon, click on the blue button on the right or click HERE to be notified when the application is available). Complete applications must be received before MIDNIGHT, Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4) on Friday, July 10, 2020. We urge all Competitors to submit their applications well before the deadline in case of technical difficulty.

Competitors will receive a confirmation from the Baltimore International Guitar Competition after their complete application is accepted and confirmed. Until such time, the Baltimore International Guitar Competition cannot guarantee that the Competitor’s application has been accepted. The Baltimore International Guitar Competition will not accept responsibility for applications not received.

Competitors must supply all the following with the application:

  • A completely filled out application (available soon). Click on the link on the right to be put on our mailing list and be notified when the application is available.
  • A high-resolution (300 dpi or higher) photograph (head and shoulders) of the Competitor, suitable for publicity purposes and free of copyright, in a jpg format.
  • Competitor’s full biography or resume in English, as well as a 100-word biography.
  • A list of all the music to be performed for all the rounds with full name of the pieces, exact duration, composers full name and dates, and publication information. If any of the works are unpublished, the Competitor must supply a copy of the music. Changes in submitted repertoire or order may be made until August 15, 2020. No changes will be accepted after August 15, 2020.
  • A non-refundable application fee of $125.
  • A link to a video of the Competitor performing (see REPERTOIRE), with clear audio quality without excessive echo/reverb, uploaded to a streaming platform such as Youtube, Vimeo, or Google Drive.
    • The video may be stopped between the pieces but no other editing is allowed.
    • Audio alone is not acceptable.
    • Both hands and face need to be clearly visible in the frame at all times and the camera must be stationary.
    • The video must have been recorded after January 1, 2020.

All submissions will be confidential and adjudicated blindly.

The Baltimore International Guitar Competition will not accept responsibility for applications not received.

The Baltimore International Guitar Competition reserves the right to request additional information from a Competitor.

The names of the Competitors who will advance to the Preliminary Round will be posted on the Baltimore International Guitar Competition web page, around July 30, 2020.

Repertoire:

  • All music must be performed from memory.
  • Guitars must be tuned to A=440.
  • Competitor’s time allocation (stage time) will begin from the moment they walk on stage and will end when the last note is played. Total stage time will be strictly enforced and the judges may stop the performance for time reasons in the Semifinal Round. Should this occur, it will in no way be detrimental to the scoring of the performance.
  • In deciding the repertoire, please keep in mind that there will be no applause allowed between the pieces.
  • All repertoire is subject to review by competition officials.

 

PRELIMINARY ROUND (Video)

  • Set pieces:
    • J. S. Bach: Approximately 10-minute selection from the following works (no partial movements):

Lute Suite No. 1, BWV 996
Lute Suite No. 2, BWV 997
Lute Suite No. 3, BWV 995
Lute Suite No. 4, BWV 1006a
Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro, BWV 998
Chaconne in D minor, BWV 1004

In the case of the Chaconne, the opening D minor section, up until measure 133, will fulfill the 10-minute time requirement.

Repeats in the Bach are at the discretion of the Competitor. That includes the Da Capo section in the BWV 998 and BWV 997 fugues.

    • Variations on a Theme by Mozart, Op. 9, by F. Sor
    • Capricho Árabe by F. Tárrega
    • Etude No. 1 by H. Villa-Lobos
      Composer’s right-hand fingerings should be used.
    • Etude No. 7 by H. Villa-Lobos
      Scales should preferably be performed with rest strokes (apoyandos).
      Scales should preferably be performed without slurs (ligados).
      To be performed without repeats.
  • Free choice music of ca 5 minutes.

SEMIFINAL ROUND
The Semifinal Round will take place over one or two days, depending on the number of semifinalists. Competitors should be prepared to perform all of the required repertoire of approximately 40 minutes in one day, September 23, 2020. In the case of two days, Competitors will be asked to perform 20 minutes on September 22, and 20 minutes on September 23, 2020.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Approximately 20 minutes of music, 25 minutes of stage time

  • Set pieces:
    • S. Bach. Up to 15-minute selection from the following works (no partial movements):

Lute Suite No. 1, BWV 996
Lute Suite No. 2, BWV 997
Lute Suite No. 3, BWV 995
Lute Suite No. 4, BWV 1006a
Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro, BWV 998
Chaconne in D minor, BWV 1004

All repeats and the Da Capo sections of the fugues are to be played as written.

  • Free choice music of approximately 5 minutes.

           

Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Approximately 20 minutes of music, 25 minutes of stage time

  • Set pieces:
    • Variations on a Theme by Mozart, Op. 9, by F. Sor
    • Capricho Árabe by F. Tárrega
    • Etude No. 1 by H. Villa-Lobos
      Composer’s right-hand fingerings should be used.
    • Etude No. 7 by H. Villa-Lobos
      Scales should preferably be performed with rest strokes (apoyandos).
      Scales should preferably be performed without slurs (ligados).
      To be performed without repeats.

FINAL ROUND
The Final Round will be in three phases: Friday, September 25, 2020, Saturday, September 26, 2020, and Sunday, September 27, 2020. Repertoire may not be repeated from one day to another in the 3-Day Final Round, however works from the Preliminary Round and the Semifinal Round may be performed.

Friday, September 25, 2020 – University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Approximately 30 minutes of music, 35 minutes of stage time

  • Set pieces:
    • J. S. Bach. Choose one of the following:

Lute Suite No. 1, BWV 996
Lute Suite No. 2, BWV 997
Lute Suite No. 3, BWV 995
Lute Suite No. 4, BWV 1006a
Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro, BWV 998*
Chaconne in D minor, BWV 1004*

All repeats must be performed except for the purpose of staying within the 30 minutes of music limit.

*Competitors performing the Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro, BWV 998 or the Chaconne in D minor, BWV 1004 must also perform a movement or movements from one of the other works in order to complete 18 to 20-minute Bach set. Also permissible is the Fugue in G minor, BWV 1001 which can be performed in G minor or in A minor.

    • Variations on a Theme by Mozart, Op. 9, by F. Sor (ca. 9 min)

Saturday, September 26, 2020 – Towson University
Approximately 30 minutes of music, 35 minutes of stage time

  • Set pieces:
    • Capricho Árabe by F. Tárrega

AND

    • Recuerdos de la Alhambra by F. Tárrega
      To be performed without the Da Capo

OR

    • Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios by A. Barrios
  • Free choice: 20 minutes of music from the Romantic and Neo-Romantic period.

Sunday, September 27, 2020 – Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University
Approximately 30 minutes of music, 35 minutes of stage time

  • Set pieces by H. Villa-Lobos:
    • Etude No. 1 by H. Villa-Lobos
      Composer’s right-hand fingerings should be used.
    • Prelude No. 3
      To be performed without repeats.
    • Etude No. 7 by H. Villa-Lobos
      Scales should preferably be performed with rest strokes (apoyandos).
      Scales should preferably be performed without slurs (ligados).
      To be performed without repeats.
  • Free choice of ca. 20 minutes of music from the XX century to the present day.

Jury:

The jury will be made up of prominent guitarists and other musicians from around the world.

In order to ensure fairness in the adjudicating process, during the Preliminary Round, Semifinal Round, and the first two days of the 3-Day Final Round, the jury will listen to the competitors blindly. Only on the last day of the final round will the jury be able to observe the competitors perform.

The semifinals and the finals will be open to the public.

Rules and Regulations:

(coming soon)

Any questions? 

Contact us HERE and check out the FAQ below.

FAQ

1st place: $35,000 ($20,000 cash prize and $15,000 Career Award*)
2nd place: $10,000
3rd place: $5,000
4th to 8th place: $500

Audience Award: $2,500

*Career Award to be disbursed on behalf of the winner on career development, for such things as coaching and consultation session with an arts management agency, publicity, marketing, branding, and other career expenses.

In addition, 1st prize winner will be invited to perform in the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society’s 2021-2022 concert season.

Completed application should be filled out online. Complete applications must be received before MIDNIGHT, Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4) on Friday, July 10, 2020. We urge all Competitors to submit their applications well before the deadline in case of technical difficulty.

By clicking on the blue button on the right, or by clicking HERE, you should fill in your information and you will be notified when the application is available online.

Full list of repertoire required for all rounds can be found in the REPERTOIRE section or by scrolling up. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send us an email to competition@bcgs.org.

We aim to post information on our web page and on our Facebook page before July 30. In addition, we will inform those who have advanced to the semi final round by email.

Semi finals take place on September 23, 2020.

If more than eight competitors are selected to advance to the semi final round, an additional day will be added, September 22, 2020.

By clicking this button, or by scrolling up.

There will be seven judges: three guitarists and four additional musicians. Names will be announced later.

$125 which needs to be submitted with the application. It can be paid online with a credit card.

Sign up for updates and to be notified when application is available online

Finals Day 3:
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University

Finals Day 2:
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Towson University

Finals Day 1:
Friday, September 25, 2020
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Semifinals:
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 and Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Cohen-Davison Family Theatre
Peabody Conservatory