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20th Annual Guitar Symposium Brings International Talent to Columbus

Written by Courtney Fields

Images courtesy of Andrew Zohn

Columbus has the honor of hosting several prestigious conferences, performances, and competitions. This last weekend of February is no exception as Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music hosts the 20th annual Guitar Symposium and Competition. This multigenerational event allows guitarists from different nationalities, education levels, and proficiencies to assemble for the one thing that bonds them together: the guitar. The symposium and competition will consist of three division competitions, seven masterclasses, and two nights of instructor concerts.

The first round of competitions will begin on Saturday morning, then masterclasses will be led by Grammy-award winning Jason Vieaux, Spanish guitarist Susana Prieto, Greek guitarist Alexis Muzurakis, and internationally-acclaimed teacher and performer Elliot Frank. CSU professor and director of the symposium, Dr. Andrew Zohn, along with an innovator of the eight-string “Brahms guitar,” Paul Galbraith, will close the first evening with a concert.

Guest Artists for the 20th Annual Guitar Symposium and Concert. Appearing from left to right: Andrew Zohn, Duo Melis (Susana Prieto and Alexis Muzurakis), Elliot Frank, and Paul Gaibraith.

The following day Zohn, Galbraith, and educator/performer Adam Holzman will lead masterclasses preceding the Division I semifinals. Next, competition finals will take place for Division I (collegiate and professional), Division II (high school), and Division III (middle school). Each division will select one first-place winner who will receive a brand new, high quality guitar worth $3,000 and above! The symposium will conclude with performances by Elliott Frank and Duo Melis (the classic guitar duo of and Susana Prieto Alexis Muzurakis).

Columbus resident and Schwob School of Music professor Dr. Andrew Zohn plays 'Blind Faith- Can't Find My Way Home.'

Last year’s winner, Ying Xi (hear her skills!), is originally from China and studies under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Zohn at CSU. It is important to note that the judges of the competition are not affiliated with the university.

If you are interested in this experience, masterclass and competition events at the RiverCenter are free and open to the public, while tickets for both evening concerts are no longer on sale. You can find the symposium and competition schedule here. ◼︎


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