This week I was thrown into a world of whimsically bending strings, and colorful, flying chords. I watched the dexterous hands of classical guitarists move towards and away from the sound hole, coaxing the notes to fluctuate between tinny and sweet, as the musicians progressed perfectly through difficult pieces of music.
When coming across the 10th Annual Indiana International Guitar Festival and Competition on the Jacobs School of Music archive, I was immediately curious to watch the video of the contestants for the 2019 Open Division competition. This event has always been free and open to the public; however, never having been able to attend, I thought I had missed my chance. That is, until I was able to view these past performances online.
The annual event started with the IU Guitar Department in 2010 and has blossomed into a successful staple at Jacobs School of Music. Traditionally, there is a Youth Division, an Open Division and guest performances.
IU Department of Guitar: https://music.indiana.edu/degrees-programs/areas-of-study/guitar.html
This particular year, four men from around the world competed in the final round. I was mesmerized by the impeccable picking and strumming techniques, the impossible speed of right hands, and the beautiful ease with which left hands glided through difficult positions—they stretched and formed shape and upon shape on the fretboard without flinching. Executed were works from Bach, Torroba, and Tárrega, among others.
Back in the Fall, when the IU campus was buzzing with activity, it was always a treat to walk into Auer Hall at any time and be greeted by the sounds of Jacobs students performing on stage. Now that we have spent months longing for the experience of going to see live art once again, the ability to jump online and watch a full concert from the comfort and safety of our homes is something to be thankful for.
Click here to watch the 10th Annual Indiana International Guitar Festival and Competition : final round: Christopher Mrofchak, Austin Wahl, Bruno Gauthier-Bellerose, Yunxiang Fan, guitar (2019-10-27).