Competitions 2012

Competitions 2012: (US) Fifteen Competitors Selected for 2012 Parkening International Guitar Competition

Contributed by Admin on Mar 24, 2012

Ten Competitors Also Chosen for Parkening Young Guitarist Competition

May 29-June 2, 2012, Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA

Malibu, CA, March 23 -- 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.

About the Parkening Competition:

The competition, which debuted in 2006 and occurs every three years, offers the largest prize purse of any classical guitar competition in the world, with competitors vying for cash awards in excess of US$65,000. The gold medalist wins the Jack Marshall Prize of US$30,000.

The 2012 Parkening Competition is made possible by generous grants from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson and Juanita and Manny Del Arroz.

For information about tickets, call the Smothers Theatre Box Office at (310) 506-4522 or Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787. Information online:

More information about the competition is available at:

About Christopher Parkening:

Christopher Parkening is celebrated as one of the world's preeminent virtuosos of the classical guitar. For over 40 years his concerts and recordings have received the highest worldwide acclaim. The Washington Post cited his stature as "the leading guitar virtuoso of our day, combining profound musical insight with complete technical mastery of his instrument."

Parkening is recognized as heir to the legacy of Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia, who proclaimed that "Christopher Parkening is a great artist--he is one of the most brilliant guitarists in the world." The Los Angeles Times noted: "Parkening is considered America's reigning classical guitarist, carrying the torch of his mentor, the late Andres Segovia."

Parkening's rare combination of dramatic virtuosity, eloquent musicianship, and uniquely beautiful sound has captivated audiences around the world. He has performed at the White House, appeared with Placido Domingo on Live from Lincoln Center, participated in the Carnegie Hall 100th anniversary celebration, and performed twice on the internationally televised Grammy Awards.

He has appeared on many nationally broadcast television programs, including The Tonight Show, CBS Sunday Morning, The Today Show, and 20/20. He has collaborated with composers John Williams, Elmer Bernstein, Joaquin Rodrigo, F. Moreno Torroba, and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and premiered new concert works in an effort to keep the guitar in the musical forefront. He was acknowledged as Best Classical Guitarist in the nationwide readers' poll of Guitar Player Magazine for many consecutive years and was placed in their "Gallery of Greats" along with Segovia and English guitarists John Williams and Julian Bream.

Parkening has been guest soloist with the finest orchestras in the United States, including the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Minnesota orchestras, the Chicago, Pittsburgh, and National symphony orchestras, the Detroit, Houston, Oregon, and St. Louis symphonies, the New York Philharmonic, the St. Paul and Los Angeles chamber orchestras, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. His extensive recital schedule has taken him throughout the country, with regular appearances in New York; Boston; Chicago; Philadelphia; Washington, DC; Houston; and Los Angeles. Performance highlights include appearances at the National Gallery with soprano Renee Fleming, Royal Albert Hall in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and with John Williams, Josh Groban, and the Boston Pops in a nationally televised broadcast for PBS.

Parkening has amassed an extensive discography on Angel/EMI Classics. He is the recipient of two Grammy nominations in the category of Best Classical Recording for Parkening and the Guitar and The Pleasures of Their Company, a collaboration with soprano Kathleen Battle. In 2000 EMI debuted his recording of Elmer Bernstein's Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra with the London Symphony Orchestra. In 1998 a multimedia CD, Christopher Parkening Celebrates Segovia, was released. In 1996 Parkening and Battle combined their talents to record a Christmas album titled Angels' Glory for Sony Classical.

Other recordings include the critically acclaimed orchestral recording of Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez and Fantasia para un gentilhombre and the world premiere recording of Walton's Five Bagatelles for Guitar and Orchestra with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Parkening Plays Vivaldi, which features a selection of Baroque concertos coupled with the world premiere recording of Peter Warlock's Capriol Suite with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. In honor of Parkening's 25th year as a recording artist with Angel/EMI Classics, a two-CD collection, The Great Recordings, was issued in celebration of his prolific artistry. In 2007 Angel/EMI released the album Jubilation, on which Parkening continues his long collaboration with baritone Jubilant Sykes.

Parkening's commitment to music extends beyond his performance and recording schedule: June 2006 saw the launch of the Parkening International Guitar Competition at Pepperdine. Renowned film composer John Williams wrote and dedicated a solo guitar piece ("with great admiration for Christopher Parkening and the Parkening Guitar Competition"), which will be given its world premiere at the 2012 competition.

Parkening also taught an annual summer master class at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, for 35 years. He has authored The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method, Volumes I and II, basic pedagogy books for beginning and advanced players. Also recently published were the music folios Christopher Parkening: Duets and Concertos and Christopher Parkening: Solo Pieces. These editions, along with his entire collection of guitar transcriptions and arrangements, Virtuoso Performances, a performance DVD, are published by Hal Leonard Corporation. In 2006 his autobiography, Grace Like a River, was published by Tyndale House Publishers.

Parkening has received numerous commendations honoring his dedication and artistry, including an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Montana State University and the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Southern California. In addition, he was given the acclaimed American Academy of Achievement Award for excellence in the field of music. He also was presented with the 2000 Orville H. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Classical Guitarist and the 2003 University Musical Society's Distinguished Artist Award.

About Pepperdine University:

Pepperdine University is an independent, medium-sized university, enrolling approximately 8,300 students in five colleges and schools. Seaver College, the School of Law, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, and the School of Public Policy are located on the University's 830-acre campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu. Courses are taught in Malibu, at six graduate campuses in Southern California, at international campuses in Germany, England, Italy, and Argentina, and at other educational facilities throughout the world.
George Pepperdine, a Christian businessman who founded the Western Auto Supply Company, founded the University in 1937. For the first 30 years of its life, the institution was a small, mostly undergraduate college. University status was achieved in 1970 as the institution added graduate and professional schools. In 1972 the University opened its new campus in Malibu.

Today, Pepperdine is ranked in the top tier of major universities in America and is known for achieving the highest standards of academic excellence in its undergraduate program, and in its School of Law, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, School of Public Policy, and Graduate School of Education and Psychology.

Pepperdine University is religiously affiliated with the Churches of Christ, of which George Pepperdine was a lifelong member. Faculty, administrators, and members of the Board of Regents represent many religious backgrounds, and students of all races and faiths are welcomed. It is the purpose of Pepperdine University to pursue the very highest academic standards within a context that celebrates and extends the spiritual and ethical ideals of the Christian faith.

About Pepperdine Center for the Arts:

Pepperdine Center for the Arts provides high-quality activities for over 50,000 people from 460 zip codes annually through performances, rehearsals, museum exhibitions, and master classes. Located on Pepperdine's breathtaking Malibu campus overlooking the Pacific, the center serves as a hub for the arts, uniquely linking professional guest artists with Pepperdine students as well as patrons from surrounding Southern California communities. Facilities include the 450-seat Smothers Theatre, the 118-seat Raitt Recital Hall, the "black box" Helen E. Lindhurst Theatre, and the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art.