International guitarists host free concerts, competition at Kleinhans

Posted at 8:14 AM, Jun 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 07:29:19-04

Guitarists from places like Greece, France, Finland, Russia and other countries are in Buffalo competing in the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition.

The competition started on Wednesday with eight guitarists but at midnight on Friday the three finalists were selected to face off in the last performance set for Saturday at Kleinhans Music Hall.

"It's unique because the three finalists get to perform with orchestra, it's about guitar concertos," said Falletta. "It's not solo guitar which there are competitions for that but we wanted one that introduced the guitar on the concert stage with the BPO so it's special."

The competition is named after Falletta which is an honor she's most grateful for. She said the competition started in 2004 and is the only one of it's kind in the world.

"Well, I'm a guitarist and I love guitar. I thought what a wonderful way to combine guitar with orchestra," said Falletta. "It gives guitarists an opportunity to perform with orchestra which many have not."

The three finalists (picture attched) competing Saturday night are Anton Baranov from Russia, Alec Holcomb from the United States (Nashville) and Andras Csaki from Hungary.

The competitors who didn't make it into the finals are hosting free performances across Buffalo on Friday. The first performance starts at 11:30 a.m. at Larkin Square followed by one at noon at the downtown library.

Falletta said the competitors who didn't make it to the final step are nothing short of amazing.

The winner of the competition will get some cash but even more significant is the chance to create their own CD.

"The monetary prize is significant, they get a new guitar, they get a recording contract and they make their own CD," said Falletta. "Next year they'll have a return engagement with the BPO, a concert in Milan, Italy so lots of different things. For them it's a great step."

A full list of free performances scheduled for Friday can be found in this report from the Buffalo News.

For tickets and more information on Saturday's concert click here.