Classical guitar festival in Bengaluru

Concerts, masterclasses, workshops - Bangalore School of Music’s Classical Guitar Festival and Competition on June 11-12 has it all

June 13, 2019 04:48 pm | Updated June 14, 2019 03:33 pm IST

Bengaluru has always had a leaning towards guitar and rock bands. To share great music with the community, the second edition of its Classical Guitar Festival and Competition 2019, has been organised on June 11 and 12, by the Guitar Faculty of the Bangalore School of Music (BSM) with the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM-London) and the Bangalore Classical Guitar Society amongst others.

The festival will feature competitions, individual masterclasses and workshops and four evening concerts by renowned guitarists.

From across the globe

“Since last year, the BSM and ABRSM have been celebrating a two-day festival of classical guitar by bringing in four celebrated western musicians,” says Poireinganba Thangjam (Len), Festival Director , Bangalore Classical Guitar Festival.

“The best takeaway from the classical festival would be the masterclasses, lectures and workshops.” Thangjam adds it would be a “once-in-a life-time opportunity” to learn from global masters.

Art shows the way for human consciousness to expand, adds Jagadeesh MR, Director-Operations, BSM. “To be open to learning and understanding melody is the fundamental lesson and our festival attempts to keep this vision alive,” he says.

Speaking of the significance of this festival, Thangjam points out that there are very few classical guitar festivals in India.

“The most active festivals right now are the Bangalore Classical Guitar Fest and the Calcutta Classical Guitar Fest. The response for our first edition last year inspired us to bring in the best,” he says.

Thangjam says the classical guitar rocks globally, but in India is still considered nascent. “In the hands of a maestro a classical guitar can sound like a small orchestra and showcase layers of musicality. The festival aims to promote this beauty of guitar music to a wider audience, especially to the younger generation,” he says.

The Bengaluru festival will see global guitarists like Aditya Gandhi, Gerard Abiton, Santanu Datta Korean master Luthier Young Seo and Roberto Aussel who would be performing and guiding students. Thangjam says the brand sponsors are many and include names such as Musikshack, Cordoba Guitars, Musee Musicals, Alhambra Guitars and Furtados. “They will present prizes to the winners of the competition,” he says.

(Tickets to all concerts of the Classical Guitar Festival are priced at ₹ 300 and are available on and at BSM. all 9972247147 for details)

The artistes

* Aditya Gandhi - June 11 (7pm)

Aditya Gandhi, a keen researcher who holds a Masters of Music from the Chicago College of Performing Arts has performed across India, Sri Lanka, Scotland and United States. Having grown up in a culture largely void of western-classical music, Aditya’s musical creativity is borne of this outside view, searching for that unique intersection between ‘contemporary’ and ‘accessible’ music. He believes that the universality of classical music is often obstructed by the traditional packaging. Unlike the usual recital format, his concerts revolve around a theme and narrative.

* Gerard Abiton, June 11, 8-15pm

Gerard Abiton always renews his repertory in quest of musical emotions, “with simple happiness,” a story close to his heart,” according to BSM. Abiton performs regularly on global platforms, either playing solo or with an orchestra. Joining the Conservatoire de musique of Paris as a 16-year-old, in parallel to his instrumental studies he studied harmony and counterpoint. He regularly plays at recitals, chamber music and orchestras, revealing the guitar's integration in different musical trends.

* Santanu Datta, June 12 (7pm)

Santanu Datta, an Indian contemporary composer is one of the leading classical guitarists, and a graduate of IIT Kharagpur, and an alumnus of the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris. Santanu works as a composer, concert guitarist and music educator. He has scored for various films and documentaries and has performed at several venues in India as soloist and in group and conducts workshops globally.

* Roberto Aussel June 12, (8-15pm)

If you know what Interpreting Music is, classical guitarist Roberto Aussel does precisely that with finesse, as the renowned classical guitarist analyses every concept and strand of music to become a natural teacher. Presently, Aussel teaches at the Musikhochschule of Köln (Germany) and manages to combine the demanding task with an active world-wide career. Born in 1954 in Argentina, Aussel who began playing the guitar at the age of seven, has a repertoire ranging from the Baroque to contemporary music and includes folk and popular pieces from Latin American countries.

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