About the festival

GUITAR FESTIVAL OF J. K. MERTZ DOESN´T NEED TO BE PRESENTED TO BRATISLAVA´S AUDIENCE. IT IS PART OF CULTURAL SUMMER AND CASTLE FESTIVAL BRATISLAVA FOR ALREADY 43 YEARS. ACTUAL YEAR IS DEDICATED TO 100. ANNIVERSARY OF CONSTITUTION OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA. ON FESTIVAL STAGE WILL MEET TOP-LEVEL INTERPRETERS FROM CZECH AND SLOVAK REPUBLIC, BUT THERE WILL BE ALSO INTERESTING PROGRAMS OF GUITARISTS FROM CHINA, GREECE AND POPULAR SPAIN. THE FESTIVAL OFFERS BESIDES CLASSICAL GUITAR PIECES ALSO ANCIENT MUSIC, FLAMENCO AND JAZZ. ON CONCERTS WILL SOUND GUITAR SOLO BUT ALSO DIFFRENT KINDS OF CHAMBER ENSEMBLES AND COMBINATIONS OF MUSIC INSTRUMENTS.

Czech guitarist Pavel Steidl is rightly considered to be the guitarist "Paganini" nowdays. His art is unique, and who has never heard of him, he did not know the true guitar virtuoso. Pavel´s playing is a symbiosis of historically instructed approach, open-mindedness and improvisation, and at the same time he is an artist who responds extremely sensitively to the aspects coming from the complicated reality that we are living today. Pavel Steidl was ranked among the 8 most important guitarists of the world in 2003 by the Italian journal Guitart. At the Opening concert of the Festival (17. 6. Hall of Mirrors)  Pavel invited also interesting guests - Juraj Tomka (violin) and Eugen Prochác (cello), what makes his dramaturgy even more attractive.

The unique "duet" concert Night for two (18. 6. Klarisky concert hall) will be featuring duo violin and guitar by Leoš Čepický and Petr Saidl - renowned Czech artists and Slovak guitar duo Adam Marec - Peter Tomko, who will introduce a multi-genre and multi-instrumental project that will be attractive not only for the lovers of classical music and traditional artistic approaches.

One of the ideas of the festival is also the presentation of young artists who, according to experts, are „top“ guitar players. The audience will have the opportunity to listen to the performances of the winner of guitar competition Forum Gitarre Wien 2017 - Wu You from China  (From Classic to Jazz19. 6. Klarisky concert hall) and audience can also enjoy Final round of 11th International Guitar Competition of J. K. Mertz, (22. 6. Hall of Mirrors) of four finalists of the International Guitar Competition of J. K. Mertza, chosen  by a professional jury.

Juraj Burian´s and David Dorůžka´s artistic career joins Berklee College Music in Boston, where they studied and graduated. Each of them belongs to the most important jazz players in their country and their projects are characterized by great creativity and exceptional quality. The idea of the cooperation between Czech and Slovak musicians initiated a unique project of the jazz guitar duo, which will be presented for the first time at this festival (19. 6. Klarisky concert hall)  on the concert "From Classic to Jazz".

The Prague Guitar Quartet belongs to the world's oldest active ensembles of its kind. From the beginning achieved the ensemble international dimension and the quartet was very early one of the top ensembles, performing at many events around the world. It is not surprising that the art of the PGQ was the main inspiration for the creation of the Slovak version - Bratislava Guitar Quartet, which is more than 10 years younger. These very active ensembles will meet on one stage and the audience will also enjoy the interesting "Czech-Slovak" cooperation. Night for four (20. 6. Hall of mirrors).

A special guest of the festival is Štěpán Rak, who became a model of modern guitar playing in Czechoslovakia and his rich composer's activity has been heard all over the world. His musical activities go beyond the boundaries of musical art only, and their meanings interfere with wider societal contexts. The project of this concert will be based on importance of work of Jan Amos Comenius. It speaks not only about the need for education, but also about the humanity and moral values of human, which are increasingly scarcely present in society. Vivat Comenius! (21. 6. Klarisky concert hall).

The phenomenal Duo Melis - Susana Prieto a Alexis Muzurakis draw attention of the music society in 1999 at the International Guitar Festival in Volos, Greece. Their musical journey continued on to Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, and Merkin Hall in New York. Experts compare them today with the famous Assad brothers, or the legendary duo of Lagoya - Presti. The concert will take place thanks to the support of the Spanish Embassy in Bratislava. Duo Melis will perform an impressive  consist of works by Spanish and Argentine composers too. (22. 6. Hall of mirrors).             

Thanks to the activity and support of the Embassy of Spain in Bratislava, the festival also offers an extraordinary concert featuring a unique combination of classical and flamenco guitar music. Lo Cortés No Quita Lo Gallardo performed by Spanish José María Gallardo del Rey and Miguel Ángel Cortés means, in a free translation, "Courtesy does not exclude boldness." (24. 6. v Hall of mirrors).

Other concerts of the festival will offer for example the unique project of the first introduction of the work of the Bratislava lutenist and composer Paul Durant. Slovak lutenists Igor Herzog, Jakub Mitrík and baroque ensemble Solamente Naturali will perform the composer's  collected work. Paul Durant in the House of Albrecht´s Family (1.7.).

There will be also two additional concerts held in cooperation with Albrechtforum, two additional concerts: Guitar in the garden on "the Kapitulská street Courtyard" (12. 5. Garden of the Albrecht´s Family House) and Guitar in the Albrecht´s Family House (16. 6.). The first one will be a musical invitation for the festival performed by students and teachers of Bratislava´s Konservatory and Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. The second concert will belong to students of Prague´s Academy of Performing Arts Vít Dvořáček and Martin Cába and their Duo CD.

A new innovatition to this year´s festival will also be the collaboration for creating a guitar concert in the Austrian border town of Hainburg an der Donau. "Guitar in the Martin Luther Church" will be held in cooperation with the „Freunde der evangelischen Kirche in Hainburg/Donau" and Evangelische Pfarrgemeinde A.B. Bruck/Leitha-Hainburg/Donau (1. 6., Martin Luther Kirche) The interpreters will be winners of the Slovak Conservatorsies competition Terézia Hulková and Rastislav Sumega as well as other guests.