You know it is June when the strains of Rodrigo’s beautiful “Concerto de Aranjuez” begin floating through the air. The concerto, an ode to famous Spanish gardens, is almost sure to be a centerpiece of the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, which is held every other June. The competition is in progress this week, and reaches its denouement on Saturday.
Eight classical guitarists from all over the world are involved in this year’s competition, selected from myriad applicants. They are Dan Alexandru Arhire (Romania), Chad Ibison (United States), Ekachai Jearakul (Thailand), Laura Klemke (Germany), Marcin Kuzniar (Poland), Sanel Redzic (Bosnia and Germany), Marko Topchii (Ukraine) and Benjamin Beirs (Philadelphia).
Beirs is a recent addition to the competition. The designated alternate, he stepped in to take the place of You Wang of China, who had to cancel because of a family matter.
Judges for the competition are Buffalo’s Castellani/Andriaccio Guitar Duo as well as the Amadeus Guitar Duo, Italian guitar virtuoso Micaela Pittaluga, New York radio host David Ostenberg, and Croatian guitar virtuoso Ana Vidovic.
The competition is getting down to the wire. The second round of the semifinals will take place at 7:30 p.m. today in the WNED Studios in downtown Buffalo. Tickets are $12. It’s fun to see it live, but if you can’t see your way clear, the event will be broadcast live on Classical 94.5 WNED and streamed online at www.wned.org.
The finals will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Kleinhans Music Hall. Tickets to the finals are $41-$72, with discounts for students and seniors.
For information, call 885-5000. Information also is available on www.fallettacompetition.org.
– Mary Kunz Goldman