festival winners
Southwest Guitar Festival winners (from left): Austin Moorhead,
Florian Larousse, Nemanja Ostojic and Pablo Garibay
(Photo by Susan Riley)

Guitar festival winners represent four nations

By Kris Rodriguez
Public Affairs Specialist

(Feb. 16, 2009)--Nemanja Ostojic, a 24-year-old Serbian graduate student from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, captured first place honors and the $5,000 prize at the Southwest Guitar Festival and International Competition Feb. 4-8 at UTSA. As part of the first-place prize, Ostojic will perform in a concert hosted by Arts! San Antonio.

"This was an amazing competition that offered all the best you could imagine from a top-level organization in the guitar world," said Ostojic. "I was really excited to have the chance to compete against some of the world's top student guitarists."

Pablo Garibay from Mexico City and studying at Hochshule, Weimar in Germany won second place and a $2,500 prize. French student Florian Larousse from the Paris Conservatory took third place and $1,500 in prize money. American Austin Moorhead, a student at Yale University, finished fourth taking home a $1,000 prize.

The four-day competition featured 34 of the world's top student guitarists representing 15 countries including Serbia, Norway, Armenia, Singapore, France, Bulgaria, Brazil, Peru, China, Romania, Columbia, Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Judges for the competition were Bruce Holzman, associate professor of guitar at Florida State University; Mary Akerman, a classical guitarist who has won several competitions; and Martin Madrigal, an internationally acclaimed classical guitarist.

"We were excited to hear these very inspiring young artists and felt that all the participants added something new to this competition," said Matthew Dunne, UTSA assistant professor of music and director of the Southwest Guitar Festival and International Competition.

In addition to the competition, the festival allowed students to meet and enjoy performances by top international classical guitarists including the Brazilian duo Sergio and Odair Assad, Bosnian Dennis Azabagic and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

The Southwest Guitar Festival was presented by the UTSA Department of Music in collaboration with Arts! San Antonio, the San Antonio Chamber Music Society and the San Antonio Symphony. Support was provided by the City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs, Shiner Beers, the Augustine Foundation and the UTSA Office of the President.

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