ROCHESTER, NY — More than half a dozen Eastman School of Music guitarists have garnered multiple competition wins in the 2004-05 season, bringing accolades for themselves and their department. All the winners study with Professor of Guitar Nicholas Goluses, who is understandably proud. “This is an incredible group of young artists — it has been such a joy to guide them,” says Goluses. “I always encourage each of my students to find their own voice and individual vision of beauty, and to play passionately. In the end, that is what good judges appreciate: playing to ‘express’ rather than to ‘impress’.”
- On March 6, Canadian Aaron Brock — who graduated with a DMA from Eastman last spring — won first prize in the prestigious Allentown Symphony’s Edwin H. and Leigh W. Schadt String Competition. His prize includes $5000 and a concerto appearance with the symphony during its 2005-06 season. Brock won with a performance of Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra. The original 20 applicants were narrowed down to three finalists. Brock was the ninth winner of the competition, which rotates among violin, cello, and guitar.
- On February 19, Eastman undergraduate guitarists Justin Zamm and Adam Larisson took first and third prize, respectively, at the D’Addario Classical Guitar Competition at Ithaca College. Zamm received a cash award of $1000. The competition this year involved 13 aspiring high school and college musicians from throughout the Northeast.
- In November 2004, Eastman guitarists and doctoral students Ben Gateno and Corey Harvin, received first prize as a guitar duo in the Boston Classical Guitar Society’s competition. Gateno and Harvin received a cash prize and will be featured in an upcoming winner’s recital this summer. The two have been performing as a duo since 2003.
- In July 2004, doctoral student Linda Chellouf won second prize in the 11 th Hermoupolis International Guitar Competition in Syros, Greece. Approximately two dozen contestants entered, narrowed down to five finalists. Prizes were awarded only to the top two winners, and their concert — which took place at the prestigious Apollo Theater — was broadcast on Greek television.
- Last spring, Alfonso Aguirre took fourth prize at the Appalachian State University’s Ninth Annual Guitar Competition. Originally from Mexico, Aguirre was a sophomore at the time of his win, and received a cash prize.