The 19th Tampere Guitar Festival will welcome an international and diverse selection of concerts to Tampere. Many of the artists will be performing for the first time in Finland. Concerts and free events will be held from 7-10 June in Tampere and the neighbouring cities.
One of the festival’s headliners, Raphaella Smits from Belgium, plays Latin American music from her new album Che Argentina. Smits is an internationally recognised virtuoso of the eight-string guitar. The performance of the Croatian guitarist Petrit Çeku consists of all of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suites, which is both a musically and physically challenging task. Spanish guitarist Isabel Martinez performs her interpretations of traditional Spanish guitar music.
In addition to solo guitar, the festival will feature ensembles: cembalist Assi Karttunen and guitarist Rody van Gemert will play an interesting program themed around Mediterranean history and mythology featuring both solo and duo pieces. Olli Soikkeli Trio brings a toe-tapping gypsy swing sound to the festival. Originally from Finland, but now living in New York, Olli Soikkeli has quickly risen to one of the most respected gypsy jazz guitarists around the world. Soikkeli plays with bassist Joonas Tuuri and drummer Aleksi Heinola. Jukka Iisakkila & Grand Flexible Band will perform Iisakkila’s new compositions.
Representing the younger generation of classical guitarists, the Italian Cristina Galietto performs a program focused around Italian music. In addition, guitar students from Sibelius Academy and Tampere University of Applied Sciences will perform at the festival.
Guitar courses, lectures and a youth guitar competition
In addition to the concerts, a variety of additional program will be held during the festival. The Youth Category of The Classical Guitar Competition of Finland, held for the fourth time, assembles 10 to 20-year-old guitarists to Tampere. Raphaella Smits, Petrit Çeku and Finnish guitar teachers hold master classes for classical guitarists. Additionally, Olli Soikkeli will give a gypsy guitar workshop.
Lectures expand the festival’s program. Raphaella Smits and the festival’s Artistic Director Otto Tolonen will discuss how to program a concert repertoire. Documentary Sarabande tells the story of guitarist Petrit Çeku. Çeku and Tolonen will introduce this documentary directed by Kaltrina Krasniqi in 2018. They will also talk about J.S. Bach's Cello Suites, which Çeku will perform in a concert starting after the documentary.