UofM Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music to Host 9th Annual Memphis International Guitar Festival 

March 11, 2022 — Noted classical guitar masters from around the country and the world will be returning to the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music for the 9th Annual Memphis International Guitar Festival sponsored by the Augustine Foundation on March 18-20. 

The weekend-long event will consist of masterclasses for aspiring guitarists, a competition in two rounds and delightful concerts from world-renowned artists. This year’s featured artists are: 

  • Cuban-born René Izquierdo is a unique artist and passionate educator whose career has been dedicated to inspiring individuals and connecting communities.
  • Polish concert guitarist Katarzyna Smolarek is known for both her breathtaking virtuosity and magnificent interpretations. Katarzyna has been awarded more than 20 international competition prizes.
  • Chinese concert guitarist Meng Su has earned widespread acclaim as a soloist and a founding member of the Beijing Guitar Duo. Su has won numerous competitions, including the 2015 Parkening International Guitar Competition.
  • Iranian classical guitarist Lily Afshar is acclaimed as “one of the world’s foremost classical guitarists” (Public Radio International). Afshar is a virtuosa who brings passion to her performance and is currently head of the guitar program at the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music.  

Classical guitarists will be able to play for these top-notch artists in masterclasses and receive personal feedback and instruction on the highest levels. Applications for this year's competition have come from all over the United States.  

The competition will consist of two rounds with monetary prizes. The festival is open to the public and passes can be purchased as a three-day pass for $75 or a one-day pass for $30. Both include access to the masterclasses and concerts. Individual concert tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for seniors and non-UofM students. 

The annual event is run by Afshar, who created the festival to promote classical guitar in Memphis.  

“I want to bring the beauty of the classical guitar to the public,” said Afshar. 

More information about the festival can be found online at memphis.edu/guitarfestival/