The 55th edition of the Francisco Tárrega Guitar Competition is more international than ever

12 August 2022

This year’s entrants are from 12 different countries, and the young Ausiàs Parejo is the only competitor from the Valencian Community

Benicàssim, 12 August 2022

The countdown to the Francisco Tárrega International Guitar Competition has begun, with entry now closed to competitors. In the words of the mayor, Susana Marqués: “this year’s competition marks a 55-year journey, consolidating the contest’s prestige and international nature, which can be seen in the interest shown each year by participants from around the world. This year, 12 different nationalities will be represented; this proves the importance of Europe’s longest-standing guitar competition, and Benicàssim is proud to be its home.”

Interestingly, the youngest person to enter, Ausiàs Parejo (aged 16), is the only musician from the Valencian Community, and he is joined by fellow Spaniards Álvaro Toscano (Córdoba) and Javier García (Madrid). The remaining participants are from Chile, South Korea, Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Russia, Croatia, Israel and Japan.

The competition will be organised as follows: on 26 and 27 August, a shortlisting process will be carried out, with selected competitors playing a repertoire of their choice covering pieces in different styles that must include Francisco Tárrega’s “Rosita” and “La Mariposa”.

On 29, 30 and 31 August, the Municipal Theatre will host the competition shows and the shortlisted musicians will perform works of their choice, which must include “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” and any Francisco Tárrega piece they wish. The jury will then choose four competitors to go through to the final on 2 September. Guitarists who play at the shows but do not reach the final will take part in a concert on “Tárrega Day” (the Thursday before the final), where they will mainly perform shorter pieces by the maestro Tárrega against the unparalleled backdrop of the Villa Elisa municipal manor.

Concert by the winner of the 2021 edition

The programme for this year’s edition of the contest will include a very special concert: as the competition’s director José Morales has revealed, the Ukrainian musician Marko Topchii will give an attractive concert-presentation of his record as the winner of the last edition of the competition. The concert will be held on Sunday, 28 August at 8 pm at Villa Elisa and “the audience will be able to enjoy pieces by Barrios, Roussel, Ponce, Sor, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Tansman, Brouwer and Tárrega”, announced Morales.

In addition to Topchii’s concert, the 55th edition of the Francisco Tárrega International Guitar Competition also has a very special look thanks to the promotional poster, illustrated by the renowned local artist Melchor Zapata.

Photo gallery