2018-19 Fundraising Goal

Collected: $8,475.32
Goal: $11,000.00


2019 Philadelphia Classical
Guitar Festival

April 13 & 14, 2019

Tickets for Sunday events now available

Interested in advertising at our festival?


Our annual festival will feature a vast array of events for guitarists of all ages including:

Upcoming events

    • Saturday, April 13, 2019
    • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
    • Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 23 S 38th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

    Details for the competition can be found HERE.

    • Saturday, April 13, 2019
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 23 S 38th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

    Details for the competition can be found HERE.

    • Saturday, April 13, 2019
    • 7:30 PM
    • Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 23 S 38th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104


    Berta Rojas ranks among today’s foremost classical guitarists. She has been praised as “guitarist extraordinaire” by the Washington Post and by Classical Guitar Magazine as “Ambassador of the classical guitar.” 

    Berta has been nominated three times for Latin Grammy Awards; in the category of Best Instrumental Album for Día y Medio - A Day and a Half, a duet with Paquito D' Rivera (2012), in the category of Best Classical Album, for her album Salsa Roja (2014), and more recently in the category of Best Tango Album, for her album History of Tango (2015), recorded with the Camerata Bariloche. 

    Berta’s acknowledged warmth and musicality have earned her the admiration of audiences at major venues worldwide: the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and the Frederick P. Rose Hall of Jazz at the Lincoln Center, in New York, London’s South Bank Centre, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the National Concert Hall in Dublin, where she performed as a soloist with the Irish Radio and Television Orchestra, and the Flagey Studio 4 in Brussels, where she performed with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra for Belgian National Television.

    In 2011, with guest Paquito D’Rivera, Berta initiated the four-year tour “In the Footsteps of Mangoré” which followed the travels of Agustín Barrios, pioneer of the classical guitar in the Americas. The duo performed in 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries, concluding the journey at the national theater of the capital of El Salvador, final resting place of the celebrated composer. 

    Berta takes her audience on a colorful journey of sound, embracing new works by composers in diverse genres. The journey is echoed in recordings such as Cielo Abierto (2006) and Terruño (2009), as well as the duo with Carlos Barbosa-Lima on Alma y Corazón (2007) and the celebrated Intimate Barrios (2008) featuring works by the great Paraguayan composer and guitarist. On her latest recording, Felicidade (2017), she pays tribute to Brazilian music, with guest artists including Gilberto Gil, Toquinho and Ivan Lins. 

    In addition to continually enriching her own career through international tours and master classes, Berta Rojas is firmly committed to furthering and disseminating the classical guitar. A particular focus is on promoting the music of her country, Paraguay, as well as Latin American music more widely, and her ongoing support for the careers of young, upcoming guitarists. With this aim, she created the first online classical guitar competition, the Barrios World Wide Web Competition, in 2009, and was the Artistic Director of the Ibero-American Guitar Festival at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.

    She also co-founded the young persons' Beatty Music Scholarship Competition for Classical Guitar, offering winners the opportunity to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. After initial studies in her native Paraguay with Felipe Sosa and Violeta de Mestral, Berta studied in Uruguay under Abel Carlevaro, Eduardo Fernández and Mario Payseé, and at the USA's Peabody Institute under Manuel Barrueco, Ray Chester and Julian Gray. 

    She has recently joined the prestigious Berklee College of Music as Associate Professor, sharing her knowledge and love of music with a select group of young guitarists from all over the world. 

    Berta Rojas has been ranked amongst the most influential women in the Hispanic world (EFE and EsGlobal 2014; 2017). She has been named a Fellow of the Americas by the US Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for her artistic excellence, and honored by her country with the title Illlustrious Ambassador of Musical Art. In 2015 she was awarded the National Order of Merit of the Comuneros, and the title of Doctor honoris causa by two national universities. In 2017, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to culture, she received both the National Order of Merit Don José Falcón and the Carlos Colombino Award.

    • Sunday, April 14, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia, PA

    A great opportunity to see what is available in the guitar world with sheet music, hand made guitars, tuners and other guitar accessories, and more!

    VENDORS (more will be confirmed soon):

    Philadelphia Classical Guitar Store

    Kevin Cope - Composer

    Classical Vintage Guitars

    Gary Lee, Luthier

    Lubos Naprstek, Luthier

    Bob Stebbins, Luthier

    Temple University

    Milmont Park Music

    • Sunday, April 14, 2019
    • 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia, PA

    Details for the competition can be found HERE.


    The 2018 Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition is part of the 2018 Annual Philadelphia Classical Guitar Festival.

    There are two separate divisions:

    1. The Adult Division is a national competition open to advancing classical guitarists up to 30 years of age residing in the United States.

    2. The Junior Division is open to students in grades 9 ‐ 12 from PA, NJ & DE.

    • Sunday, April 14, 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia, PA
    Area PCGS members and guitar students will perform in this festival recital

    • Sunday, April 14, 2019
    • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia, PA

    Introduction to Flamenco Guitar

    Come and participate in a hands on flamenco guitar workshop for classical guitarists. Learn the inner workings of flamenco guitar, practice flamenco guitar techniques, harmonies, rhythms, and its many styles. Find the resources to add this beautiful music to your style and repertoire.


    Pat D’Aprile is a flamenco, jazz, and classical guitar player living in the Philadelphia area. He has studied flamenco guitar in Spain with El Entri, Jesus de Rosario, Antonio Gabarri Jimenez, and David Serva and has performed in masterclasses with Manolo Sanlucar, Raphael Riqueni, Enrique de Melchor, Felipe Maya, Merengue de Cordoba, Paco Serrano, Pascual de Lorca, Santiago Moreno, and Gerardo Nunez. He has also studied jazz guitar with Brian Betz and Joe Federico and classical guitar with Joseph Mayes. Mr. D’Aprile holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Rutgers University.

    • Sunday, April 14, 2019
    • 11:15 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia

    The PCGS Concert Ensemble will perform a 45 minute concert.

    • Sunday, April 14, 2019
    • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia, PA
    Area PCGS members and guitar students will perform in this festival recital

    • Sunday, April 14, 2019
    • 12:30 PM - 1:15 PM
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia

    Performing as a soloist Phil Goldenberg has played in numerous festivals and recital halls across the United States. Most recently, Mr. Goldenberg won the first prize - Peter Segal Award in the 2018 Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition. Judges remarked on his "considerable sense of drama and varied color and dynamic range," as well as his sense of "pleasing calm, juxtaposed by moments of technical brilliance." In 2015, Phil was a fellowship recipient at the Crown of the Continent guitar festival in Bigfork, Montana after winning first prize in the James Stroud Classical Guitar Competition. At that festival he gave solo concerts, workshops and collaborated with top musicians across all genres. Goldenberg was a prize winner at the 2012 Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition, a prize he won while playing a guitar of his own construction. Phil has been a featured artist at the Bethlehem Guitar Festival, the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society, and the Woodbury Fall Arts Festival. After studying with Joseph Mayes, famed student of Andres Segovia, and graduating from Rowan University with a Bachelor of Music in guitar performance, Mr. Goldenberg went on to receive a Masters in guitar performance with honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Grammy winner Jason Vieaux.

    • Sunday, April 14, 2019
    • 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia, PA


    MASTERCLASS: A class given by an expert, especially a musician, for exceptional students, usually presented in public.

    As part of our 2019 Philadelphia Classical Guitar Festival the renowned guitarist Berta Rojas will follow up her festival opening concert with a masterclass at our full day festival. Skilled students will perform briefly for Ms. Rojas in the beautiful Presser Hall at the Settlement Music School and they will then be instructed by Ms. Rojas on ways to improve various musical attributes that could range from tone production, performance preparation, efficient practice, technique, or any other aspect of their playing that he feels he can help the student improve. 

    Masterclasses are not only a great opportunity for performers to work with renowned performers but also a chance for other guitarists, ranging from professional performers to amateur enthusiasts to gain a unique look at how the mind of a master works and to apply the lessons presented on stage to their own playing and practice. 


    • Sunday, April 14, 2019
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia, PA
    Area PCGS members and guitar students will perform in this festival recital

    • Sunday, April 14, 2019
    • 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia, PA

    How Do Luthiers Control Sound?

    Classical guitars are more than beautiful boxes of wood. How do luthiers maximize their tonal potential? Join luthier Garrett Lee for a lecture/demonstration on classical guitar construction. Using numerous photos, live demonstration of building techniques, and audience participation with wood, he will explain in a fun and painless way the physical basis for guitar sound and the techniques that luthiers use to optimize it. Learn the answers to these questions and more:

    -    What controls the voice of a guitar?

    -    How does a guitar top move?

    -    What decisions do luthiers make and what practices lead to a signature sound?

    -    Why does spruce sound and respond differently than cedar?

    -    Why do handmade guitars generally sound better than factory-built guitars?


    Garrett Lee has enjoyed playing guitar since the age of nine. In 1999, his fascination and curiosity with guitar design, coupled with his love for woodcraft, drew him to begin building classical guitars. Trained as a research scientist with a Ph.D. in biochemistry, he enjoyed a successful career in academic research and later, in biotechnology. He was compelled by the challenge and intrigue of lutherie to transition to full-time building in 2006.

    Gary's research background inspires creativity, thoughtful design, and exacting execution. His handcrafted classical guitars incorporate traditional and contemporary design. Midway through his development, Gary received mentorship from celebrated American luthier John Gilbert.

    When he is not building or playing guitars, Gary regularly lectures on lutherie for guitar societies, festivals, universities and conservatories. He and his wife Candace live in Wayne, New Jersey, a suburb of New York City.  GarrettLeeGuitars.com

    • Sunday, April 14, 2019
    • 4:30 PM
    • Settlement Music School, 416 Queen St, Philadelphia


    Note on change of performer: Due to unforeseen visa issues Sondre Hoymer was unable to perform this year.

    Suspiro Flamenco

    Las Estaciones del Alma (The Seasons of the Soul) Flamenco show. Flamenco guitar and dance, classical Spanish guitar, percussions and flute with a hint of jazz.

    Blane Bostock – Flamenco Guitar
    Donna Bostock – Percussionist and Flute
    Grayson Zuber – Classical Spanish Guitar
    Liliana Ruiz – Dancer

    Liliana Ruiz was raised in Mexico City in a Spanish culture-based home. She started dancing classical ballet at the age of six. Shortly thereafter, she began Classical Spanish dance and Flamenco. She was inspired by her family's deep-rooted passion for the arts.

    Liliana Ruiz specializes in Classical Spanish with castanets, Folklore and Flamenco. Her notable dancing credits include performances in Carmen with opera singer Placido Domingo at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, Premier Club with Julio Iglesias, Noches Españolas (Spanish Nights) with the “Poeta de Granada” (Granada Poet) Manuel Benitez Carrasco. Her experience allowed her to choreograph and participate in plays such as Cyrano de Bergerac by Roberto Sen and Don Juan Tenorio by Gonzalo Vega at the Teatro Helénico, El rey de los gorilas at the Teatro de los Insurgentes among many others.

    Ms. Ruiz served as Artistic Director for the Centro Asturiano dance ensemble for ten years. This group performed at the magnificent Palacio de Bellas Artes, and had the honor to perform a few times for the King Juan Carlos I of Spain, his wife Queen Sofia, and Prince Felipe of Asturias

    When Liliana moved to the United States in 2000, she joined the company New York Express, and performed throughout the New York Metropolitan area. Shortly after, Liliana started to dance with local companies and in theatres in NY and Philadelphia.

    Ms. Ruiz has performed Classical Spanish dances with the two-time Grammy Award-winning pianist Peter Nero and the Philly POP’s at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, as well as with the Atlantic Bay Symphony, the Pottstown Symphony, the Tulsa Symphony and the NJ Patriots Symphony. Recently  Ruiz danced and choreographed Carmen of Bizet with the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. 

    Liliana is the founder of Suspiro Flamenco, a classical Spanish and Flamenco Dance Company based in Philadelphia. Shealso performs with the band La Revancha throughout the USA. For more information go to: www.suspiroflamenco.com

Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society
Address: 2038 Sansom street - Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: +1 (215) 567 2972
Email: info@phillyguitar.com 

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