This is the first time Saigon organizing an international guitar festival, therefore, the scale of the festival is not too large with approximately 20 artists from 6 countries including the United States, Italy, Malaysia, Philippines, Iceland, and the host country – Viet Nam. All guest artists in the festival are the renowned ones in the world involving Harris Becker and Paul Cesarczyk (US), Salvatore Foderà (Italy), Simon Cheong (Malaysia), Gonzalo Noel Misa (Philippines), Ögmundur Þór Jóhannesson (Iceland), Nguyen Thanh Huy and Ba Tho (Vietnam), and other artists. Saigon International Guitar Festival 2014 is a wonderful opportunity for guitar lovers to enjoy artistic works performed by international and Vietnamese guitarists. During concerts in the festival, compositions will be played according to different eras from Renaissance, Baroque, and Classique to Romantique, Modern, and Contemporary.
The opening ceremony concert will take place at 8.00 pm on November 12th with a subject "Six Centuries of Guitar Music". In this concert, audience can enjoy wonderful compositions of J.S. Bach, C. Domeniconi, L. Narvaez, M. Guiliani, H. Villa-Lobos and J. Turina performed by two American guitarists Harris Becker and Paul Cesarczyk. Harris Becker is now Dean of Guitar Department at Long Island University (New York). Meanwhile, Paul Cesarczyk has been highly appreciated by American specialists through articles in Guitar Review and New York Times Magazines. Paul Cesarczyk is currently a music lecturer at Mahidol Music University (Thailand).
To continue the festival, at 8.00 pm on November 15th, a concert on a theme of “Romantique Guitar Music” will be organized. In the concert, an Italian talented young guitarist Salvatore Foderà and a Philippine artist Gonzalo Noel Misa will play romantic compositions of classical guitar of famous composers such as Agustine Barrios, Johann Kaspar Mertz and Miguel Llobet. There are two Vietnamese gifted guitarists also performed in the concert, which are Thanh Huy and Ba Tho.
Saigon International Guitar Festival 2014 will come to the end by a final concert with a contemporary subject "The 20th Century and Contemporary Guitar Music" performed by Ögmundur Þór Jóhannesson - a young guitarist who won many awards in guitar contests in the world and Simon Cheong - the founder of Guitar Festival & Camp (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). Not as usual, the final concert will be specially held at 5.30 pm on November 16th in a concert room in Ho Chi Minh Conservatory. Besides, at the same time when the festival takes place, master classes, lectures, and workshops with diverse subjects will be organized.
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Huy, Head of Guitar Department in Ho Chi Minh Conservatory, said that: “During nearly 60 years of operation, this is the first time Guitar Department organizing an international guitar festival. In an effort to organize the festival, we desire to build the foundation for next generations to approach to the world-wide contemporary music and exchange and learn experiences from other foreign artists”. Saigon International Guitar Festival is one of must-to-see Vietnam guitar festivals for guitar lovers and also great music festivals in Saigon in this month.