to the fifth edition of Miami International GuitART Festival (MIGF) at the Florida International University School of Music. It is my honor and privilege to serve as the Artistic Director of MIGF. Since the inaugural edition of the MIGF in 2016, the festival continues to present successful programs to more and more audiences, local, nationwide, and international. We will be presenting another wonderful group of artists in the upcoming 2020 festival with eight concerts, five masterclasses, three lectures, and a round-table composers panel.

Featured artists participating in the festival include virtuoso guitarist and composer Benjamin Verdery (U.S.A.), Massimo Delle Cese (Italy), Bekir Kucukay (Turkey), Marco Battaglia (Italy), Arthur Dente (France), Federico Bonacossa (Italy/U.S.A.), Sinan Ersahin (Turkey), Valentine Dente (France), Daniela D’Ingiullo (Italy/U.S.A.), and myself. The festival concerts will open with a world premiere of GUITAR CONCERTO commissioned by MIGF from the award-winning composer Fredrick Kaufman, I will be performing the concerto together with wonderful Venezuelan musician of Kameristika Chamber Orchestra conducted by Maestro Javier Jose Mendoza.

The annual MIGF Composition Competition has been presided by the extraordinary composer Orlando Jacinto Garcia, who will be joined by two other distinguished judges for evaluating the competition submissions: the award-winning composer Carlos Rafael Rivera (University of Miami) and the Fulbright scholar/composer Jacob Sudol (FIU). Deadline for submissions to the Composition Competition is January 5, 2020.

Masterclasses will be conducted by Benjamin Verdery, Massimo Delle Cese, Bekir Kucukay, Marco Battaglia, and Sinan Ersahin. The classes are open to the public to audit as an audience while the enrolled players perform for the masters and get lessons from them. Performance spots for active participants are limited, don’t wait long to enroll as a performer in the masterclasses. Among the lecturers are early music specialist Dr. David Dolata, Marco Battaglia, and Arthur Dente. Our annual composers panel will gather non-guitarist and guitarist composers on a round-table discussion on various issues of writing for guitar. The Luthiers Expo will be presenting a wide variety of wonderful guitars of the talented luthiers during the festival.

The MIGF has been a successful annual event thanks to all guest artists, our generous sponsors at all levels, tireless student volunteers, and audiences. Without you, it wouldn’t have been possible for us to accomplish this tremendous task of organizing a major international festival and making it a successful contribution to the lives of South Florida residents and in general to the music and guitar world. Thank you so much for sharing our excitement and joy of being part of this great festival. You can view the photos and videos from the festival events here on the media pages, as well as the festival facebook page and youtube channel.

I look forward to seeing you in February 2020 as we celebrate the music, our beloved instrument, and the Art in general. Who wouldn’t agree with what great Manuel de Falla said,

“The harmonious efforts which our guitarists produce unconsciously represent one of the marvels of natural art”!

Mesut Özgen
Artistic Director and Founder


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