to the seventh 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. Thanks to our sponsors, including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs, Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and many other individual and corporate sponsors, we are able to continue supporting artists.

After the fully virtual 2021 edition, we will be presenting 2022 MIGF in hybrid modality with both in-person and virtual events, celebrating Miami’s Latinx heritage with an emphasis on women musicians: “A través de las cuerdas de las guitarristas” (Through the strings of women guitarists). Festival events include eighteen concerts, six masterclasses/workshops, six lectures, luthiers expo, and concert artist performance competition semifinals and finals.

Featured festival artists include Amazon Guitar Orchestra (Brazil), Clarice Assad and Sergio Assad (Brazil), Galy Martin and Eduardo Martin (Cuba), Choro das três (Brazil), Marco Sartor (Uruguay), Zaira Meneses (Mexico), Martha Masters (U.S.A.),  Susana Frade (Cuba), Aysegul Koca (Turkey), Hande Cangökçe (Turkey), Caterina Lichtenberg and Mike Marshall (Bulgaria/Germany/U.S.A.), Smaro Gregoriadou (Greece), Duo Siqueira Lima (Uruguay/Brazil), Z.o.o. guitar duo (Australia/The Netherlands), Rafael Padron (Cuba), Bahar Ossareh (Iran/Canada), Nikita Nedelko (Russia), Daniela D’Ingiullo and Federico Bonacossa (Italy/U.S.A.), Gohar Vardanyan (Armenia/U.S.A.), James Moore and Andie Tanning (U.S.A.), Amernet String Quartet (U.S.A.), Elaine Rinaldi (U.S.A.), Koh Kazama (U.S.A.), and myself.

The festival concerts will include world premiere of “Voyages” The GuitART concerto which was commissioned by the MIGF from Sergio Assad in 2020. Its debut was scheduled for the 2021 MIGF but due to the pandemic it had to be postponed and will finally have its debut in the 2022 edition.

The Virtual Concert Artist Performance Competition is open to guitarists of all ages and nationalities and will run in three rounds. The competition jury members include Martha MastersClarice Assad, Sergio Assad, Eduardo Martin, Gohar Vardanyan, Smaro GregoriadouGaly Martin, Zaira Meneses, Bahar OssarehFederico Bonacossa, David Dolata, and Koh Kazama. Applications with video submissions to the performance competition is due by February 7, 2022. You can watch the 2021 finals on MIGF YouTube Channel and register for free to watch the 2022 semifinals and finals.

Lectures will be presented on a variety of topics by Martha Masters, Bahar Ossareh, Caterina Lichtenberg, Koh Kazama, and Federico Bonacossa. Masterclasses will be conducted by Eduardo Martin, Martha Masters, Sergio Assad, Zaira Meneses, Mike Marshall, and Gohar Vardanyan. The Luthiers Expo will be presenting wonderful guitars of talented luthiers both virtually and in-person. Luthier registrations with video submissions continue until February 1, 2022.

The MIGF has been a successful annual festival 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 connecting with you virtually in February 2022, 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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