to the eighth 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.

Festival events include ten concerts, six masterclasses/workshops, five lectures, luthiers expo, and composition competition.

Featured festival artists include Benjamin Verdery (U.S.A.), Rafael Padron (Cuba/U.S.A.), Laura Verdugo del Rey (Spain), Stephen Goss (England), Los Hermanos Calero (Colombia),  Susana Frade Machado (Cuba), Federico Bonacossa (Italy/U.S.A.), Luciana Kube (Venezuela/U.S.A.), Edward Ramirez (Venezuela), Robert Trent (U.S.A.), Millet Padron (Cuba), Koh Kazama (U.S.A.), Carlos Serrano (Colombia/U.S.A.), Jamie Ousley (U.S.A.), Tom Lippincott (U.S.A.), David Fernandez (U.S.A.), Ludwig Afonso (Cuba/U.S.A.), Colin R. Williams (U.S.A.), Javier Mendoza (Mexico/U.S.A.), and myself.

Festival concerts will include the world premiere of “Wynwood Walls” guitar concerto by Stephen Goss, which was commissioned by the MIGF through a grant from National Endowment for the Arts and will be performed by soloist Mesut Özgen and the FIU Festival Orchestra conducted by Maestro Javier Mendoza on February 23.

The composition competition is open to composers of all ages and nationalities. The competition jury members include Stephen Goss (University of Surrey), Benjamin Verdery (Yale University), and Federico Bonacossa (FIU). Deadline for submissions to the Composition Competition is January 30, 2023.

Lectures will be presented on a variety of topics by Rafael Padron, Koh Kazama, Stephen Goss, and Robert Trent. Masterclasses will be conducted by Benjamin Verdery, Iliana Matos, Laura Verdugo del Rey, Koh Kazama, and Rafael Padron. 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, 2023.

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 seeing you in February 2023, as we celebrate the music, our beloved instrument, and the Art in general.

Mesut Özgen
Artistic Director and Founder


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