Parkening International Guitar Competition Names 2019 Winners

Pepperdine University
2019-06-04 21:00 4326

A Winner was also Chosen for the Parkening Young Guitarist Competition

MALIBU, Calif., June 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- After an exciting week of classical guitar performances, Christopher Parkening and Pepperdine University announced the winner of the fifth quadrennial Parkening International Guitar Competition. The competition, the world's preeminent guitar competition, took place from Tuesday, May 28 through Saturday, June 1, 2019.

Andrea Roberto, 23, Italy, took the Gold Medal with his rich interpretation of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Concerto No. 1 in D Major at Pepperdine's Smothers Theatre during the sold-out final round on Saturday, June 1. He received the US$30,000 Jack Marshall Prize in addition to his medal.

The Silver Medalist, Alec Holcomb, 24, of Nashville, Tennessee, USA received US$12,500; the Bronze Medalist, Sergey Perelekhov, 22, of Russia was awarded US$7,500.

The three finalists, each of whom performed a concerto with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra under the baton of conductor Michael Stanley, were selected from a pool of 15 standout competitors from seven different countries. After a deliberation following the final performance, the winner was announced.

The three, along with Bokyung Byun, 24, of South Korea (fourth place); Junhong Kuang, 19, of China (fifth place); and Riccardo Calogiuri, 29, of Italy (sixth place), competed in the semifinal round on Friday, May 31.

Other competitors included Javier Garcia Verdugo, 25, Spain; Samuel Hines, 27, Mora, Minnesota, USA; Beiyan Liu, 20, China; Christopher Mrofchak, 27, Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Cody Noriega, 27, Riverside, California, USA; Alex Park, 26, Culver City, California, USA; Miguel Checa Paz, 21, Spain; Marko Topchii, 28, Ukraine; and Tengyue Zhang, 25, China.

All of the competitors performed on the first full day of the competition (Thursday, May 30); six semifinalists were then selected to proceed to the second day. The competitors performed required and free-choice pieces and were judged on musicianship, tone, technique, and stage presence.

The distinguished panel of five judges, representing different areas of the music world, were Mia Bongiovanni, Assistant General Manager of Media and Presentations for the Metropolitan Opera; Charlotte Lee, President and Founder of Primo Artists; Steve Schoen, former Vice President of Sony Music Masterworks and Sony/BMG; David Thomas, recording producer; and Pablo Sainz Villegas, classical guitar virtuoso and winner of the 2006 Parkening International Guitar Competition.

The 15 competitors vied for cash awards that totaled US$60,000. The fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place winners each received US$1,000. Awards of US$500 were given to each of the remaining nine competitors.

"It has been a true inspiration to see the extraordinary level of talent of all who have performed in the competition. We can say with confidence that the future of classical music is bright," said Jury Chair Charlotte Lee, at the awards ceremony on Saturday, June 1. "We'd like to acknowledge each and every competitor for what you have sacrificed to participate in this competition. You have given your commitment, your discipline, your time, dedication, and your heart; this journey has made you a better musician and a better person."

Andrea Roberto was born in Italy, and began studying guitar at age 4. At 9 years old, he was admitted to the U. Giordano Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of guitarist Sandro Torlontano and attained his bachelor's degree with honors at the age of 14. Roberto continued his studies with Aniello Desiderio at the Koblenz International Guitar Academy in Germany, and he completed them at the Conservatorium of Music of Maastricht in the Netherlands under the mentorship of Carlo Marchione.

He has received a variety of international awards. In 2009 Roberto won the David Russell Prize for young talented musicians at the Conservatory of Vigo in Spain, 4th prize in the Parkening Young Guitarist Competition at Pepperdine, and the Joven Promesa Prize at the VIII Jose Tomas-Villa de Petrer International Guitar Competition. In 2010 he won the Valter Cococcia Prize, which goes to the youngest Italian conservatory student graduating with honors. In 2012, he participated in the Parkening International Guitar Competition. Since then, he has won multiple other awards, including 1st prize at the second International Competition of the Adriatic in Pescara, 1st prize at the fourth Stefano Strata International Competition of Pisa, 1st prize at the International Competition of Twents in the Netherlands, and 1st prize at the Jose Tomas Villa de Petrer International Guitar Festival in Spain. Roberto also placed 5th in the 2015 Parkening International Guitar Competition.

In addition to the Parkening International Guitar Competition, Pepperdine presented the Parkening Young Guitarist Competition for guitarists ages 17 and younger on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 28 and 29. First place went to Eric Wang, 15, San Jose, California, USA; second place to Nikolas Rejto, 17, Australia; third place to Garrett Podgorski, 17, Burbank, California, USA; fourth place to Hui Chan Yun, 16, South Korea; and fifth place to Joseph Malvinni, 11, Santa Barbara, California, USA.

Additional Young Guitarist competitors were Hilbert Chen, 10, Cupertino, California, USA; Maggie Grether, 16, Pasadena, California, USA; Mira Morales, 15, Los Altos, California, USA; Evelyn Nguyen, 16, Monrovia, California, USA; and Darren Wu, 16, San Jose, California, USA.           

Cash awards for the Young Guitarist Competition included US$3,000 for the first-place winner and US$750 for each of the other four finalists. Awards of US$500 were given to each of the remaining five competitors.

Judging the Parkening Young Guitarist Competition were music professor Sara Banta, Director of Digital Sales at Naxos USA Mark Forlow, and 2015 Parkening International Guitar Competition Gold Medal Winner Meng Su.

The Parkening International Guitar Competition is pleased to congratulate and announce the winners of the 2019 competition:

The Jack Marshall Prize and Gold Medal were awarded to Andrea Roberto, 23, Italy.

The Silver Medal was awarded to Alec Holcomb, 24, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

The Bronze Medal was awarded to Sergey Perelekhov, 22, Russia.

Fourth Place was awarded to Bokyung Byun, 24, South Korea.

Fifth Place was awarded to Junhong Kuang, 19, China.

Sixth Place was awarded to Riccardo Calogiuri, 29, Italy.

The Parkening Young Guitarist Competition is pleased to congratulate and announce the winners of the 2019 competition:

First Place was awarded to Eric Wang, 15, San Jose, California, USA.

Second Place was awarded to Nikolas Rejto, 17, Australia.

Third Place was awarded to Garrett Podgorski, 17, Burbank, California, USA. 

Fourth Place was awarded to Hui Chan Yun, 16, South Korea.  

Fifth Place was awarded to Joseph Malvinni, 11, Santa Barbara, California, USA.

About the Parkening Competition:

The competition, which debuted in 2006, offers the largest prize purse of any classical guitar competition in the world, with competitors vying for cash awards that total in excess of US$65,000. After three days of intense public performances, the winner of the Parkening International Guitar Competition receives a gold medal, the Jack Marshall Prize of US$30,000, and the most prestigious title in classical guitar. The 2019 Parkening Competition was made possible by a generous grant from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson. More information online:

Christopher Parkening is celebrated as one of the world's preeminent virtuosos of the classical guitar. For over 40 years his concerts and recordings have received the highest worldwide acclaim. Parkening is recognized as heir to the legacy of Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia. He has performed at the White House, appeared with Placido Domingo on Live from Lincoln Center, participated in the Carnegie Hall 100th anniversary celebration, and performed twice on the internationally televised Grammy Awards, and has appeared on many nationally broadcast television programs, He has collaborated with composers John Williams, Elmer Bernstein, Joaquin Rodrigo, F. Moreno Torroba, and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and premiered new concert works in an effort to keep the guitar in the musical forefront. Parkening has been guest soloist with the finest orchestras in the United States, including the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Minnesota orchestras, the Chicago, Pittsburgh, and National symphony orchestras, the Detroit, Houston, Oregon, and St. Louis symphonies, the New York Philharmonic, the St. Paul and Los Angeles chamber orchestras, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. He is the recipient of two Grammy nominations in the category of Best Classical Recording for Parkening and the Guitar and The Pleasures of Their Company, a collaboration with soprano Kathleen Battle. He was given the acclaimed American Academy of Achievement Award for excellence in the field of music. He also was presented with the 2000 Orville H. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Classical Guitarist and the 2003 University Musical Society's Distinguished Artist Award.

Pepperdine University is an independent, medium-sized university located on an 830-acre campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu. Pepperdine is ranked in the top tier of major universities in America and is known for achieving the highest standards of academic excellence in its undergraduate program, and in its School of Law, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, School of Public Policy, and Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Pepperdine University is religiously affiliated with the Churches of Christ. It is the purpose of Pepperdine University to pursue the very highest academic standards within a context that celebrates and extends the spiritual and ethical ideals of the Christian faith.

The Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts at Pepperdine University provides high-quality activities for over 50,000 people from 1,000 zip codes annually through performances, rehearsals, museum exhibitions, and master classes. Located on Pepperdine's breathtaking Malibu campus overlooking the Pacific, the center serves as a hub for the arts, uniquely linking professional guest artists with Pepperdine students as well as patrons from surrounding Southern California communities. Facilities include the 450-seat Smothers Theatre, the 118-seat Raitt Recital Hall, the "black box" Helen E. Lindhurst Theatre, and the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art.

CONTACT: Tyler Flynn
Marketing and Publicity Manager
Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts, Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90263
(310) 506-4055
BOX OFFICE: (310) 506-4522

Source: Pepperdine University