2015 Hamilton International Guitar Festival & Competition
Schedule of Events


Friday, June 19, 2015

8pm Concert: Dale Kavanagh (Germany)


Saturday, June 20, 2015

11am Workshop: The Walton Bagatelles (Lecture/Recital) with Michael Hardy (USA)
2pm Concert: Miodrag Zerdoner (Bosnia)

8pm Concert: Rene Izquierdo (Cuba)


Sunday, June 21, 2015

11:00: Working Through Performance Anxiety with Timothy Phelan (Canada)

2 pm Concert: Will Douglas (USA)

8 pm Concert: International Competition Finals

*Individual lessons run from 9:00am-12:00pm and again from 3:00pm-6:00pm.

*The luthier showcase will be open from 9:00am-6:00pm Saturday and Sunday.

2015 International Guitar Competition


All festival participants will receive two lessons, access to all other lessons, concerts, workshops and the luthier showcase.

The competition will take place over three rounds. The first round of the competition will take place Friday, June 19 and should be a maximum of ten minutes. The second round will take place Saturday, June 20 and should be a maximum of 15 minutes. The final round of the competition is open to the public and will take place on Sunday, June 21, 8pm. The final round should not exceed 20 minutes.

Registration for the competition closes on Wednesday, June 17.

You can register below for the festival/competition. You will be contacted by Guitar Hamilton to confirm registration.


1st Prize: $400 & the winner will also perform a concert at the 2016 Hamilton International Guitar Festival!

2nd Prize: $300

3rd Prize: $200

4th Prize: $100


Participation in the competition alone is $60. Participation in the festival (lessons, masterclasses, concerts, etc.) and the competition is $160.


All festival events take place at the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, 126 James. St. S., Hamilton

Hamilton International Guitar Festival 2015

Hamilton Guitar Festival Individual Tickets

Dale Kavanagh (Germany)

Canadian-born Dale Kavanagh is acclaimed as one of the guitar world´s most gifted interpreters.   Between 1986 and 1988 Ms. Kavanagh was a top prize-winner in Spain’s  “Segovia Competition,” Italy’s “Gargnano Competition,” Switzerland’s “Neuchatel Competition,” and  First and Special Prize winner in Finland’s “Scandinavian International Guitar Competition.”


Dale Kavanagh performs internationally as a soloist, and in concertos with orchestra.  She also is part of the Amadeus Guitar Duo with German guitaristThomas Kirchhoff. She has given over one thousand recitals in more than forty countries, and is a regular recitalist and teacher in music festivals throughout Europe, North and South America, and Asia.

As a guest soloist with Orchestra, Ms. Kavanagh has performed on many occasions with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, Würtemberger Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestras of Ankara, Izmir and Antalya, the Edmonton Symphony, Thüringen Philharmonie Gotha, to mention a few.

Miodrag Zerdoner
Miodrag Zerdoner (Bosnia)

Born in Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and now a Canadian citizen,Miodrag Zerdoner started playing the guitar at age 7, guided by his father Zdravko.

He continued playing during the civil war years, and started his public career soon after by winning his National Guitar Competition 3 years in a row (1998-2000). In 1999, as the best student at his music school, he was chosen to perform the Vivaldi Concerto at the age of 14.

He and his family moved to Quebec City, Canada in 2001. He continued his studies at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec in 2002 with Paul-André Gagnon and later with Rémi Boucher at the Competition level.

Miodrag started being noticed very quickly upon his arrival in Canada. He was selected to participate in the “Jeunes artistes” program in 2002. Since, he has participated in various events and competitions, amongst others.

Rene Izquierdo (Cuba)

Rene Izquierdo, a native from Cuba, graduated from the Guillermo Tomas, Amadeo Roldan Conservatory and Superior Institute of Art in Havana. In the United States, Mr. Izquierdo earned a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma degrees from the Yale University School of Music, where he studied with Benjamin Verdery. While at Yale he represented the university in an exchange program with the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse du Paris and worked with guitarists Olivie Chassain and Roland Dyens. Rene has appeared as a guest soloist and in chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Cuba and Europe. He has shared the stage with prestigious guitarists including Eliot Fisk, Benjamin Verdery and Jorge Morel, as well as renowned flutist Ransom Wilson, soprano Lucy Shelton, David Jolley and Paquito d’Rivera. Renowned composers such as Jorge Morel and Carlos R. Rivera have dedicated works to him.

Mr. Izquierdo is a recipient of numerous awards. He is a winner of JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Competition in 2004, Extremadura International Guitar Competition, Schadt String competition, Stotsenberg International Guitar Competition among others.

Michael Hardy

His performing career has taken him throughout the United States and to Italy where La Stampa called his playing “brilliant and expressive.”  In addition to his solo career, Michael is enthusiastic about collaborating with other musicians.  He has performed with violinists, violists, flutists, oboists, vocalists, and other guitarists in duo, trio, and quartet settings.  He has also worked under the baton of conductors, a place guitarists rarely find themselves, in the Columbus State University Wind Ensemble and the University of Texas New Music Ensemble. Michael has performed successfully in many competitions and festivals. He was a top prize winner in the 2000 Columbus State University Guitar Competition and the 2006 East Carolina University Competition.  An avid supporter of new music, Michael has premiered new works with the Texas Guitar Quartet and the Texas New Music Ensemble.  He has also actively volunteered for Creative Access, the Peabody Conservatory’s outreach program.

Jeffrey McFadden (Canada)

Jeffrey McFadden has been acknowledged as one of the finest guitarists of his generation. Over the past years, concert engagements have taken him throughout Canada and the United States and into Europe. He has given World Premieres of works by numerous composers and has been a featured performer at several international music festivals, including "Guitar '87" and GuitarFest '91 in Toronto , Gitarren-Symposium Iserlohn, Lachine International Guitar Festival, the Columbus State Guitar Symposium, The Niagara International Chambre Music Festival, the National Flute Association (USA) Convention, the Festival Mediterraneo della Chitarra, the Acadia Guitar Festival and others.    


 In 1992, Jeffery McFadden was awarded a Silver Medal in the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America Competition and was also a prize-winner in the 1993 Great Lakes Guitar Competition. His debut recording was the first in the "Laureate Series" on the Naxos label and was released world-wide. Since it's release, this recording has sold in the thousands of copies. His playing has received enthusiastic critical acclaim; the "Daily Telegraph" of London (UK) exclaimed "McFadden's ability to make the guitar sing is second to none", and "Classic CD" has described his playing as "major artistry". His latest solo release features the complete didactic works by the 19th century composer Napoleon Coste. "ClassicsToday.com" raved about this disc saying, "Jeffrey McFadden is not only an extraordinary guitarist -- he's also an inspired musician." his latest disc, soon to be released is volume three of the complete works of Agustin Barrios on Naxos.


Kevin Manderville
Tim Phelan (Canada)

Timothy Phelan made his CBC recording debut at the age of eighteen as concerto soloist with the Quebec City Symphony Orchestra, and he has since been heard in solo, concerto and chamber music performances over CBC Radio and Television, Radio France, Radio Caribbean, and Cuban National Television and Radio. He has performed at four of the triennial Toronto international guitar festivals, and at Leo Brouwer's festivals in Havana and Martinique. Tim’s varied recent engagements include an appearance with the Niagara Symphony and Chorus Niagara (performing his own composition for guitar, 100-voice choir and symphony orchestra), a chamber music programme featuring many of his own arrangements of music by Villa-Lobos and Piazzolla, the premiere performance and recording of a new transcription of Schumann’s Dichterliebe song-cycle with baritone Brett Polegato and members of Tafelmusik, a solo concert at the Hamilton International Guitar Festival, and performances in Germany.

Kevin Manderville
Kevin Manderville (USA)

Kevin Manderville is active as a solo recitalist, chamber musician, teacher and scholar. He has appeared in major cities and festivalsthroughout North America and Europe including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Guitar Foundation of America International Convention, the Iserlohn International Guitar Symposium, the 2nd Acadia International Guitar Festival, the Hamilton International Guitar Festival, the Columbus State University Guitar Symposium, and the New York Guitar Seminar, among others. He has won prizesin several international competitions, including first prize at the Concours International de Guitare de Lachine,second prize at the Rantucci International

Guitar Competition and consecutive top prizes at the Columbus Guitar Symposium Competition. His debutCD, titled Through theCenturies, wasreleased in the fall of 2010 on Clear Note.


Kevin Manderville began his classical guitarstudies at the age of eighteen with James Chandler. He holds degreesfrom Stetson University, where he studied with Stephen Robinson and Florida State University, where he completed the Doctor of Music degree under the tutelage ofBruce Holzman. In addition, he hasstudied in master classes with some oftoday’s most prominent guitarists, including Sergio and Odair Assad, Manuel Barrueco, Eliot Fisk, Roland Dyens, and Oscar Ghiglia. A dedicated teacher, Dr. Manderville hastaught in many diverse settings from universitiesto community programs. He currently residesin Montgomery, AL, where he directsthe classical guitar program at Carver Elementary Arts Magnet School and is on the faculty at Huntingdon College.

Will Douglas (USA)
Will Douglas has performed for some of the top names in guitar including; Tom Sheeley, Virginia Luque, Thomas Kirchhoff, Dale Kavanagh, Johannes Moller, Eduado Fernandez, Eliot Fisk and Oscar Ghiglia among many others. Will held the department chair at Lake Country Christian School for three years and is continuing his teaching career at The Guitar Studio in Fort Worth and as an Adjunct Professor of Instrumental Studies at Tarrant County College Northwest. He made his concert debut in Guitar Fort Worth’s Atrium Series in 2004. He is well-known at many international guitar festivals including the Acadia Guitar Festival in Nova Scotia, Canada and the Iserlohn International Guitar Symposium in Iserlohn, Germany. Will has also given solo baroque guitar performances and played continuo in The University of North Texas’ Collegium Musicum Baroque Orchestra, which performs operas, concerti and chambers works by the leading composers of the baroque. In December of 2008, Will took the presidential reins of Guitar Fort Worth and has continued to help provide performances and educational opportunities to the Fort Worth community. In 2011 Will was invited as a guest lecturer and master class teacher at the 2011 Hamilton International Guitar Festival and The Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. After completing a Masters in Music Performance degree at UNT, Will attended the Graduate Diploma program in Eliot Fisk's studio at prestigious The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Will maintains an active performance schedule in the North Texas area.
Drew Henderson
Drew Henderson (Canada)

Drew Henderson is a renowned Canadian classical guitarist known for his sensitive performances and virtuosic technique. He has earned the highest praise from audience and critics, and is often cited as one Canada’s best young classical guitarists. His performances have taken him throughout Canada, the United States and Italy. He has adjudicated local and international competitions, conducted masterclasses at Universities, and is often invited to perform at international guitar festivals.


During his studies, Drew was heavily involved in the competition circuit, so far being awarded six international prizes. These competitions include: Les Concours International de Guitare Classique de Lachine (Montreal), the Rantucci International Guitar Competition (New York), the Columbus Guitar Symposium and Competition (Georgia), and the Concorso Chitaristico "Citta' Di Voghera" (Italy). Drew has also been awarded numerous scholarships from the University of Toronto, the Ontario Arts Council and the D’Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts.

Tuba Akkaya (Turkey)

Turkish guitarist Tuba Akkaya is based in Istanbul where she pursues a variety of musical activities.  She is active as a performer and chamber musician in many different styles of music, and teaches at the finest music schools in the city.  She is known for her interpretations of traditional Turkish music on the classical guitar, but one never knows what kind of musical project Tuba will be involved with next.   

Tuba Akkaya is currently completing her Doctoral Studies at the Istanbul University State Conservatory with a focus on Mental Training for Musicians.  Between 2001-2006 Tuba lived in Germany where she completed post-graduate studies with Frank Gerstmeier at the famed Folkwang School in Essen, after initial studies at the Hochschule fur Musik Detmold.  During this time she had the opportunity to study with the top names in classical guitar, including Dale Kavanagh, Carlo Marchione, Thomas Muller Pering, and Raphaella Smits.  Unusual for a guitarist, Tuba Akkaya also holds a double degree in Piano and Music Theory from Gazi University.   

Tuba Akkaya is making her North American debut at the Hamilton International Guitar Festival in 2015. 

Emma Rush
Emma Rush (Canada)

Canadian guitarist Emma Rush was involved with music from an early age and played many instruments before discovering a love for the guitar. After initial studies, Emma Rush moved to Nova Scotia to complete an undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax. During her years in Halifax, she was active in playing solo and chamber music concerts and participating in numerous masterclasses and quickly became known for her warm sound and expressive playing.

From 2002-2006 Emma Rush lived in Dortmund, Germany. She completed post-graduate studies with world renowned guitarist Dale Kavanagh at the Hochschule fur Musik in Detmold (completed February 2006). She graduated at the top of her class. The years in Germany offered her many opportunities to refine her skills in masterclasses with David Russell, Roland Dyens, Carlo Marchione, and Tilman Hoppstock, among others.

In 2011 Emma Rush was a top prize winner at the Columbus State International Guitar Competition and the Great Lakes International Guitar Competition. She has been the recipient of two City of Hamilton Arts Awards (Music and Arts Administration) and was nominated for a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Arts and Culture. Her much anticipated debut album, Folklorica, was released in the spring of 2014.

Emma Rush is now based Hamilton where she maintains a busy teaching studio in addition to faculty appointments at Mohawk College and Redeemer University College. She performs throughout North America and Europe and appears regularly as a performer and teacher at international music festivals (Iserlohn, Acadia, Great Lakes). Emma Rush is the founder and artistic director of the Guitar Hamilton concert series and the Hamilton International Guitar Festival. Recent performance highlights include the 18th International Guitar Festival in Iserlohn, Germany, the Philadelphia Guitar Society, the Fort Worth Masters Series (Texas), and a tour of the eastern provinces of Canada. Upcoming appearances include concerts in Canada, Germany, Mexico, the United States and a presitigious tour in China in 2014.

“she captivated the audience with her charm, wit and technical prowess” Frankenpost, Germany

“If there is a princess of summer concerts, let it be Emma Rush.” The Hamilton Spectator