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The Festival is a cultural trademark of Wielkopolska Region

The 11th edition of Akademia Gitary Festival is ahead of us. When in 2008 this Festival took place for the first time in Wielkopolska Region, many had doubts. Will these young cultural managers Przemysław Kieliszewski and Marcin Poprawski and a very talented guitarist Łukasz Kuropaczewski be able to succeed?

Master Classes in Żerków, together with five concerts and an inauguration concert in Poznań, that’s already a lot, but is it enough? Well, it turned out, that it was not only enough, but the Festival moved on and expanded rapidly.

Within years, the Festival kept growing and spreading around Europe and worldwide.The Festival’s strenght lies in its artistic diversity. There are classical guitar concerts, as well as flamenco, rock and jazz music. The organizers of the festival events do not forget about their youngest audience – there are concerts addressed especially to them in the concert series Akademia Gitary: KIDS. The senior citizens can also find reach and enjoyable program filled with concerts and picnics in the special series Akademai Gitary: 60+.

The most exciting event of the Festival is, without doubt, the guitar happening that takes place at the Old Market in Poznań. Every year hundreds of guitarists, under the quidance of outstanding musicians, prepare and perform one musical piece. It all began with the song „Kiedy bylem małym chłopcem” (When I was a little boy), then the guitarist performed such pieces like „When I’m 64” by The Beatles, „Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash and many others. Last year the participants prepared „Every Breath You Take” and this year, the 26th of August, a great hit (Zacznij od Bacha) composed by Zbigniew Wodecki will be performed.

Among the happening’s hosts, we will see the unforgettable Jarosław Śmietana – top jazz guitarist, Wojciech Pilichowski – bass guitarist, Krzysztof Zalef Zalewski and Z-Star from Trinidad. This year we will be able to hear the First Non-symphonic Poznań Ukulele Orchestra. The Festival’s great atmosphere, coupled with an excellent feel for repertoire of its artistic director, Kuropaczewski, bring to Wielkopolska Region top class musicians from all over the world, such as Guitar Quartet from Los Angeles, Avi Avital, a mandolin player from Israel and guitarists Manuel Barrueco and Pepe Romero. Many of those performing at the Festival became the audience’s favourites, like the amazing Spanish-Greek Duo Melis.

Extremely important are all the projects that are taking place during the Festival and pieces of music (which are being) performed there. In 2011, the inauguration concert included the premiere of „Concert for guitar, string orchestra and timpani” written by Krzysztof Meyer and performed by the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, Łukasz Kuropaczewski and Małgorzata Soroka. In 2014, during the inauguration concert, „Jerusalem concerto” by Angelo Gilardino had its world premiere. We could hear solist Avi Avital and already mentioned Łukasz Kuropaczewski.

Flamenco concerts turned out to be a great success. In 2014 we had a chance to listen to Vicente Amigo and last year Tomatito appeared in front of the public. It’s also important to mention the charitable character of the Festival. Entrance to most of the concerts is free of charge, nevertheless during all of them volunteers collect money to support children from Niesiemy Nadzieję Foundation as well as Wielkopolanie Association Bona Fide. Everyone who makes a donation can enjoy legendary gingerbread cookies by Granny Krysia that have already become a symbol of the Festival.

Today, after 11 years, the Festival Akademia Gitary has a recognisable brand of its own and has gained its strong position not only in Europe but also worldwide.

 

Marek Zaradniak