grusin hall

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All competition rounds are open to the public


The CU International Competition is open to all classical guitarists regardless of nationality and age.

The preliminary round is open to 45 competitors that will be selected through a pre-screening of their recordings submitted with the application form.

Twelve competitors will be chosen to play in the semifinal round. Of them, four finalists will be chosen to perform in the Final round.

Judges comments will not be made available to competitors.

All judges’ decisions are final.

By enrolling in this competition, every participant agrees that photographs, images, music, audio material, video material and audio-visual material may be freely used by the University of Colorado Boulder.

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Preliminary Round:
7 minutes of free repertoire

10 minutes of free repertoire

20 minutes of free repertoire

Choice of music is entirely at the discretion of the competitor. A competitor may perform the same or different music from round to round without penalty.

If a competitor exceeds the given time allowed for each round, that competitor will be asked to stop but at no penalty to his/her evaluation.

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The applicant must submit:

  • an application form
  • an audio AND video recording (DVD) of a recent performance of a short piece (5 to 10 minutes)*
  • a check for the registration fee of $60 made payable to University of Colorado

*The recording can be submitted by mail (to the address below) or by email (either as a .wmv file or as a link to a YouTube video) to The piece chosen for this video may or may NOT be related to the repertoire for the competition.

Registration covers entry to all the CU Guitar Festival events.

Print and mail the following form, together with your DVD and a check for the registration fee to:

Nicolò Spera
College of Music
301 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309

The registration for the 2019 competition is still open. However, it is required the late registration fee of $100. Contact for further information.

Download the Registration Form

For further information, please contact Nicolò Spera at

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1st Prize: $2,500* 
2nd Prize: $1,500* 

3rd Prize: $750*

4th Prize: $500*

*Taxes may be applied to the final amount.

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Preliminary Round:
Lynn McGrath
Richard Todd



Laura Husbands
Lynn McGrath
Elisa La Marca


René Izquierdo
Matteo Mela
Lorenzo Micheli

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Friday, March 8, 2019

11 a.m.-Noon: Welcome Everyone! Check-in at the Macky Auditorium lobby and Continental Breakfast for all the festival participants

2:30 p.m.5 p.m.: Preliminary Round #1 – Macky Auditorium Choral Rehearsal Room (102)

Saturday, March 9, 2019

10 a.m.-Non: Preliminary Round #2 – Macky Auditorium Choral Rehearsal Room (102)

2 p.m.-5:30 p.m.: Preliminary Round #3 – Macky Auditorium Choral Rehearsal Room (102)

The 12 semi-finalists will be announced at the intermission of Saturday's concert.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Semi-finals – Grusin Music Hall

The four finalists will be announced in front of Grusin Hall, in the lobby of the Imig Music building, at 1:30 p.m.

6:30 p.m.: Finals – Grusin Music Hall

The winners will be announced in Grusin Hall after the final reception.

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Past Winners

2019 Competition Results

1st Prize: Dragos Ilie
2nd Prize: Jesus Serrano
3rd Prize: Yuki Saito
4th Prize: Amir Hossein Sheybani

2017 Competition Results

1st Prize: Silviu Octavian Ciulei
2nd Prize: Stephen Lochbaum
3rd Prize: Misael Barraza-Diaz
4th Prize: Nicolas Emilfork
Audience Prize (dedicated to the memory of Samuele Benvenuti): Misael Barraza-Diaz

2015 Competition Results

1st Prize: Chad Ibison
2nd Prize: Silviu Octavian Ciulei
3rd Prize: Simone Rinaldo
4th Prize: Thierry Begin-Lamontagne
Audience Prize: Silviu Octavian Ciulei

2013 Competition Results

1st Prize: Joseph Palmer
2nd Prize: Ivan Resendiz
3rd Prize: Kyle Comer
4th Prize: Nicolas Emilfork
Audience Prize: Ivan Resendiz

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