Published: Oct. 9, 2015 By

chad ibison and silviu ciulei

Guitarists Chad Ibison and Silviu Ciulei

The graceful chant of classical guitar will lilt from the stage of Grusin Hall on Monday, Oct. 12. Chad Ibison and Silviu Ciulei, winners of the 2015 CU International Guitar Festival and Competition, are returning to give Boulder audiences an encore performance.

Organized by Ritter Family Classical Guitar Program Director and Assistant Professor of Guitar Nicolò Spera, last February’s festival brought 41 guitarists from 16 countries to CU-Boulder. While it provided Boulder audiences with performances by internationally renowned artists such as SoloDuo and the Assad Brothers, the festival also helped further the program’s mission. 

“We want to create and nourish a supportive and encouraging environment for our students' dreams,” says Spera. “The guitar is an instrument that inspires kindness, that is always singing the importance of being kind and gentle in this loud, often aggressive world. We are so happy and excited to welcome back Chad and Silviu to bring our community and our students their incredible talent and wonderful music through the inspiring sounds of their guitars.”

Ibison is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin. He says he’s excited to return to Boulder and play for an audience that truly appreciates guitar. “Even amidst dangerous weather conditions, I was blown away by the level of audience attendance during last year's festival,” Ibison says. “I’m really looking forward to the great warmth of Nicolò and the people of Boulder.

“Boulder is such a beautiful town and the music hall is a pleasure to perform in,” Ibison adds. “Performing classical guitar in a great hall creates an intimate setting that allows me to connect with the audience on such a palpable level.”

Ciulei, originally from Romania, is teaching guitar at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. He says his experience here last year made him eager to return for the recital. “It was a great competition. I was really impressed with the quality of the guitar program and how many competitors from all over the world came to the competition.

“It was fun to perform for this audience. I really enjoy moving people with the lyrical lines of the music of the guitar, sort of telling a story to the audience and taking their minds off of daily things in their lives,” Ciulei says.

Monday’s recital begins at 7:30 p.m. in Grusin Music Hall. 

Named and endowed last fall by a donation by CU alumni Michael and Michele Ritter, the Ritter Family Classical Guitar Program continues to build momentum. This winter, SoloDuo—Italian guitarists Lorenzo Micheli and Matteo Mela—will be at the college for their first in an ongoing series of residencies. The duo returns to Boulder in February for lessons, ensemble coaching and a public recital on February 25. Additionally, the third CU International Guitar Festival and Competition is planned for February 2017.