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October 2010 Issue
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Guitar festival takes students to Korea


Students and staff from the University's Elder Conservatorium of Music have played an important part in the first Korean International Guitar Festival.

Three students - Jakob Brunnbauer, Benjamin Leahy and Phillip Nguyen - attended the event in Yeongju City, South Korea, along with Adjunct Lecturer in Classical Guitar Oliver Fartach-Naini, who was one of the organisers of the festival.

Benjamin and Jakob are both in their third year of Music Education, while Phillip is studying for a degree in Classical Performance combined with his studies in Medicine. All three are studying classical guitar under Mr Fartach-Naini and perform regularly as part of the Elder Conservatorium Guitar Ensemble.

The week-long event saw guitar students and teachers from around the world take part in masterclasses and performances.

"With over 25 concerts and 50 masterclasses, this festival is a great addition to the international guitar events calendar," Mr Fartach-Naini said.

"It was an honour to be part of it and a tremendous pleasure to be able to share this experience with some of my students."

Jakob said: "The opportunity to have lessons and play in Korea has been invaluable - it was a big learning experience for us.

"In addition to the masterclasses we all performed in a large student ensemble, conducted by Japanese guitarist and composer Shingo Fuji. This provided us with the opportunity to meet and perform with many of the top students from Asia.

"We also had the chance to meet and learn from some of the leading guitarists from around the world, such as Eduardo Fernandez of Uruguay and Shin-Ichi Fukuda of Japan," he said.

With more than three concerts daily, the festival saw many internationally recognised guitarists in action, including Mr Fartach-Naini.

Among the many student performances was Slapdash Stampede, an original composition written by Jakob Brunnbauer, which he performed with Benjamin Leahy and South Korean participant Ahn Kwan-Sik during the closing ceremony.

While in South Korea, the students also travelled to the seaport city of Pohang to play in one last concert, which also featured Jakob's composition.

Meanwhile, fellow Classical Guitar Masters student Jody Fisher has also recently returned from overseas. She spent a month in Europe having lessons and performing by invitation at international guitar festivals in Germany and Liechtenstein.

Jody Fisher and members of the Elder Conservatorium Guitar Ensemble will feature in the Adelaide International Guitar Festival's Guitarissimo on Saturday 27 November.

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From left: Benjamin Leahy, Jakob Brunnbauer, Oliver Fartach-Naini and Phillip Nguyen
Photo by David Ellis

From left: Benjamin Leahy, Jakob Brunnbauer, Oliver Fartach-Naini and Phillip Nguyen
Photo by David Ellis

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