XXV. International Festival Abel Carlevaro

30th July until 6th August 2017

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Course contents:
Introduction to analysis and interpretation of some masterworks from different periods:


1. Vogtländischer Gitarre - Förderverein Erlbach e.V.

Further courses and activities
30.07. – 06.08 Workshop: Guitar and Alexandertechnique with Leon Frijns (Nederlands). How can the Alexander technique be best employed in guitar playing?

31.07. – 02.08. New: special course for pupils until 16 years old Patrick Zeoli (Argentinien/Irland).
31.07. exhibition of string intruments by local luthiers.

NEW: Special offer for participants under 18 years of age including beginners. Participants enjoy the opportunity, at reduced prices, to improve basic skills under the direction of internationally known guitarists.
The lessons take place in Hotel Schwarzbachtal.

The international guitar festival "Guitar and Nature" brings together music, delightful landscapes, unspoiled nature, a centuries old tradition of instrument making, warm hospitality and the teaching of Abel Carlevaro's-guitar-school, a way to technical mastery and cultivation of musical ability. Above all participants will have the opportunity to further their knowledge of the "ideas", contained in a piece of music. Each of them will experience, how important it is, to be able to "read between the notes", which will provide the stimulus to form and develop their own individual interpretation and unique musical personality.

According to our motto "Guitar and Nature" Prof. Abel Carlevaro († 2001) was the one artist, the one musician who realized like no one else this harmony between arts and landscape apart from the treadmill of every day life. The name Abel Carlevaro, who died the 17th of July in 2001, and his concept and reflections will influence the character of the festival also in future guided by Eduardo Fernández and his team Patric Zeoli, René Toriello, Janez Gregoric and Leon Frijns.

Eduardo Fernández
Eduardo Fernández was born in Uruguay in 1952 and studied with Guido Santórsola - theory, Héctor Tosar - composition and Abel Carlevaro († 2001) - guitar. The very intensive relationship between Abel Carlevaro and him during long years of study was the sound basis for his way as musician and artist. Eduardo Fernández belongs to one of the most outstanding and well known guitarists of our time and in the world. He played with well known orchestras, worked as a teacher and professor at several universities and in master classes, as composer and author of many didactic works for guitar playing which are of great genuineness and high quality.

Seminar languages:

Seminar fees:
Adults: 225 €
Students: 160 €
New: participants up to 16 years of age 80 €
Students from Eastern Europe: 100 € .

History of the festival
The first festival took place in 1993 and since then has grown steadily, attracting students and artists from more than 20 countries worldwide. Over the years it has become an important meeting point for guitar students and teachers from Western and Eastern Europe, which is not surprising given the exceptional beauty of the natural surroundings and the intensive yet amiable nature of the course. The Vogtländer Gitarren-Verein (Guitar Association) invited the world-renowned teacher and performer from Uruguay, Abel Carlevaro, to be the founding course director. Recognized as one of the most outstanding figures in the guitar of the 20th century, Carlevaro's ideas on technique and pedagogy have been highly influential on the constantly improving standards of guitar playing everywhere. Carlevaro's presence in Erlbach thus provided all those interested in his ideas with an opportunity to work under his personal guidance for a whole week, which proved to be of great value and benefit for the participants. Many of them have kept returning year after year to further their understanding of music and the guitar.

Over the years, the series of concerts which form part of the festival has presented more than fifty artists, among them some of the brightest new stars of the guitar: Pavel Steidl, Carlo Marchione, Margarita Escarpa, Aldo Lagrutta, to name but a few. Following the death of Abel Carlevaro, in 2001, his former student and world-renowned guitarist Eduardo Fernández was invited to assume the direction of the course, and this transition has turned out to be very succesful. The course has continued to expand and develop a structure which evolved over 10 years, and which has proven to be both efficient and adaptable. The course maintains the official name "Abel Carlevaro" in memory of the great artist who was its founder and who established its highly respected reputation in the European guitar scene.

Structure of the course : The curriculum lays emphasis on the active participation of all attendants, covering the three basic areas of mechanism, technique and interpretation. The mechanical elements are taught in small groups, allowing the students to focus on the essential workings of guitar playing. This involves the awareness of the physical actions involved in playing the instrument and a perception of their function and results.
Technique is treated as a way of solving specific difficulties encountered in a musical work, and it is centered on examples brought by the students. Interpretation follows the form of a masterclass, open to all participants.

The morning sessions are devoted to technique and mechanism, and masterclasses take place in the afternoon. As a rule, two to three concerts take place during the week. In addition, there are a number of optional activities available on the other evenings, including seminars, lectures and recreational activities. The environment offers ample opportunity for relaxation and practice time. As well as the guitar classes, there is an exhibition of guitars made by local builders, held every year at the beginning of the course. All participants have the opportunity to visit these makers in their workshops during the week.

In 2001 the teaching of the Alexander technique was introduced and has been succesfully integrated into the framework of the course. These classes are directed by Dr. Herbert Seeger from Vienna. 2003 saw the first composition workshop, specifically directed to works for guitar, under the tutelage of Thomas Heyn, an established composer and director of the Verlag Neue Musik, Berlin.

The official languages of the course are German, English and Spanish. Translators are available if and when required.

Example content image: left-align Abel Carlevaro (1916-2001) is rightly regarded as one of the most influential figures in the evolution of the contemporary guitar. As composer, performer, teacher and investigator, his lifeswork has proven to be a truly outstanding and invaluable contribution to the entire "upgrading" process undergone by the guitar in the latter half of the 20th century. Already as a young man he had the good fortune to develop ongoing and intensive relationships with mentors such as Andres Segovia and Heitor Villa-Lobos who were to provide him with the experience and encouragement necessary in forging his own musical path, and as such he has proven to be an indispensable bridge between past and present, transmitting and elaborating at first hand the values of an earlier (and decisive) generation to the younger players of today. He travelled and performed widely in all parts of the world , reuniting the role of composer and interpreter with conviction and success. Carlevaro's investigations into the fundamentals of guitar technique have been instrumental in redefining the didactics of guitar playing and offering new perspectives for the instrument and its repertoire. In his native Uruguay, as well as Erlbach and countless places all over the world, Carlevaro has been a highly constructive and encouraging influence for the present generation(s) of guitar players. The model of guitar that he designed is also built by the Vogtland guitar maker Eberhard Kreul in Erlbach.