NEW Ross is going to have a major new festival among its schedule of social events this year when the inaugural New Ross Guitar Festival takes place between August 11 and 14.
Announcing the initiative at this month’s meeting of the local authority District Manager, Mick McCormack, said the official launch of the event will take place shortly while the actual festival itself will be held between the aforementioned dates.
"The festival intends to bring to New Ross, top class international guitarists in different genres of music,” said Mr McCormack.
There are some incredible artists lined-up for this year’s event including one of the world’s foremost classical guitarists, Ana Vidovic from Croatia.
Ms Vidovic has won a number of prestigious international awards including first prize at the Albert Augustine International Competition in Bath, UK, an the Francisco Tarrega competition in Benicasim, Spain.
Other prizes she has won include the Eurovision Competition for Young Artists, Mauro Giuliani competition in Italy, Printemps de la Guitare in Belgium, and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.
A child prodigy, Vidovic comes from the small town of Karlovac, near Zagreb, Croatia, and she began playing guitar at the age of 5.
When she was 7, she gave her first public performance and by age 11 she was performing internationally.
When she was 13, Ms Vidovic became the youngest student to attend the prestigious National Musical Academy in Zagreb where she studied with Professor Istvan Romer.
Mr McCormack revealed at the meeting that rock/jazz guitarist, Matteo Mancuso, from Sicily, will also feature at the festival.
Born in 1996, by the time he was 12, Mancuso performed at the Castlebuono Jazz Festival in Sicily.
Mancuso crosses many genres in his playing and is as accomplished in classical as he is performing jazz and blues on electric guitar.
He has also earned widespread praise from some of the world’s most revered and celebrated guitar legends including, Joe Bonamassa, Steve Vai and Al Di Meola.
In 2017, at Umbria Jazz, he won a scholarship for the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Mancuso performed at the 2019 NAMM show in Los Angeles, collaborating with Yamaha guitars and Line6. He also attended the popular Bangkok guitar festival in Thailand, in February 2019, and the Hard Rock Pattaya guitar battle.
Another artist scheduled to appear at the festival is Ireland’s own John Feeley. One of the most celebrated names, worldwide, within the classica arena he attended Trinity College, Queen’s College of the University, New York, and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, where he graduated with a PhD in Music.
He has taught at the American Institute of Guitar, New York, Memphis State University, the Conservatory of Music, Dublin Institute of Technology and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He has numerous recordings to his name and performed at some of the world’s most prestigious venues.
Mr MrCormack said the full programme for the festival will be announced at a launch event at Hook Lighthouse the weekend after Easter and the festival director will be world class, classical guitarist, David Creevy who is also director of the Wexford School of Music .
“The festival is being chaired by Cllr Bridín Murphy and I would like to thank her and her committee for all their work in getting this off the ground and look forward to the addition of another festival to our busy calendar for 2022,” said Mr McCormack.
"We also look forward to welcoming the many visitors who will come and attend the festivities, an event we believe that will have mass appeal,” he added.