From the 4th until the 8th September and from the 18th until the 21st September 2015 the CCA – Maria Amélia Laranjeira, Amarante Cultural Centre held the I Amarante International Guitar Festival and Competition. The festival brought together for the first time four major names of the classical guitar such as Marcin Dylla, Anton Baranov, Rafael Aguirre and Dejan Ivanovic. With 45 contestants (from all around the world, as Portugal, Brazil, the Ukraine, Spain, Denmark, Croatia amongst others) in the several categories in the competition, with more than 40 participants in the masterclasses taught by the four invited guitarists and with an audience near the 500 people (from all around the country and from abroad) attending the concerts of the globally distinguished guitarists, the first edition of the festival has been very successful. The guitarist Francisco Morais Franco, from the city of Covilhã was the winner of the category F winning 5000 euros, the highest prize awarded in guitar competitions throughout the country.
The I Amarante International Guitar Festival and Competition has aroused the attention not only of the numerous participants, of the personalities of the guitar world and teaching but also of the French musicologist Sylviane Falcinelli who has been present in the first edition. The festival has been largely referenced and praised by the Portuguese guitarists’ community who has participated with great interest in the different activities complied in the program. Besides the boost of the local economy and the impact both national and internationally the festival has given international dimension to the city of Amarante and to its culture and its people. The international participants have been captivated by the natural beauty of the city, by the welcoming and hospitality, by the festival’s organisation displaying their satisfaction and disclosing it in the social media and in their home countries.
The CCA and the city of Amarante have become, since the first edition of the festival, a benchmark in the guitar world not only nationwide but also worldwide