Ivana Trogrlić Mandić

She began elementary music education in Samobor, at the Music School "Ferdo Livadić", in the class of prof. Vesna Faullend Heferer. At GU "Elly Bašić" in Zagreb, she finishes high school in the class of prof. Ante Čagalj. She graduated from the Academy of Music in Zagreb in the class of prof. Istvan Römer.

During her studies, she won numerous awards at important domestic and international competitions as a soloist and as a member of chamber ensembles. She trained with world-renowned guitarists such as Jordi Codina, Zoran Dukić, Joaquin Clerch and others.

She was a long-time member of the Zagreb Guitar Quartet. She also realizes her love for chamber music through collaboration with flautist Vlatka Šplajt, with whom she performed at the Darko Lukić Tribune in 1998. In the same year, they received the University of Zagreb Rector's Award for special achievements in the field of musical art. She collaborated with saxophonist Tomislav Žužko and in the guitar trio Amicorde with Morana Pešutić and Anđel Jerkunica. In the desire for a slightly different musical expression, together with Gordana Šuštić - accordion and Carmen Stepić - voice, in 2005 she started the trio "As bruxas fatais" which nurtured and performed the music of Latin America. Over time, the trio evolved into a quartet with double bass - Ivan Domović and new members on harmonica - Ivan Kuruc and finally Maja Bandalović, and the repertoire was expanded to include their original compositions.

She has been working as a guitar pedagogue at the "Ferdo Livadić" Primary School for more than twenty years, and for eight years she also worked at the Brežice Primary School in Slovenia. Her students won prizes at county and state competitions as soloists and in chamber ensembles, and some of them became successful graduated musicians.

Moreno Vinceković

He was born on April 21, 1973 in Varaždin. He graduated from high school in Varaždin as an excellent student, simultaneously attending the Music School, majoring in guitar, which he graduated as the youngest in his generation in 1989, also with excellent results.
In 1990, he entered the Academy of Music in Zagreb, where he graduated in the class of professor Istvan Römer in 1995 as one of the youngest and most successful students of his generation. During his education, he won numerous awards and recognitions, of which the first prize at the Competition of Music Students and Students of the Republic of Croatia, the first prize at the Competition of Music Students and Students of the former SFRY in Sarajevo and the Rector's Award of the University of Zagreb should be singled out.

He has been working as a guitar teacher at the Music School in Varaždin since 1988, thus becoming the youngest teacher in the School's history. He initiated the opening of the high school guitar department in Varaždin and was its first teacher, and today he works as a teacher of guitar and chamber music and is the head of the guitar and tambourine department. By the decision of the State Agency for Education in 2017, he acquired the status of teacher mentor, and from the school year 2018/2019. he was appointed head of the county expert council for guitar teachers for as many as ten counties.

His students are winners of numerous high prizes at regional, national and international competitions, they have performed at the Varaždin Baroque Evenings and as soloists with the Varaždin Chamber Orchestra. Two students are winners of the annual Rotary Award for Excellence in 2015 and 2016. So far, 10 of his students have enrolled in guitar studies at music academies in the Republic of Croatia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and England.

He has been actively participating in the development of guitar pedagogy for many years, and in 1998, together with several renowned guitar pedagogues and artists, he founded the Croatian Association of Guitar Pedagogues - HUGIP, which today has more than 300 members.
He was the president of the Croatian Association of Guitar Pedagogues from 2002-2010. years.
He is constantly improving his skills, and so far he has organized a huge number of professional seminars and concerts for both teachers and guitar students, led by some of the world's most eminent guitar artists and pedagogues.

In the period from 2005 to 2013, he was a member of the presidency of the Croatian Association of Music and Dance Pedagogues, as well as of judging panels in the guitar discipline at regional and national competitions organized by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports and HDGPP. He also works as a member of judging panels at international competitions.

He was the chairman of the Organizing Committee for the implementation of the state competition of students and students of music and dance in Varaždin, the chairman of the Organizational Committee of the County Festival of Youth Musical Creativity, a member of the State Committee for Musical Festivals of Croatian Youth, a member of the State Committee for the implementation of the competition of students and students of music and dance, a member of the Organizational Committee member of the board of the International School of Baroque Music and Dance "Aestas Musica", member of the Varaždin Baroque Evenings Festival Council and member of the Judging Committee for awarding the Varaždin Baroque Evenings festival awards.

From 1998 to 2000, he was the president of the School Board of the Music School in Varaždin, and from July 2000 to April 2013, he was the director of the Music School in Varaždin, thus becoming the youngest director of a high school institution in the Republic of Croatia.

Boško Radojković

Boško Radojković (1966, Serbia) completed guitar studies at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, ex-Yugoslavia in the class of prof. Vera Ogrizović; he also completed the specialist course in chamber music in the class of prof. Olivera Đurđević in Belgrade.

During his studies, he often performed and took active part in competitions where he often won first prizes, especially in the field of chamber music. He played with the ensemble that performed old music “Musica Antiqua”. He recorded for the Radio and Television of Serbia (RTS), gave master classes and was sitting in many juries, both in the country and abroad.

He has been working in music school ”Kosta Manojlović” in Zemun and “Josip Slavenski” in Belgrade for more than 20 years. In this time he has earned a reputation of one of the most successful pedagogues in the field of guitar teaching. His students have won numerous first prizes in the competitions in the country and abroad.

He founded Guitar Art Festival in the year 2000 and has been its director since then. Guitar Art Festival is the first and most significant event for professional guitar in Balkan and one of the best in Europe.

He also founded Yugoslav Association of Classical Guitarists in 2001 (now Serbian Association of Classical Guitarists) and he is its executive director. This is the first official association of classical guitarists ever founded in former Yugoslavia.

In the end of 2001, he gathered representatives of guitarists in the First Foundation Congress of Classical Guitarists of South East Europe and then ASEG (Association of Classical Guitarists of South East Europe) was founded.

In period from January 1st, 2012 until May 2014 he was a director of Jugokoncert, the biggest concert agency for promotion of classical music in Serbia.

Since 2000 till today, he has succeeded to organize 24 editions of Guitar Art Festival in Belgrade, Serbia (http://www.gaf.rs/en/), 17 editions of Guitar Art Summer Fest in Herceg Novi, Montenegro (http://www.gaf.rs/en/festivals/guitar-art-summer-fest), to found guitar trio Kings of Strings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0139bCixZ4, educational program of guitar classes in Belgrade and 15 cities in Serbia https://sr-rs.facebook.com/kurs.gaf and many different projects and concerts where he presented the biggest guitar names.

He has engaged himself in many activities for a long time; he has achieved excellent results; he has envisaged and realized various ideas in the domain of guitar; all this has confirmed his persistence and top professionalism and affirmed Boško Radojković as a guitarist, pedagogue, organizer and above all, as a person.

NATAŠA ČRNUGELJ

Nataša Črnugelj studied under the guidance of prof. Andrej Grafenauer and prof. Tomaž Rajterič at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana and graduated in the first generation of guitar graduates. During her schooling, she competed very successfully in national competitions of the Republic of Slovenia and improved her knowledge at numerous seminars with internationally renowned professors.

She started her teaching career as a high school student and gained experience at the Domžale Music School, the Franc Šturm Music School in Ljubljana and the Sežana Music School, and since 1995 she has been employed at the Postojna Music School. Nataša has been an indispensable mentor to students and chamber groups at numerous public events, she was the head of the school guitar department for several years, and from 2009 to 2015 she was also the head of the Guitar alliance of Primorska Music schools in Slovenia.

Her students have been awarded forty gold, thirteen silver and three bronze plaquettes, and have won twenty-six prizes at numerous international and national competitions, including five absolute victories.

Nataša Črnugelj is a member of the juries for solo guitar and guitar duos, and a TEMSIG expert on the selection of competition programmes. Many of her most successful pupils were invited to record Radio Koper's youth radio programmes, and she was also a mentor to many of them when they were taking the music grammar school entrance exams. Her former pupils are among the most renowned musicians and teachers in Slovenia, some of whom have gone on to excellent careers abroad. She was one of the first guitar teachers who were connecting with professional societies abroad and organising the first training courses and recitals for domestic teachers under the guidance of renowned foreign musicians and lecturers. She regularly teaches at summer guitar schools and is co-founder of the international music festival "Guitar Week in Postojna".

In recognition for her professional work in the field of education and culture, she has received:

Gerbič Award of the Slovenian Music Schools Association 2023

Silver Award of the Municipality of Postojna 2014

Vilhar Award of the Municipality of Postojna 2023

CLAUDIA FRANCESCA D'AMMASSA

Claudia Francesca D'Ammassa was born in Rome in 1990. She moved the first steps in guitar making at an early age, while studying classical guitar at Santa Cecilia conservatory under the direction of Domenico Ascione. After graduation, she fully devoted herself to lutherie. She discovered her vocation attending a two-year course at the association Artigianato e Arte in Rome. Then she has apprenticed with Gianluca Ceccarini for over a year, learning craft fundamentals. Later on, she has improved her knowledge and expertise in classical guitar making by refining the study of theory and construction technique under the guidance of Mario Garrone and Dr. Giuseppe Cuzzucoli. A passion-strengthened aptitude together with the quality of her guitars allowed her to stand out within the musical branch of Italian handcraft. Her instruments are the result of a pleasant balance between tradition and innovation; their sound aesthetic abides by the feeling of historical guitars, while a scientific approach is adopted to optimize the acoustic performance through modern technologies. Her guitars are played in many countries around the world, such as Austria, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, United States and Arab Emirates. Currently Claudia lives and works in Rome, a few steps from the ancient Ostia ruins.

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STAŠA PUŠKARIĆ

This graduated geological engineer started building guitars in 2000 with his first work being electric guitars. He has been dedicated to classical guitars since 2020, and his goal is to have an individual approach to each guitar, to give them an individual character with small changes in the thickness of the vocal cords, grinding angles, thickness and number of ribs, and combinations of different materials. As of this year, he has been using exclusively Swiss spruce from the Bergun area and Lebanese cedar to make the body of the guitar.

CONTACT: www.guitarseustache.com

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"SEVER" MUSIC INSTRUMENTS WORKSHOP (Guitars by Petar and Ivan Sever)

The music instruments workshop Sever has been making classical guitars for more than 40 years. The workshop was founded by Želimir Sever, and today his sons Pavao, Petar and Ivan also make classical guitars. Many prominent guitarists, such as István Römer, Goran Listeš, Dejan Ivanović, Srđan Bulat and Ana Vidović, have played, or still play, instruments from the family workshop.

CONTACT: luthiersever@gmail.com

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ANTONIO ZWIRN

Antonio Zwirn has been in the instrument-making field for over 20 years, while he has been working as a concert classical guitar builder for 11 years. His oeuvre so far consists of over 50 classical guitars and over 600 other string instruments. His central architectural role models are the French builder Daniel Friederich and the German builder Gernot Wagner. For the front panel he uses spruce and Canadian cedar in combination with traditional and modern luthier techniques, while he uses Indian or Brazilian rosewood, Madagascar, ziricote and other materials for the body of the instrument.

CONTACT: antoniozwirn@gmail.com

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Voting for the Audience award

You can vote for your favorite guitarist from our competition until Monday, March 21st! You can give your vote to the guitarist who left the biggest impression on you by clicking "like" on the comment with his name below the live stream of the competition. For II. D and DUO professional category you can vote HERE. When it comes to IV. S and Solo professionals categories, you can vote HERE. Support these young guitarists that have shown big talent and amazing skills on our stage. Someone will be awarded with the Audience Award, and you get to choose who will that be!