A recap of the 16th Annual Tennessee Guitar Festival


Matt Palmer is the first of two professional guitarists to perform at MTSU for the 16th Annual Tennessee Guitar Festival on Sunday night. (Sidelines / Tim Jenkins)

Photo by Tim Jenkins / Contributing Photographer

Story by Tim Jenkins /  Contributing Writer

The 16th annual Tennessee Guitar Festival took place January 29-31 in MTSU’s Hinton Music Hall, featuring performances and masterclasses by revered guitarists Matt Palmer and Jorge Caballero.

Palmer took the stage Sunday night, opening with a performance of Sergei Rudnev’s “Fantasy on Crimson Moon.” After his performance he provided a bit of backstory to the composition and did the same for each of the compositions he performed throughout the evening.

Matt Palmer is a world-renowned guitarist with a doctorate in music received from the University of Arizona. He is currently promoting his recent album “Sonata Sentimental.”

The highlight of the evening was Palmer’s performance of “Sonata Sentimental,” a piece written specifically for him by award-winning guitarist and composer Rafael Scarfullery.

Monday night, Caballero performed, beginning with Isaac Albeniz’s “Four Pieces.” Whereas Palmer had explained each piece prior to or after performing it, Caballero chose to speak and play simultaneously.

He is the youngest musician — as well as the first guitarist — to win the Walter W. Naumburg award. He is currently promoting his album “Quadros,” which features Kazuhito Yamashita’s arrangement of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

Caballero’s concert highlight was his rendition of Modest P. Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” a composition that lasts nearly 35 minutes.

Both guitarists led free masterclasses the afternoon following their performances where they demonstrated the techniques they used during their concerts.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Marissa Gaston email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

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