by Daniel Hathaway
Among the many best-laid plans that went awry when the coronavirus pandemic came to town was the premiere of James Stroud’s new Classical Guitar Competition, reconfigured for young guitarists ages 14 to 18, and scheduled to make its debut during the Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival last May at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
The contest goes on this weekend, thanks to digital technology. The four contestants who have advanced so far via preliminary video performances have sent in final round videos for streaming on Friday, October 16. After vetting by a panel of judges, prizes of $10,000, $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 will be awarded.
Hudson resident James Stroud launched his competition 20 years ago, and decided to change its emphasis and move it to CIM after holding previous contests at the University of Akron and Oberlin. “I always wanted to turn this into a national thing,” he said in a recent telephone conversation. “When I asked a number of guitarists and teachers how I could make the greatest impact, they advised me to concentrate on high school students.
“There are great kids coming up. I knew that Armin Kelly’s Festival at CIM was the best in the country, I love Mixon Hall, and (CIM President) Paul Hogle was super responsive to the idea.” Then the virus hit. When Kelly postponed his 2020 Festival, Stroud decided to move his competition online. [Read more…]