New Mexico Classical Guitar Festival

Concert Schedule

Michael Chapdelaine in concert June 14 7:30pm UNM’s Keller Hall
Both the old and young were equally mesmerized by the exquisite sounds Chapdelaine elicited with amazing skill.”


Only one person has ever won the world’s top competitions in both “fingerstyle” and “classical” guitar, the 1998 National Fingerpicking Champion and the Guitar Foundation of America International Classical Guitar Competition.

Prior to winning the Championship, Chapdelaine had also won top honors in four international “classical” guitar competitions, including First Prize in the Guitar Foundation of America Competition.  He has been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowships and holds a Master of Music degree from Florida State University.  In recent years he has toured 4 continents and been seen around the world on CNN and Headline News.

Chapdelaine, who studied with Andrés Segovia, earned the distinction of winning the 20th annual National Fingerpicking Championship, traditionally dominated by steel string players, while playing on a nylon string classical guitar. He bested an international field of guitarist by playing a broad spectrum of musical genres ranging from traditional South American dance music to his own fingerstyle compositions, which included a blues number he calls Blue Chile. “The biggest thrill about winning Winfield was seeing how much people like my original compositions,” Chapdelaine said.

His original works, which he has only recently introduced to the public, bring together a broad variety of musical styles from classical to country to blues.  “I grew up playing pop music in Navy clubs….I needed to find a way to mix the groove and fun of that music with the discipline and expressive beauty of classical music.”  “Music is fun, if it’s not fun, why bother?” 

Matt Palmer in concert June 15 7:30pm UNM’s Keller Hall
“…the soul of an artist, the technical virtuosity of the highest caliber and a heightened sense of musicality.”

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Guitarist Matt Palmer has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada, South America, and the Caribbean.  A recent recipient of the “Up and Coming Guitarist of the Year” award by Guitar International Magazine, Matt has been described by critics as “a young artist about to make a real dent in the world of classical guitar” (Premier Guitar Magazine), “highly expressive and technically virtuosic” (Modern Guitars Magazine), “a truly accomplished and refined musician” (Cleveland Classical), and “one of the world’s best guitar players” (The Royal Gazette).  An active performer, winner of numerous guitar competitions, and author of The Virtuoso Guitarist method, Matt Palmer has gained worldwide recognition as a virtuosic and soulful concert artist.

Matt Palmer holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Arizona, where he studied with Thomas Patterson and Artists-in-Residence David Russell, Sergio Assad, and Odair Assad.  In demand as a performer, his recent concert engagements have taken him to venues such as Carnegie Hall, Shakespeare Theatre, Benaroya Hall, The Guitar Foundation of America International Convention, numerous universities, guitar societies, and dozens of international guitar festivals throughout the world.  Matt is the Director of Guitar Studies at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, and Coordinator of the Eastern Shore Guitar Festival and Workshop.  Matt Palmer is a Strings By Mail sponsored artist and plays D’Addario strings.  Matt plays a handmade guitar by luthier Michael Thames.

Bandini-Chiacchiaretta Duo in concert June 16 7:30pm UNM’s Keller Hall
“Bandini and Chiacchiaretta held a concert that, just like tango, was a condensing of emotions and real life. Bandini and Chiacchiaretta have technique, talent, performing class. Theirs is a tango danced in two.

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Decca recording artists Giampaolo Bandini and Cesare Chiacchiaretta, guitar and bandoneon duo, currently celebrate their 15th year anniversary of music making and deep commitment to present Argentina’s music through the charm and magic of its most representative instruments. Regularly invited by the festivals and theatres around the world, they have toured over 50 countries and have annual or biannual tours to the United States and Canada, receiving outstanding critical and audience approval. Following the consistent success and popularity of the duo, 2016-2017 season has seen the signing of the duo by Decca label with their debut CD release titled “Escualo” in January 2017 to great critical acclaim. Recent invitations took them to perform in Berlin, Budapest, and Toronto, in addition to collaborations with Deutsche Grammophon artist and mandolinist Avi Avital. New tours in Mexico, China, Hungary, Kosovo, Germany, Korea, Poland, Austria, and USA are part of the duo’s schedule for the coming seasons.

The duo had the privilege to play Astor Piazzolla’s Double Concerto “Hommage a Liegi” conducted by Maestro Leo Brouwer at the Auditorium Paganini of Parma and for the Unione Musicale of Turin with the renowned Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra conducted by Pavel Berman. They are frequently invited to perform as soloists with orchestras of Baden-Baden Philharmonic Orchestra (Germany), Brno Soloists (Czech Republic), the Camerata Santiago de Querétaro and Silvestre Revueltas Orchestra (Mexico), the Round Top Chamber Orchestra and Brazos Valley Symphony (USA), the Asian-European Symphony Orchestra (Korea), and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Kiev (Ukraine) among others.

Important composers have written original compositions for Bandini-Chiacchiaretta Duo, among them Daniel Binelli, Fernando Tavolaro, and Maximo Diego Pujol, who dedicated the Double Concert for guitar, bandoneon, and orchestra “Luminosa Buenos Aires” (2009) to them.

As educators, they are in great demand by the most renowned academies and international Universities and hold classes at the Institutes of Higher Education “Luigi Boccherini” in Lucca and “Umberto Giordano” in Foggia. Giampaolo Bandini plays a Dennis Tolz guitar and sponsored by D’Addario Strings.


Showcase Concert June 17 1:15pm UNM’s Keller Hall
featuring students of the festival in concert

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Andrew York’s “Playground” premiered at the 2015 Festival:


The New Mexico Classical Guitar Festival is supported in part by a generous grant from New Mexico Arts.