Pablo Sáinz Villegas, Winner of the 2009 Parkening International Guitar Competition, Performs in Santa Barbara, California

Patrick Russ, Pablo Sáinz Villegas, Christopher Parkening after Mr. Villegas' performance with the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra.

Patrick Russ, Pablo Sáinz Villegas, Christopher Parkening after Mr. Villegas’ performance with the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra.

Classical guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas, who won the Gold Medal Prize at the inaugural Parkening International Guitar Competition, performed with the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra in May, 2016.  Included on the program was the “Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra” by Elmer Bernstein, which he composed specifically for Christopher Parkening.

Also on the program was the US premiere of “Zaragoza,” an arrangement by Patrick Russ for guitar and orchestra of Isaac Albeniz’s solo piano work.

Congratulations on a successful performance!


“An In-Depth Look at Christopher Parkening’s Indelible Legacy”

We recently came across an article written by Mark Small and published around the time of the Parkening International Guitar Competition.  It might be an interesting read to some.  You may find the article here.


Finals for the Parkening International Guitar Competition

Jury Chairman Lynn Harrell introducing the Judges Panel.

Jury Chairman Lynn Harrell introducing the Judges Panel.

The 2015 Parkening International Guitar Competition is history! But you can read all about the winners at the competition website.

Also, watch an archived live-stream of the finals here.

Meng Su from China Wins the Parkening International Guitar Competition

It was an exciting week of amazing guitar players.  Congratulations to the winner, Meng Su!Meng Su

Pepperdine University kindly has left up a rebroadcast of the finals from last Saturday, with the three finalists playing with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra.  You may view the entire concert and the awards ceremony here.  Enjoy!

Finalists Chosen for Parkening International Guitar Competition

Three finalists have been selected by the judges to compete for the Jack Marshall Gold Medal Prize atcompetition finalists tonight’s finals of the Parkening International Guitar Competition:

Rovshan Mamedkuliev from Russia

Meng Su from China

Tengyue Zhang from China

Tonight’s finals, Saturday, May 30 at 7:30 p.m. PDT, will include the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra and will be live-streamed for the first time from this link.

Parkening International Guitar Competition First Round Completed

The 15 competitors have completed their performances for the first round of the #Parkening2015 and are awaiting the judges’ decision which will happen shortly.  They will draw for the order for tommorow’s semi-final round and then try and not be nervous before tomorrow afternoon’s semi-finals begin at 1:15 p.m.

Don’t forget, the finals will be live-streamed on Saturday night, May 30 at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.  More information will be posted tomorrow.

Every guitarist played very well, and I don’t envy the judges who must advance only 6 players.  Good luck to all competitors!


Young Guitarist Competition Finals Today

Finalists for the ‪#‎Parkening2015‬ Young Guitarist competition are Nolan Harvel, Ashwin Krishna, Alan Liu, Jonathan Pryde, Grace Sheppard. Congratulations, and good luck  in the finals today!

More information about the Young Guitarist Competition may be found here.

Parkening International Guitar Competition Coming Soon!

Coming up soon, the Parkening International Guitar Competition​ with the Young Guitarist Competition May 26-27, and the main competition May 28-30.  For more details, visit the official competition web site here, or check the official Facebook page.


Fifteen Competitors Selected for 2015 Parkening International Guitar Competition

CONTACT: Chelsea Sutton
Marketing and Publicity Manager
Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts, Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90263
(310) 506-4055
BOX OFFICE: (310) 506-4522


Fifteen Competitors Selected for 2015 Parkening International Guitar Competition

Ten Competitors Also Chosen for Parkening Young Guitarist Competition

May 26-May 30, 2015, Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA

March 13, 2015 Malibu, CA — The world’s preeminent classical guitar competition, the Parkening International Guitar Competition, has selected 15 standout competitors for its fourth triennial competition. Representing 11 countries, they will vie for the largest prize purse among guitar competitions, competing at Pepperdine University from Thursday, May 28, through Saturday, May 30, 2015, on the University’s campus in Malibu, California.   Renowned guitar virtuoso Christopher Parkening, the competition’s namesake and artistic director, is Distinguished Professor of Music at Pepperdine’s Seaver College. The competition honors his lifetime commitment to fostering musical excellence in young artists as demonstrated by his mentor, Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia.

The 15 competitors range in age from 19 to 29 years old and are among the international community’s most talented guitarists. They are Riccardo Calogiuri, 25, Italy; Fabian Cardozo, 28, Argentina; Silviu Ciulei, 29, Romania; Vladimir Gapontsev, 29, Russia; Emre Gökalp, 27, Turkey; Samuel Hines, 23, Long Beach, California, USA; Alec Holcomb, 19, Clarksville, Tennessee, USA; Alberta Khoury, 19, Australia; Rovshan Mamedkuliev, 28, Russia; Kyuhee Park, 29, South Korea; Sanel Redzic, 26, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Andrea Roberto, 19, Italy; Meng Su, 27, China; Marko Topchii, 24, Ukraine, and Tengyue Zhang, 21, China.


“We are thrilled to bring such a diverse range of young guitarists from all over the world here to Southern California for what is sure to be an extraordinary week of music,” says Rebecca Carson, Executive Director for the Parkening International Guitar Competition and Managing Director for the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts. “Our competitors for the 2015 competition will travel to us from just down the road in California to a town in Australia 14,000 miles away. They are united by their passion for classical guitar and by their love of music. We are looking forward to welcoming all of them to Pepperdine.”

Judging the competition will be Lynn Harrell, cello virtuoso and conductor; Lee Holdridge, Emmy Award-winning film composer; Charlotte Lee, senior vice president, IMG Artists; Angel Romero, guitar maestro, soloist, and conductor; and David Thomas, recording producer.

Three of the competitors will advance to the final round on May 30 to perform a concerto with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra before a live audience in Pepperdine’s Smothers Theatre. The gold, silver, and bronze medalists will be announced at the conclusion of the final round.

In addition to the Parkening International Guitar Competition, Pepperdine will present the Parkening Young Guitarist Competition on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 26 and 27. The 10 competitors, ages 17 and younger, are Katelyn Beisiadecki, 15, Monterey Park, California, USA; Erick Chipana, 17, Bolivia; Sedona Farber, 14, Santa Ana, California, USA; Nolan Harvel, 14, Hermitage, Tennessee, USA; Ashwin Krishna, 17, Los Altos, California, USA; Xu Kun (Alan) Liu, 13, China; Jonathan Pryde, 16, Reading, Michigan, USA; Kendrick Shen, 15, South Pasadena, California, USA; Grace Sheppard, 16, Tucson, Arizona, USA; and Kyle Wong, 15, San Jose, California, USA.

About the Parkening Competition:
The competition, which debuted in 2006, offers the largest prize purse of any classical guitar competition in the world, with competitors vying for cash awards that total in excess of US$65,000. After three days of intense public performances, the winner of the Parkening International Guitar Competition receives a gold medal, the Jack Marshall Prize of US$30,000, and the most prestigious title in classical guitar.

The 2015 Parkening Competition is made possible by a generous grant from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson.

For information about tickets, call the Smothers Theatre Box Office at (310) 506-4522. Information online:


Christopher Parkening is celebrated as one of the world’s preeminent virtuosos of the classical guitar. For over 40 years his concerts and recordings have received the highest worldwide acclaim. Parkening is recognized as heir to the legacy of Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia. He has performed at the White House, appeared with Placido Domingo on Live from Lincoln Center, participated in the Carnegie Hall 100th anniversary celebration, and performed twice on the internationally televised Grammy Awards, and has appeared on many nationally broadcast television programs, He has collaborated with composers John Williams, Elmer Bernstein, Joaquin Rodrigo, F. Moreno Torroba, and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and premiered new concert works in an effort to keep the guitar in the musical forefront. Parkening has been guest soloist with the finest orchestras in the United States, including the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Minnesota orchestras, the Chicago, Pittsburgh, and National symphony orchestras, the Detroit, Houston, Oregon, and St. Louis symphonies, the New York Philharmonic, the St. Paul and Los Angeles chamber orchestras, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. He is the recipient of two Grammy nominations in the category of Best Classical Recording for Parkening and the Guitar and The Pleasures of Their Company, a collaboration with soprano Kathleen Battle. He was given the acclaimed American Academy of Achievement Award for excellence in the field of music. He also was presented with the 2000 Orville H. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Classical Guitarist and the 2003 University Musical Society’s Distinguished Artist Award.

Pepperdine University is an independent, medium-sized university located on the a 830-acre campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu. Pepperdine is ranked in the top tier of major universities in America and is known for achieving the highest standards of academic excellence in its undergraduate program, and in its School of Law, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, School of Public Policy, and Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Pepperdine University is religiously affiliated with the Churches of Christ It is the purpose of Pepperdine University to pursue the very highest academic standards within a context that celebrates and extends the spiritual and ethical ideals of the Christian faith.

The Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts at Pepperdine University provides high-quality activities for over 50,000 people from 664 zip codes annually through performances, rehearsals, museum exhibitions, and master classes. Located on Pepperdine’s breathtaking Malibu campus overlooking the Pacific, the center serves as a hub for the arts, uniquely linking professional guest artists with Pepperdine students as well as patrons from surrounding Southern California communities. Facilities include the 450-seat Smothers Theatre, the 118-seat Raitt Recital Hall, the “black box” Helen E. Lindhurst Theatre, and the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art.


Deadline for Competition Applications Extended

UPDATE: Because of technical issues, the deadline to submit applications for the 2015 Parkening International Guitar Competition has been extended to 11:59 PM PST (GMT-08:00) on Thursday, February 12.

The Parkening International Guitar Competition and Young Guitarist Competition are accepting applications online now. You can apply today for a chance to compete in this prestigious competition.

Cash prizes in excess of US$65,000 were awarded at the 2012 Competition, representing the largest prize purse of any classical guitar competition worldwide.

More details about the competition are available on our website.


Parkening International Guitar Competition
Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts
Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263 USA