The Classical Guitar Competition entitled City of Alessandria was first held in 1968 on the occasion of the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the foundation of the city. The promoter of the initiative, the first of its kind in Italy, was Dr. Michele Pittaluga, the internationally famous musicologist from Alessandria, who had previously created one of the first chairs of classical guitar music at the Antonio Vivaldi music lyceum where he was the principal and which, thanks to his interest, later became a state Conservatory. The Honorary President of the Jury for the first edition of the Award was the great Spanish master, Andres Segovia, then from the second edition to the present, the Venezuelan, Maestro Alirio Diaz. After the death of Dr. Pittaluga, in June 1995, the name of the competition was changed to Michele Pittaluga International Guitar Competition - Premio Citta di Alessandria and is organized by a special committee that has, as part of its constitution, the commitment of spreading the knowledge of the guitar repertoire, promoting new talents and supporting initiatives in favor of these goals. The Competition, that is held annually, will have its 48 ANNIVERSARY in the year 2015. In 2010 the City of Alessandria Award became member of the ISPA in New York and since 1981 has been a member of the Fédération Mondiale des Concours Internationaux de Musique with its headquarters in Geneva, and membership in UNESCO, and it is the only Italian guitar competition that belongs to this organization and the only one devoted to the guitar member of the WFIMC Executive Committee. Also since 1981, in response to the directives of the World Federation, the program of the Competition has been extended to repertoires with orchestra or string quartet. Over the years, many orchestras have played for the Competition, including the Angelicum of Milan, conducted by Mr. Bertola, the Turin Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mr Mariatti, the ATA Orchestra of Alessandria conducted by Mr Bertola and Mr Muller, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Piacenza conducted by Mr Rota, and the Nova Musica quartet. The famous Philharmonic Orchestra of Turin conducted the last few times by Mr. Ferrara and by Mr. Ignacio Yepes has played here for some years and lately the Vivaldi Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 1995 the Competition in Alessandria has been placed under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic of Italy and under the Patronage of Unesco Italian Commission. As we can see from the lists published overleaf the most important personalities representing a wide spectrum of the guitar world have taken part as members of the jury or as special guests.
The competition has awarded in almost 50 years many young guitarists who have then gone on to great concert careers. You only have to peruse the list of winners published in this centrefold to see this for yourselves. Among the winners of the last few years we would like to cite the Cuban born Marco Tamayo, Goran Krivokapic from Montenegro, Petrit Ceku from Croatia, Marcin Dylla from Poland, Flavio Sala and Adriano Del Sal ,Lorenzo Micheli and Emanuele Buono from Italy, Marlon Titre from Holland , Artyom Dervoed and Irina Kulikova from Russia, Andras Csaki from Hungary. The last four winners were Anabel Montesinos from Spain ,Cecilio Perera from Mexico in 2011, Lazhar Cherouana from France ,Eren Sualp from Turkey and Rovshan mamedkuliev from Russia.The winner is offered a concert tour (more than 30 recitals) in a number of Italian cities and other concerts abroad.
In 1997 a separate contest was created, entitled International Michele Pittaluga Composition Competition for Classical Guitar with the idea of expanding the contemporary guitar repertoire. For the first four years the contest envisaged works for solo guitar (1997), for guitar duo, guitar trio or guitar quartet (1998), for guitar solo with string quartet or quintet (1999), for guitar and orchestra (2000). From the year 2000, this competition is biennal. The 10th edition awarded Luis Fernando Ochoa Graterol from Venezuela. His work, "Path of History" was printed by Berben Editors, performed in 2013 and recorded by Eren Sualp/Naxos in 2015. Janko Raseta from Poland won the "Audience Prize" with the work "Little chant".
First round (qualifying round): A programme between 20 minutes and 22 minutes at the free choice of the contestants, which must include J. K.Mertz: Tarantella. A copy of the chosen pieces should be handed to the Jury.
Second round (semi-final): A programme between 40 minutes and 43 minutes which must include A.Tansman: Cavatina- suggested editions: Schott GA165 (rev. Segovia) or Schott GA 561 (rev. Zigante - not obligatory to play Danza Pomposa ) and a free choice of pieces in different musical styles, (excluding those already performed during the first round) .
Final round One concerto chosen between: J. Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez per chitarra e orchestra Ed Schott A. Tansman: Concertino per chitarra e orchestra Ed. Max Eschig IMPORTANT - In the qualifying, semi-final and final rounds, the pieces must be played by heart. The evaluation of the Jury will take into account the quality of the chosen transcriptions and the variety of styles from the free programme. The contestants should also send their programme, and a copy of the unpublished pieces with the enrolment application to the Secretary of the competition. This should be submitted no later than 31st August 2016. Changes and supplements to the programme will be accepted until 10th September 2016.
- The International Jury will consist of at least seven members of different nationalities with an established reputation in the music world. Honorary President: Mr. Alirio Diaz. Representatives of the Italian Ministry of Culture (MBC), the Italian Ministry of the Education, University, Research (MIUR) and those of the WFIMC of Geneva will be allowed to assist the Jury without taking part in the voting.
- The following are not permitted to be part of the International Jury: any relative or friend of contestants: anyone who is teaching or who has privately taught any contestant within the last two years; members of the Jury who are presently teaching at a public school or who have taught any of the contestants in the last two years must refrain from discussing 9 and abstain from voting for their own students/contestants. This abstention shall be recorded in the minutes. In compliance with this, when the Jury is being sworn in, each member shall make a statement as to his personal position concerning the contestant. During this first meeting the jury will read the internal rules of the contest and sign the judging method.
- If one or more of the members of the Jury are unable to attend the competition, they will be replaced with jurors selected by the organising committee.
- The International Jury may bring forward or postpone the starting time of the rounds if there is valid reason.
- A competitor’s performance may be interrupted at any time by the jury
Rules for the awarding of prizes
- The first prize cannot be shared. In special cases the International Jury may award remaining prizes equally. All the prizes will be assigned in the final round, and the cash amount will be credited by bank only. Prizes offered by other organisations can be awarded to participants at the jury’s discretion
- Semi-finalists who do not make it to the final round will receive a special Prize of € 200 –(two hundred Euros) as refund for travel ticket. This refund can be given on demand before the end of the contest. The semifinalists must be available for potential academic or charity activities as a consequence of the guitar competition.
- Contestants who have won a 1st, or a 2nd prize in an important international guitar competition may obtain, at the discretion of the Permanent Organizing Committee, free accommodation with host families or in a bed and breakfast for the period they actively compete. In accordance with this, contestants should send with their registration form their ask for for free accommodation and the documentation of the prize won. This request must be submitted by the first day of the competition at the latest.
For more information click "Further official information" below.