Media Release: International line-up for inaugural Scottish guitar competition final

Big Guitar Weekend 4-6 November 2011

THREE young guitarists from different parts of the world have secured their place at the inaugural Scottish International Guitar Competition in Glasgow.

Following the YouTube online elimination process, three guitarists – from Finland, Brazil and Italy – will play live in the final on Sunday 6 November 2011 as part of the Big Guitar Weekend (BGW) in the Stevenson Hall at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

All three submitted two YouTube films to the BGW website and a jury of internationally-renowned musicians selected the finalists via Skype.

The finalists are Patrick Vena from Finland; Brazilian, Heder Dias Jordao de Vasconcelos; and Marco Ramelli from Italy.

Patrick Vena (33) said: “I have been playing the guitar since I was 13 years-old and have studied at the East-Helsinki music school, and after that at the Conservatory of Helsinki and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

“This will be my first visit to Scotland and I am very excited about seeing the country and meeting the tutors from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.”

Fellow finalist, 21 year-old Heder Dias Jordao de Vasconcelos, from João Pesso in  Brazil, said: “I am just about to begin my post-graduate studies at the University of Aveiro, in Portugal with teacher Paulo Vaz de Carvalho. I have been playing the guitar for ten years and I am delighted to be a finalist in the Scottish International Guitar Competition.”

And 27 year-old Marco Ramelli, from Milan, added: “I never go a day without playing the guitar. I am very pleased to be coming to Scotland in November. I have been once before to visit my twin brother who is studying at the University of Edinburgh. Glasgow and Edinburgh are two great cities and I can’t wait to come back.”

Artistic director of the Big Guitar Weekend, Allan Neave, said: “We are very excited to have had such a high quality of entrant for our inaugural Scottish International Guitar competition.

“We received entries from all corners of the globe and it was tough to select the final three.

“Our virtual jury met over Skype to listen to the entrants and after a lengthy deliberation process, they named their elite. I am looking forward to welcoming the finalists to Glasgow.”

The competition – sponsored by Maestoso Music, Stephen Eden, Luthier Strings, Altamira Guitars and Juan Hernandez Guitars – offers the winner a host of fantastic prizes and opportunities, including the chance to record their own CD, released by Nimbus Alliance and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s recording label.

Now in its fifth year, the Big Guitar Weekend returns with a stellar line up of celebrity guests, including the return to Scotland of Paul Galbraith, Pavel Steidl from the Czech Republic, David Tannenbaum from the USA and the Agnew and the McAllister Duo, who will be celebrating ten years as one of the world’s most sought-after guitar duos.

Held between November 4th and November 6th, the weekend is a superb festival of classical and jazz guitar concerts, masterclasses and workshops.

Plus, this year, the BGW is offering a new jazz course hosted by Kevin MacKenzie and Malcolm MacFarlane, both hugely-respected artists from the Scottish jazz scene.

Young guitarists from the Yehudi Menuhin School in London will also be joining the line up on stage during the weekend.

The Big Guitar Weekend, sponsored by Yamaha Guitars, is one of the most prestigious events in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s calendar.

Full details and tickets can be obtained from or by calling the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Box Office on 0141 332 5057

Notes to editors – For more information please contact Katie Bell on 0141 270 8387 or email

MEDIA RELEASE posted by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Katie Bell
Phone: 0141 270 8387