Live THE ultimate guitar experience!

Unfortunately, due to the extension of restrictions and travel quarantine rules in the UK, we have had to postpone the international artists concerts and courses until 2022.

We have updated the event timetable to adapt to the ongoing situation – the David Russell, Rafael Aguirre and Stochelo Rosenburg courses and concerts will take place next year.

There’s still much to look forward to at this year’s Guitar Summit – all other concerts and the exciting flamenco course with Juan Martín will still take place, and the Big Summer Night of Guitar will now feature George Tarlton, Tom Kerstens’ G Plus Ensemble and La Leona (with Laura Snowden and Eleanor Kelly)!

La Leona (the Lioness) is a new IGF project celebrating women and the guitar. We present new commissioned work by young women composers performed by four outstanding young women players. My G Plus Ensemble will premiere new work by Léo Brouwer and Laura Snowden, both IGF commissions. As always, we champion young talent, and our Young Artist Platform presents some of the stars of tomorrow’s guitar.

Join us for a thrilling weekend of guitar!

Tom Kerstens 
Artistic Director IGF

The Concerts

Juan Martín

Friday 16 July 7:30pm
Kings Place, London

Juan Martín is a celebrated virtuoso of the flamenco guitar who was voted in the top three of guitarists in the world by US magazine Guitar Player. He resides between London and Málaga, where he learnt his art and first appeared in a film there aged 17 (Donde tu estes).  He played for Picasso’s 90th birthday celebrations, has recorded 18 albums and given solo concerts from Shanghai to San Francisco to the Montreux Jazz Festival. He has appeared at the Wigmore Hall in London with the Nash Ensemble and his super melodic compositions have been compared to those of Francisco Tárrega and Joaquín Turina.

Leading Spanish newspaper  El Mundo said of him ‘he has a terrifyingly good technique and an absolute dominance of the guitar, filling the concert hall with crystalline clarity’, The Guardian called him ‘The leading flamenco guitarist of his generation’ and The Times said:  ‘he is a giant of the flamenco tradition’.

Juan Martín in concert – book ticket

Young Artist Platform

Saturday 17 July 1:00 pm
Kings Place, London

Brilliant Young Players Pavel Ralev and Alexander Hart share this concert, playing 25 minutes each. Come and hear the future of the guitar!

Bulgarian guitarist Pavel Ralev studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He performs an eclectic range of repertoire from the Renaissance to the modern day, while looking ahead and collaborating with exciting contemporary musicians from the classical, jazz and electronica scenes, continuing in the spirit of bridging the gaps between tradition and the alternative.

Guitarist Alexander Hart is an alumnus of the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music supported by the Blyth Watson trust. A finalist of a number of international competitions including London International Guitar Competition and the Manuel Barrueco Prize, his beginnings were as a blues and session guitarist and this he brings into his programming with crossover music with singer Alex Sesenton. Alex is currently working with celebrated British composer Joseph Phibbs and the Audentia ensemble commissioning a new guitar concerto.

Young Artist Platform – book ticket

George Tarlton

Saturday 17 July 6:30pm
Kings Place, LondonA 30 min performance by British guitarist George Tarlton, the outstanding winner of London International Guitar Competition 2019.

Programme includes Laura Snowden’s The Strange World of Spiders (IGF Commission)

George Tarlton – book ticket

Tom Kerstens’ G Plus & La Leona

Friday 16 July 7:45pm
Kings Place, London

The first half of this concert features guitarists Laura Snowden and Eleanor Kelly playing new work by women composers, including work by Laura Snowden and Rockey Keting Sun (new IGF commission).

The second half of the concert features Tom Kerstens’ G Plus Ensemble playing premieres of new IGF commissions: Léo Brouwer: La Sonrisa del Griot and Laura Snowden: Into the Light and work by Anna Meredith, Max Richter and Joby Talbot.

Hailed a ‘string sensation’ by BBC Music Magazine, British-French guitarist and composerLaura Snowden is acclaimed for her ‘poise and intensity’. Laura studied with Julian Bream and gave two of the Bream Trust recitals at Wigmore Hall, premiering his latest commissions; this led to international recognition and festival debuts across Europe and the US.

As a composer, Laura’s music has been performed at Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall and Sadlers Wells, commissioned by the Park Lane Group, Birmingham Symphony Hall and International Guitar Foundation (IGF), and broadcast on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland and Hong Kong Radio 4.
Laura is a double IGF Young Artist Platform awardee and laureate of IGF’s London International Guitar Competition.

Young Artist Platform: Eleanor Kelly (1995) is a student of the prestigious Máster en Interpretación Guitarra Clásica course in Alicante, Spain, studying with the world’s foremost teachers and performers. Eleanor is an advocate of women in music and in 2019 gave the UK premiere of Claudia Montero’s Latin Grammy award-winning Luces y Sombras with the Woodside String Quartet.

Tom Kerstens is a major figure in the guitar world. He is highly regarded as a versatile performer on modern and period instruments and is an influential champion of the guitar in his roles as player, recording artist and artistic director. He was chosen in Classic FM’s list of the ‘100 best classical artists’ and ‘Five best guitarists world-wide’ whilst hailed as a ‘refreshing musical explorer’. He has commissioned 98 works for IGF in the past 20 years. His G Plus Ensemble consists of one or two guitars, string quartet and percussion and is exclusively dedicated to new music.

‘Tom Kerstens is in a rather different league…he manages to make the guitar sound like a harp, a human voice or even a whole orchestra…his interpretations continue to amaze… Vivid, colourful guitar playing.’ BBC Radio 3

Tom Kerstens’ G Plus – book ticket

La Leona – women and the guitar

Sunday 18 July 1:00 pm
Kings Place, London

Katalin Koltai and Hope Cramsie play work by women composers including two new IGF commissions by Electra Perivolaris, Florence Anna Maunders and Louise Drewett.

Katalin Koltai is an internationally acclaimed guitarist, soloist, and chamber musician, performing regularly with major orchestras and constant champion of contemporary music. She records for North/South Recordings, Naxos, Hungaroton and Genuin.

Katalin gained degrees from the Budapest Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, Royal Conservatory of Bruxelles, and the Conservatorium Maastricht, taught by József Eötvös, Antigoni Goni, Raphaella Smits, Carlo Marchione, and José María Gallardo Del Rey. She is a PhD researcher at the International Guitar Research Centre, University of Surrey. Since the autumn of 2018, she focuses on guitar transcription and new music for guitar supervised by Steve Goss and Tom Armstrong. She invented a new magnet capo system and a new guitar prototype. As a researcher, she published in Soundboard Scholar, Lute Society of America Quarterly, Bloomsbury Academic and gave talks at GFA Convention, 21st Century Guitar Conference Portugal, Dublin Guitar Symposium. Currently a FASS Scholarship Holder, Katalin is a former fellow of the Dutch Cultural Ministry and winner of the Hungarian Junior Prima Prize.

Hope Cramsie (YAP)
Having started guitar lessons at the age of 11, Hope soon began attending the junior course at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama until she moved to London where she is currently in her third year of undergraduate study at the Royal College of Music. Having spent the last semester studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen with Jesper Sivebæk, she now continues her studies at the RCM with Gary Ryan and Chris Stell. In addition to her solo playing Hope regularly regularly explores chamber music in a duo with fellow RCM guitarist Zoe Barnett and collaborates in a more experimental bass and percussion trio also comprised of RCM students.

La Leona – book ticket

panel discussion – La Leona – women and the guitar

Sunday 18 July 3:00pm
Kings Place, London


In the next two years IGF is commissioning 11 new works from female composers, some in the early stages of their careers, some mid-career as well as well-established composers.

The guitar is widely regarded as a male dominated instrument and IGF in its 25-year history, has always sought to address the balance by commissioning many women composers and such ground-breaking projects as Girls Rock and Venus and the Guitar.

La Leona (the Lioness) is IGF’s new project focussing on women and the guitar.

Apart from new commissions all IGF’s festivals and concert series will feature women performers and include supporting events such as Q&A, Panel Discussions, workshops and seminars.

The project was named after ‘La Leona’, a legendary guitar built by Antonio de Torres in the mid 19th century (1856, FE 04), Torres revolutionised the construction design of the guitar producing a deeper bass and singing trebles. His big body guitars (guitars before Torres were generally much smaller) became the standard classical guitar we know today. La Leona was his best guitar played by a number of famous guitarists.

Today’s Panel Discussion is led by Thérèse Wassily Saba and will include the five composers whose work is being performed at the festival: Atefeh Einali, Florence Anna Maunders, Electra Perivolaris, Laura Snowden and Rockey Keting Sun.

Panel discussion (free event, but ticket requied) – book ticket
The Courses

Jazz Course with
Stochelo Rosenberg

Kings Place, London

Gypsy Jazz virtuoso Stochelo Rosenberg is a legend, who very rarely teaches. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to study with him on a two day course at Kings Place, a superb venue in the heart of London’s most exciting and fast growing area, a stone’s throw from the EuroTunnel terminal at St Pancras.

Stochelo is assisted by Chris Quinn, who is a highly experienced teacher and acoustic guitar wizard in his own right.

£225 full course, £125 for one day

Flamenco course with
Juan Martín

Saturday and Sunday 17 & 18 July
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Kings Place, London

Voted into the top three guitarists in the world by US magazine Guitar Player, Juan Martín is one of the big names of the Flamenco guitar. His original Flamenco guitar method ‘El Arte Flamenco de la Guitarra’ is considered to be the ‘bible’ of flamenco guitar and has seen ten reprints.

Juan is also an outstanding and patient teacher and he will be giving a two-day course at the IGF Guitar Summit at Kings Place. Don’t miss the opportunity to study with one of the greats of the flamenco guitar.

Supported by Spain ARTS&CULTURE and The Embassy of Spain – London


£225 full course, £125 for one day

Juan Martín in concert – book ticket

Classical Course with
Rafael Aguirre & David Russell

Masterclass with Rafael Aguirre

Kings Place, London
Sunday 18 July
9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Masterclass with David Russell

Kings Place, London

Rafael Aguirre is one of the very best young guitarists in the world today, mesmerising audiences worldwide with his astonishing virtuosity and musicality. A sensational success at the most prestigious international guitar competitions around the world winning a stunning 13 First Prizes, he is one of the most technically gifted guitarists alive today. This is a rare opportunity to study with one of the most celebrated guitarists worldwide who is also an excellent and patient teacher.

Supported by Spain ARTS&CULTURE and The Embassy of Spain – London



David Russell is one of the giants of the classical guitar today. His beautifully polished and refined playing have made him a hero to guitarists and audiences the world over.
David is also a much sought after teacher, famous for his patience, friendly approach and ability to give students of every level an invaluable experience transforming their playing.

View and book all guitar summit concerts