Press Release: Try a Staycation with a Difference with the West Dean Classical Guitar Festival

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation once again offers the celebrated International Guitar Festival in the idyllic and relaxing surroundings which make this the perfect setting for concerts, lessons, masterclasses and ensemble coaching. It will take place between Saturday, August 24 to Thursday, August 29, 2019 Near Chichester, West Sussex (PO18 0RX).

The 2019 Festival, under the directorship of Andrew Gough, includes a full timetable of events and instruction from ten guitarists and tutors, in a wide range of areas; repertoire classes, ensemble performing, guitar orchestra, individual lessons, 'Learning Zones', and solo masterclasses.

The highly varied programme will appeal to all enthusiasts, from grade two level experience all the way to advanced. The course is open to anyone aged eighteen and over.

This year there is an exciting series of evening recitals by international concert artists, specialising in both solo and duo repertoire. The evening series commences on Saturday with a solo recital by the pre-eminent Brazilian guitarist Fabio Zanon. On Monday evening, for the first time at West Dean, the wonderful eight-string and historical guitar specialist Raphaella Smits from Belgium. And back by popular demand, the Eden-Stell Guitar Duo return to the stage on Tuesday to conclude the series with a celebration of music for two guitars.

Guitar Festival Open Day

The Open Day on Sunday 25 August (12.30pm - 7pm) will again celebrate all things guitar; with a wide selection of guitars and music on display and a variety of events to enjoy. This year there will be including a guitar makers' showcase with a special focus on the detailing of each maker's instruments; such as their rosette designs, a masterclass with Fabio Zanon, and an illustrated talk about the life and music of Joaquín Rodrigo by Raymond Calcraft.

An exhibition by guitar makers and music companies will also be on display throughout the day. At 6pm, Gaëlle Solal and Boris Gaquere (two of the festival tutors) will give their entertaining and unique guitar duo stage show performance of 'Crazy Nails' in St. Andrew's Church.


The cost of the summer school is £600, which includes coffee, lunch, tea and dinner each day, and there is the opportunity to stay at the college - see website.

Bursaries are available to first study classical guitarists aged 18 - 24, especially those who are studying towards a music degree. Please complete the Guitar Festival Bursary application form if you wish to apply. The application deadline is 31 May 2019.

Find out more details about the International Guitar Festival

Tickets to the Evening concerts cost £15 each, and a season ticket to the Guitar Festival Concert Series is available and includes entry to the Guitar Festival Open Day and all of the Guitar Festival concerts. It costs £45 and can be booked online here.

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Boris Gaquere
Boris Gaquere
Gaelle Solal
Gaelle Solal
Manus Noble
Manus Noble

Notes to Editors:

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation was founded in 1971 by the poet and Surrealist patron, Edward James, recognised by BBC Arts as the 'the greatest patron of art of the early 20th century'.

The College is part of The Edward James Foundation (Charity No. 1126084), also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio.

All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.

West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

For all media enquiries please contact:

Rachel Aked


Telephone: 07790 732448

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ

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