West Dean International Classical Guitar Festival 2020
22 to 27 August 2020

Under the directorship of Andrew Gough, West Dean College once again offers the celebrated International Classical Guitar Festival in the idyllic and relaxing surroundings which make this the perfect setting for concerts, lessons, masterclasses and ensemble coaching.

Course structure

The 2020 Festival includes an intensive timetable of events and instruction in a wide range of areas; repertoire classes, ensemble performing, guitar orchestra, individual lessons, ‘the Learning Zones’, and solo masterclasses. A full list of the learning opportunities is in the outline programme and timetable.

Evening concerts and recitals

This year we can look forward to an exciting series of evening recitals by international concert artists, performing solo and guitar quartet repertoire. The evening series commences on Saturday with a solo recital by prize-winning Croatian virtuoso Zoran Dukić. On Monday evening the ever-popular Gary Ryan makes a welcome return to the West Dean stage. We then conclude the series with a West Dean debut performance by the Mēla Guitar Quartet on Tuesday evening.

Open Day

The Open Day on Sunday 23 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 we will be including a guitar makers’ showcase with a special in-depth discussion and demonstration about each guitar by Jan Depreter. David Leisner will be our guest lecturer, discussing his new book ‘Playing with Ease’, and Zoran Dukić will be giving a masterclass. At 6pm we welcome Helen Sanderson and The NYGE Fellowship Ensemble to the stage in St. Andrew’s Church to conclude our Open Day event. 

Course level

The carefully planned and 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 (18) and over.


Ensemble playing. These sessions provide important awareness of reading and listening skills, and also help with rhythm and counting.  Participants are allocated a place in a medium sized ensemble with students of a similar standard.  The course concludes with a performance by the ensembles on the Thursday morning.

Guitar Orchestra. This year the orchestra welcomes the return of Gerald Garcia as guest conductor. These exciting rehearsals with a larger group of players culminate in a final performance at the end of course concert. Orchestral parts will be emailed out in advance.

Masterclasses. In 2020 we are pleased to offer soloist masterclasses with Zoran Dukić and Gary Ryan. (N.B. All masterclasses require a video audition; details on how to apply will be found in the Musical Details Form.)

Private lessons. Each course participant will receive two 30-minute individual lessons. Please note that playing in a Masterclass is regarded as one lesson. 

Repertoire Classes. These are sessions where students may perform 'own choice' items in front of a small group, thereby providing helpful and positive feedback from the tutor to improve the performance.

Small Ensembles Coaching.  These classes will run alongside the repertoire classes but have the specific aim of assisting small ensembles, especially pre-existing groups attending the Festival, with their repertoire and performance techniques.

Student Concerts. These concerts provide a great opportunity for course members to try out their pieces in public, and this year will again include an informal debut recital for those students for whom this would be their first public performance. There will be three lunchtime concerts, plus an evening concert on Wednesday.

Technique Workshops. These increasingly popular ‘question and answer’ classes provide students with the opportunity to discuss, and find ways to improve, a variety of technical issues.

'The Learning Zones'. Consist of a series of lectures and practical workshops covering a wide range of musical and technical aspects of guitar performance.

Theory Classes. Following the success of these classes last year, Andrew Gough will again be discussing the practical application of music theory to guitar repertoire and exam preparation.

Alexander Technique – optional extra with an additional charge. This year we are pleased again to be able to offer one-to-one Alexander Technique sessions with Carolyn Nicholls, a world renowned Alexander Technique expert who loves working with musicians. Individual 30 minute lessons available on Monday and Tuesday – £37 each. To pre-book a place, please indicate on the Musical Details form and you will need to pay Carolyn directly at your session, by cash or cheque.

For an outline of the day, please also refer to the sample timetable in Useful Links.

Booking your Place

To make your booking, please book online here.

For full Terms and Conditions please refer to the website www.westdean.org.uk 

Further enquiries

If you have any queries concerning course content please contact:

Andrew Gough, Festival Director:  E-mail:  classicalguitarfestival@gmail.com

If you have any queries concerning booking the course or accommodation please contact:
The Bookings Office, West Dean College, West Dean, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0QZ.
Tel:   01243 818300   Phoning from abroad:  +44 1243 818300  Fax: +44 (0) 1243 818293
Email: bookingsoffice@westdean.org.uk              Website: www.westdean.org.uk

About the Guitarists and Tutors

Mark Ashford – Head of guitar at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. International soloist, adjudicator and recording artist. He is a member of the Vida Guitar Quartet.

Alison Bendy – Highly experienced guitar tutor, music publisher (Holley Music) and ensemble guitarist with the Aragon Guitar Quartet and in a duo with Gerald Garcia.

Jan Depreter – Belgian international prize winning concert guitarist. Recording artist and composer. Host for the Antwerp Guitar Festival and cultural ambassador for Flanders.

Zoran Dukić – Zoran is an international prize winning soloist from Croatia and versatile chamber musician. He tutors at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and is visiting artist at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Gerald Garcia – Renowned composer, recording artist with NAXOS, musical director of the National Youth Guitar Ensemble and guitarist in various ensembles including the Mandolinquents.

Andrew Gough – Director of the West Dean Classical Guitar Festival, Head of Guitar at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department, ensembles director and concert guitarist.

David Leisner – International soloist, recording artist and composer. Artistic director of Guitar Plus in New York and co-chair of the guitar department at the Manhattan School of Music.

Gary Ryan – Professor of Guitar at the Royal College of Music, soloist, teacher, adjudicator, composer and arranger.

Helen Sanderson — Helen is Head of Guitar at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Artistic Director of the World Youth Guitar Festival and NYGE, adjudicator and chamber musician.


Bursaries are available to first study classical guitarists aged 18 – 24, especially those who are studying towards a music degree. If you wish to apply, please download and complete the 2020 Classical Guitar Festival Bursary Application Form here

Application deadline is 29 May 2020.

Required preparation

Please complete the Musical Details form, save it and email to the Bookings Office (bookingsoffice@westdean.org.ukat the time you make your booking.  You need to bring your own guitar, music stand, foot-stool/guitar-rest, and a selection of current repertoire to use in lessons and repertoire classes, and for performances in the student concerts.

Fees and Accommodation

Non-resident student fee £615 including coffee, lunch, tea and dinner daily, as evening events are planned.

Accommodation fees Summer 2020 per person, including breakfast:

Annexe Rooms Standard Rooms Superior Rooms
With en-suite shower Single occupancy with private bath/shower en-suite or adjacent (Main House/Vicarage) Twin occupancy with private bath/shower en-suite or adjacent (Main House/Vicarage) Single occupancy with en-suite bath/shower (Main House/Vicarage) Sharing twin bedroom with en-suite bath/shower (Main House/Vicarage)
£320 £435 £290 £545 £345


Partners are welcome to stay with you at the Festival on a resident-only basis, please refer to the website for details.  Partners/guests can purchase tickets for the concerts via the website


Arrival times

The Festival begins on Saturday 22 August at 4pm.  Please arrive and register between 2pm and 3.30pm (before tea). If you wish to arrive in time for lunch on Saturday, it is essential that you book in advance – please contact the Bookings Office.

The course ends at 2pm on Thursday 27 August. Please advise us in advance if you need to depart before the advertised finishing time.

If you wish to arrive early and arrive on Friday evening 21 August, rooms may be available if booked in advance with the Bookings Office.

Guitar Festival Gallery

Andrew Gough Festival Director
International Guitar Festival Summer School Class
Andrew Gough taking a class at the Classical Guitar Festival
Bursary students playing at the Classical Guitar Festival
Classical Guitarist Berta Rojas performing at the Classical Guitar Festival
Manus Noble mentoring students at the Classical Guitar Festival
Berta Rojas masterclass with bursary student.
Andrew Gough Festival Director
Andrew Gough taking a class at the Classical Guitar Festival
A class of students at the Classical Guitar Festival
Bursary Students at the Classical Guitar Festival
Guitar Festival Open Day
Orchestra 2017 with Vincent Lindsey Clark
Guitar Festival Orchestra
Pavel Steidls Ensemble in concert
The Old Library used for a session during the Classical Guitar Festival


West Dean College gratefully acknowledges the support of Stuart Christie Guitars, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Classical Guitar Magazine, Classical Guitar Centre Ltd. Birmingham, José Ramirez, Universal Edition, D’Addario UK.