JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition

(Yes, it is a mouthful.)

Last night I listened to three amazing, talented and handsome international classical guitarists compete at Kleinhans Music Hall for the 4th biannual JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition.

All I have to say is WOW.


I’m pretty certain with every passing minute I fall in love with listening to the gorgeous sounds of this instrument more and more. Dare I say it might now replace the cello in the number one place in my heart.

Goosebumps, chills. So beautiful to hear classical guitar with an orchestra.

Artyom Dervoed (Russia) was awarded first place as well as the audience favore. As my friend Bobby told me…I was “gushing by text” while watching his performance. Outstanding. One of the patrons in the audience told me to “get ready to fall in love” when hearing him play. And I did.

Second place went to Nemanja Ostojić (Serbia) who I took a liking to immediately. I loved listening to his performance and watching him play. Also loved taking pictures of him at the post-concert reception.

Thomas Viloteau (France) came in 3rd place and won the Musicians Choice Award. Amazing performance, so beautiful. And 24 years old? Goodness.

Not to mention the other six very talented semi-finalists from all over the world who competed and performed concerts and attended receptions across the WNY community on Thursday and Friday.

What a week!

Whatcha talkin' bout Willis?