14th Annual Texas Guitar Competition and Festival

Congratulations to the 14th Annual Guitar Competition Winners

Main competition

First Place Winner Celil Refik Kaya​

Kaya was born in Istanbul in 1991. Because of his great passion for music, at the age of six he began classical guitar studies with his father, Dr. Mehmet Refik Kaya, and later with Yusuf Doğan Büyüköğüt. Throughout his career, Kaya also studied advanced interpretation with Maestro Raffi Arslanyan and gave his first concert in the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul when he was six years old. Kaya went on to perform for numerous live television and radio programs in Europe and at age 13 went on to win the 2004 Forum Gitarre Wien which is one of the most important guitar competitions in Vienna.

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Second Place Winner Silviu Octavian Ciulei

Classical and flamenco guitarist Silviu Octavian Ciulei was born in Constanta, Romania. He began his musical studies at the age of six and attended the High School of Arts in Constanta.  By age thirteen, he had won his first performance prize. In Romania, Silviu won many prizes including First Prizes in the National Music Olympics, and was First Prize winner and Gold Medalist three times consecutively in the “George Georgescu” International Music Performance Competition.  He graduated at the top of his class and was selected to perform the  Concerto in A major opus 30 by Mauro Giuliani with the Black Sea Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Third Place Winner Steven Lochbaum

Stephen Lochbaum began his classical training at a late age and achieved much in a short span of time. Within six years he had earned a Master's degree from the University of Victoria under Dr. Alexander Dunn, won the National Music Festival of Canada, had radio and television debuts, and had the immense honor of studying and performing alongside legendary guitarist Pepe Romero. As well as playing classical guitar, Stephen is also an established jazz guitarist. He has appeared in numerous international Jazz, Tango, and Flamenco festivals with the Corbet/Lochbaum duo, as a soloist and ensemble player. Their recordings are heard regularly on CBC national radio across Canada.

Fourth Place Winner Mark Edwards

Mark has been performing concerts since the young age of 14 and competing since 13.  His first concert, performed at Baldwin Junior High School in Montgomery, Alabama, earned for him the Guitar Legend award.   Since then, Mark has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Italy, and Germany.  Recent engagements in the 2008-2009 Season include Trinity Church in New York City, ArtScape in Baltimore, the Guitar Forum Guest Artist Series at Salisbury University, the Piedmont Guitar Workshop in Virginia, the Village Music Series, and the AfterNow Music Series at the Red Room, a venue recently featured in Rolling Stone.  In 2009, Mark joined the Maryland State Arts Council Touring Artist Roster, a program which offers concert presenters funding to showcase Maryland artists.

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Honorable Mention= Jesus Serrano Huitron

Youth Division II (15-18 year-olds)
First = Sedona Farber
Second = Jeremy Waldrip
Third = Aytahn Benavi

Youth Division I (11-14 year-olds)
First = Everest Nguyen
Second = Noah Eckstein
Third = Jiaxin Zhang



In The News

University Strings Together Three Days of Guitar Virtuosity


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