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Formed in 1973, the Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) gives international promotion to the classical guitar through excellence in performance, literature, education and research. Among its many activities is the annual GFA Convention (held this year at the University of Miami in Florida 17–22 June) and its prestigious International Concert Artist Competition and International Youth Competitions.

The Naxos catalogue features recitals by a number of the winners of past GFA competitions and adds to that list this month a release by the French guitarist Raphaël Feuillâtre, who took first prize at the 2018 GFA Competition.

Raphaël Feuillâtre Guitar Laureate Recital
Winner, 2018 Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) Competition

BARRIOS • GRANADOS • LLOBET • RACHMANINOV
RAMEAU • RAMÍREZ • SCRIABIN • VILLA-LOBOS

There are two aspects underlying this recording by Raphaël Feuillâtre, First Prize winner at the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America Competition in 2018: original works for the guitar and transcriptions. Among the former is Villa-Lobos’s Prélude No. 5, part of one of the most evocative and Romantic guitar cycles of the 20th century, the Chopinesque brilliance of the inventive Valse by Barrios Mangoré, and the compendium of virtuosity that is Llobet’s Variations on a Theme of Sor. The transcriptions range from Rameau, through Rachmaninov’s pianistic showcase, the Prélude No. 5, Op. 23, to the superbly evocative Alfonsina y el mar by Ariel Ramírez.

Listen to an extract from
Barrios Mangoré's Vals, Op. 8, No. 3
Listen to Raymond Bisha's podcast about this release
About the Artist
Raphaël Feuillâtre has won several awards at international guitar competitions, including First Prize at the 2017 International Guitar Festival José Tomas Villa de Petrer in Spain, and was subsequently invited to perform at festivals throughout Europe and South America. In 2018 he won First Prize at the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America Competition, resulting in a recording for Naxos and a major tour of the US and Canada during the 2019–20 season. Feuillâtre divides his time between performing and teaching; he tutors at the Music School of Villeneuve-la-Garenne, Paris.
Recordings by previous GFA competition winners
★★★★
‘This recording is one of the most musical and expressive programs
I’ve heard ... Each phrase, each piece, creates its own world.’
American Record Guide
‘An impressive debut from an accomplished all-rounder.’
Classical Guitar
‘Mr. Baranov plays with the stylistic identity of a native of Latin America. No Russian accent here.’
American Record Guide
‘Jearakul captures the wildness of
[Leo Brouwer's] rites better than any I’ve heard.’
American Record Guide
‘This is some of the warmest, most beautiful, most purely lovely playing I’ve heard in some time.’
American Record Guide


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