University of Georgia student places 2nd in International Guitar Competition

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University of Georgia DMA student Gonzalo Arias Contreras won the silver medal at the Florida Guitar Festival and Competition held in Tallahassee, Florida annually in October. Gonzalo is a student of Daniel Bolshoy, who was also in attendance at the festival performing a solo recital and teaching a masterclass.


The Florida Guitar Festival and Competitionis a performance competition where competitors from all over the country and world come to compete in three rounds. There were eight semi-finalists selected, and then three final place medals awarded. Each finalist played a fifteen-minute program.UGA previously had a fourth-place winner, Krystin O'Mara, who got to the finals in 2016. She is currently pursuing a DMA in guitar in our program as well.


“Gonzalo distinguished himself with a very virtuosic performances of pieces by Rodrigo, Ponce, Malats and Piazzolla,” said UGA Guitar faculty Daniel Bolshoy. According to Bolshoy, Gonzalo was playing on a Martin Blackwell 2017 Guitar, which is owned by the music school. “Gonzalo played with a beautiful sound, great projection and a truly fiery stage presence. He received wild applause at the conclusion of this performance,” Bolshoy said.


Gonzalo came to UGA from Chile, in South America and Professor Bolshoy moved to Athens from Canada. Just like the Florida Guitar Festival and Competition, UGA has also always been a true meeting place of musicians from distant countries, working together to make music on the national and international stages. While teaching his masterclass, Bolshoy met other guitar students from many places and backgrounds. “It was a pleasure to work with these advanced students in my masterclass, after which several students submitted their application for graduate study at UGA. Hopefully we'll see some of these promising players here in the near future,” said Bolshoy.


Gonzalo will be performing in numerous recitals at the HHSOM during his degree, his upcoming guitar recitals are scheduled for November 7th and November 15th. Check the calendar at to find out about all of his upcoming performances.