City of Samobor

International Guitar Competition Ida Presti

The International Guitar Competition Ida Presti was founded in Samobor in 2018. The competition is of a biennial character and has been held two times so far. In both editions (December 2018, and 6 - 8 March 2020) the competition showed a surprising success which manifested itself through the response of participants that came from as many as 16 countries in Europe and the world. We are certain that the high profile of the event and the fact that our competition is dedicated to the life and work of the legendary French guitarist has contributed to our success. This is how our competition became the first in the world dedicated to Ida Presti, and also, the only guitar competition that is named after a female guitarist.

The competition is comprised of only two disciplines: guitar solo and guitar duo (two guitars or a guitar with another instrument/voice). Categories are divided according to age groups. The number of participants in the professional categories in the second edition confirmed the status and importance our competition has in the international guitar world. They arrived for the competition, just a week before the borders closed and despite the imminent threat of the coronavirus, from France, Italy, Spain, England, Scotland, Austria, Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Greece, Slovenia, Serbia, Japan, Thailand, Brazil and all parts of Croatia.

Most of our contestants have studied, or are still studying with the world’s renowned guitarist at famous European universities, such as: Mozarteum - Salzburg, Kunst Universität Graz, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - Glasgow, Hochschule für Musik und Theater - München, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia - Rome, Academy of Music-Poznan.

By introducing special awards and compulsory pieces in the propositions for the IV. and V. category we stay faithful to our mission: discovering Ida Presti’s opus, promotion of the guitar duo as a chamber ensemble, actualizing the position of women as performers in the guitar scene, still dominated by men.

The organizer’s primary goal is for this competition to be a learning platform for young musicians. With that objective in mind, additional events such as masterclasses, promotions, lectures, reproductions of very rare recordings from concerts of the legendary Presti-Lagoya Duo take place during the Competition, thanks to Isabelle Presti - the granddaughter of the famous guitarist and the president of the partner-festival from Nice. It is important to mention that this year her exclusive lecture and promotion of the integral edition of works solo guitar by Ida Presti was enriched by the premiere performance of the composition Isabelle which Ida Presti dedicated to her granddaughter Isabelle. The song was performed by the Samobor guitarist and jury member Ivana Trogrlić Mandić.

The festival part of the competition includes concerts by world renowned guitarists, particularly interesting for the wider audience. In 2018 the central concert was performed by the unequalled Zoran Dukić, and in 2020 the central event was the concert by the Spanish guitarist Anabel Montesinos. Another concert of equal importance, especially due to a rarely performed repertoire, was the concert by the Coulé Guitar Duo whose members are Morana Pešutić, the artistic director of the festival and the Zagreb guitarist Tomislav Vasilj.

Besides everything stated above, the festival has a few other interesting events for its participants and the wider audience. The Revue of the youngest guitarists featuring children up to the age of 9, was designed with a lot of charm and love. The peculiarity of this category is that the youngest guitarists can perform as soloists or accompanied by their teacher. Finally - there are beautiful awards, lasting memories and happy parents' faces to experience and enjoy.

In the world of guitar competitions, the Ida Presti Competition is promoted as the must go competition for guitar duos. Especially appealing is the IIID, the so called non age category in which, in addition to the guitar duo, apply duos in various combinations - guitars with another instrument (cello, flute, harp) or voice. It is interesting that in this category there have been ten ensembles so far, coming from Germany, the Republic of North Macedonia, Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, Ukraine, Poland, Taiwan, Brazil and only one from Croatia. Besides the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize a particularity of this category is the Audience award for which the audience chooses their favourite duo.

The guitar festival is an opportunity for promotion of luthiers and their guitars. This is why a competition for luthiers was created – the winning guitar is chosen through public testing and evaluation of certain sound parameters of each guitar. The important condition is that the name of the luthier is announced only after the winning guitar is chosen. It is then that the moderator presents each luthier and highlights his previous works. This event contributes to the promotion of luthierhood as a craft and artistic discipline.

The end of the competition belongs to the five finalists of the 5th category who present themselves in their best edition through a half-hour concert program. The competiton finals are followed by the Closing ceremony: the laureates and special prizes are announced and numerous sponsor awards are presented in all categories.

The first prize winner of the V solo category is proclaimed as the competition’s overall winner. In 2018 it was Zsombor Sido from Hungary, while the same title in 2020 went to Lovro Peretić, a young guitarist who artistically matured as a part of the famous Zagreb guitar school, just like the internationally acclaimed Zoran Dukić, Ana Vidović, Petrit Çeku and many others.

The Competition and the additional events took place in several locations in Samobor such as the Samobor museum, The Parish church of St. Anastasia, the Šver family Salon and Mali muzički atelje. Still, the most recognisable competition location of all is the Prica Gallery.

The manifestation is carefully planned months in advance. The patrons so far have been the City of Samobor, Zagreb County and the Spanish Embassy in Zagreb while the co-organizers were POU Samobor, the Samobor museum and the partner Presti - Lagoya Festival from Nice (France).

The organisational team is comprised of members and employees of the Mali muzički atelje.

The founders are Vesna Faullend Heferer and Morana Pešutić.