Chilean guitarist Emerson Salazar has taken first prize at the 26th Annual Andrés Segovia Guitar Competition, an international event held Nov. 23 to Nov. 27 in the town of La Herradura on Spain’s Mediterranean Coast.
27-year-old Salazar, from the town of San Felipe in central Chile’s V Region, competed with eight other guitarists from Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Croatia and Poland at the awards.
The competition was broken into three sections. In each one, the guitarists performed a piece of their choosing in addition to one selected by the competition committee.
For the first section the jury chose the piece “Five Old Pieces (in Homage to Ravel),” by Rafael Rodríguez Albert, followed by José Manuel Fernández’s “Fantasia,” in phase two and concluding with Antón García Abril’s “Mudejar Concerto.”
As winner of the competition’s first prize, Salazar took home US$12,000 as well as a new guitar donated by Spanish guitarist Paco S. Marín that had been built by his son, Luis Santiago Hernández.
Salazar was awarded an additional US$900 for outstanding performance of Fernández’s “Fantasia.”
Salazar was born in 1983 in San Felipe, about 56 miles (90 km) north of Santiago. In 1996, Salazar began his studies at the conservatory at Universidad Catolica de Valparaíso, in Chile’s most lively musical city.
He continued his studies in Valparaíso until 2006 before moving to Salzburg, Austria to pursue his Masters degree at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, also working as an instructor and professor of classical guitar.
Between the years of 2005 and 2009 Salazar has been recognized at five competitions in Chile, Venezuela and Spain, and won first prize at the Josefina Robledo International Guitar Contest in Valencia, Spain in 2009.
Brazilian guitarist Gustavo Costa took the second prize in the competition for the second consecutive year, while the Polish guitarist Jerzy Chwastyk took third place.