This is a short retrospective view of how we started our Omiš Guitar Fest and where are we now:
1st Omiš Guitar Fest was a three day event. Except the competition in classical, electric guitar and guitar and voice category, it was an opportunity for young bands to show their skills, which culminated with the great performances of the bands Stimulans and Čuvari svirala from Split. For the classical part of the festival, Petar Čulić justified once more the status of being one of the best world classical guitarists of young generation. Special star of the festival was Muris Varajić, an extraordinary guitarist coming from BiH. The winners of the category Electric guitar: Alex Aerdelan (Roumania) and Danilo Trebješanin (Croatia).
For Omiš Guitar Fest, 2011 was the first big year in terms of competition and important names. Guitarists that marked the festival were: Vlatko Stefanovski (Macedonia), Carlo Marchione (Netherlands), Zele Lipovača (BiH), Muris Varajić (BiH), Giulianno (Croatia), Damjan Pejčinoski (Macedonia), Emir Hot (UK), Dragianni (Croatia), Aleksandar Šuković (Serbia), Ante Pupačić Pupi (Croatia), Vuco (Croatia) and many others. This event received significant media attention, wider than the region itself, and the article with great reviews about OGF appeared in the biggest classical guitar magazine from UK “Classical guitar”, whose editor, Mr. Guy Traviss participated to the event himself. It was in 2011 that was organized for the first time the competition in the category “Classical guitar – non age limit” whose winner was Jan Kudelka from Poland. Ivan Zečić from Croatia was the winner of the Electrical guitar competition. Guitar exhibition was presented by luthier Stefano Robol.
2012 was important year for OGF because the Croatian President, Mr. Ivo Josipović was not only the patron of the festival, but he came in person, presented the awards to the winners and enjoyed in the concert of the classical guitar virtuoso Carlo Marchione. Except him, the concerts were performed by: Vlatko Stefanovski (Macedonia), Divlje Jagode unplugged (BiH), Ivan Mihaljević (Croatia), Ante Pupačić Pupi (Croatia), David Dyakov (Bulgaria), Harpoon blues band (Croatia). Luthiers Stefano Robol and Mladen Franković exhibited their guitars. Carlo Marchione and Stribor Jurčić held master classes. The winner of the Classical guitar – non age limit was Chia Wei Lyn from Taiwan.
2013 Omiš Guitar Fest organized charity event for the Agape association. Concerts on acoustic and electric guitar were performed by Branko Bogunović Piff, Ivan Mihaljević, Ante Pupačić Pupi, Dragianni (all from Croatia) and Mladen Pecović from Serbia. For the classical part of the festival, the audience had the opportunity to enjoy in performances of Darko Bageski (Macedonia), Vojin Kocić (Serbia), Duo Montenegrin (Montenegro), Ansambl Laurum (Croatia) and the special stars of the festival “Barcelona flamenco” group from Spain. The winner of the classical guitar – non age limit was Petar Čulić, domestic guitarist. Master classes were held by Goran Krivokapić and Daniel Cerović. Luthiers Željko Stubičar, Mladen Franković and Stefano Robol presented their guitars for the guitar exhibition part of the festival.
For the first time festival organized an evening which merged guitar and poetry in the most fascinating way, performed by guitarist Hrvoje Ton and actor Vedran Mlikota. Classical concerts were performed by Goran Krivokapić (Montenegro) and Gian Marco Ciampa (Italy) and the special treat of the festival was a Greek trio “Giorgos Georgopoulos” and a flash mob performance along with the sounds of sirtaki music and dancers of the folk ensemble Dalmacija Dugi rat. Master classes were held by Goran Krivokapić, Xhevdet Saxatchija, Daniel Cerović, Anđela Jerkunica and Josip Dragnić. Guitars of Željko Stubičar and Mladen Franković were exhibited. The winner of the category Classical guitar – non age limit was Gian Marco Ciampa (Italy).
Guitar fest brought together sounds of a capella singing with guitar playing, performed by Klapa Rišpet. Audience could enjoy in classical guitar sounds with the guitar virtuosos such as Francesco Scelzo, GMO Santus Domnio and Paco Seco. The whole concert hall was singing the popular songs along with Neno Belan and his guitarist Olja Dešić. Master class was held by Maroje Brčić, who presented his book “S gitarom pod ruku” (Guitar under the arm). Furthermore, Samo Šali had the promotion of his book “Sve što bi gitaristi trebali znati o gitari” (Things the guitarists should know about the guitar). Guitar exhibition was presented by luthiers Slavko Mrdalj, Zoran Kuvač, Samo Šali and Željko Stubičar. The winner of the category Classical guitar – non age limit was Francesco Scelzo (Chile).
Full preparations for Omiš Guitar Fest 2016. are in progress. We all feel here that we are working on something awesome and have big plans for the future events. Expectations are high, as always, You are welcome to join and be the part of this great journey!