The University of Rhode Island Guitar Festival has been a consistent feature on the local and national guitar scene since 2015, led by its Artistic Director, Adam Levin. Mr. Levin is not only the director of the classical guitar program at the University of Rhode Island but also a sought-after educator, performer, and recording artist. His last four albums have reached the top 10 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Albums Chart.
Now in its eighth edition, and in collaboration with the Rhode Island Guitar Guild, the University of Rhode Island Guitar Festival continues to demonstrate the truly universal nature of the guitar while uniting artists and audiences alike.
Today, the URI Guitar Festival has a loyal and growing following that never existed before. The festival provides audiences and guitar students from the community the opportunity to hear and learn from world-class artists right here in Rhode Island. It is the only event of its kind in our State.
Additionally, the Rising Stars Youth and Young Artists Competitions provide international classical guitar students with the unique opportunity of being evaluated by world-class pedagogues and awarded for their musical interpretations. The winner of the Competition receives an invitation to perform at the festival the next year as well as string sponsorships, opportunities to take masterclasses with world-class artists, and, new this year, an invitation to perform in Costa Rica at an international guitar festival.
The Festival hosts events in a variety of venues, including the URI Fine Arts Center, Pump House Music Works, St. Augustine Church, and The Music Mansion.
A partial list of past performers and lecturers includes Adam Levin, Badi Assad, Kaki King, Mike Block, Scott Borg, Eliot Fisk, Raphael Feuillatre, Bokyung Byun, Derek Gripper, Redmond O’Toole, Zaira Meneses, Matthew Rohde, Gaelle Solal, Dimitris Kotronakis, Corey Harris, William Knuth, Patricia Price, Frederico Sheppard, Luther Enloe, David Veslocki, Fareed Haque and Goran Ivanovich, Grisha Goryachev, The Great Necks Guitar Trio, Christopher Ladd, Peter Janson, Robert Bekkers, Daniel Acsadi, Frank Wallace, mandolinist Jacob Reuven, The Providence Mandolin Orchestra, The Boston Guitar Orchestra, An Tran, Jerome Mouffe, The Maharajah Flamenco Trio, Katarzyna Smolarek, Maarten Stragier, Dr. Regina Campbell, Yacouba Sissoko, and Dr. Eric Zillmer.
In 2020, the University of Rhode Island Guitar Festival partnered with the Rhode Island Guitar Guild (RIGG), which allowed like-minded organizations to work together to achieve common goals. (Mr. Levin is the Artistic Director of RIGG as well!) RIGG is dedicated to enriching the Rhode Island community through music. Membership is open to all, including professionals, students, amateurs, and anyone else passionate about music. Since its inception, the Rhode Island Guitar Guild has hosted world-class performances, masterclasses, performance parties, online youth competitions, and community outreach activities. Recent feature artists include Ben Verdery, Martha Masters, Brasil Guitar Duo, Thomas Viloteau, Kossler Guitar Duo, Céili Connors, Scott Borg, Dennis Costa, and Zaira Meneses.