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Boston GuitarFest

June 25 – July 1, 2018

"The Improvisatory Spirit"

Cosponsored by New England Conservatory and Northeastern University

Boston GuitarFest is the dream of visionary guitar virtuoso and Artist Director Eliot Fisk, and is cosponsored by New England Conservatory and Northeastern University. Guitarists of all ages and levels will participate in a variety of available programs that include lessons, ensembles, workshops, competitions, masterclasses, and concerts. Special guest artists will join Eliot Fisk in this year’s festival for concerts and masterclasses. 

As musicians, we all seek to create the illusion of spontaneous music making. The hours of blood, sweat, and tears boiling down into a single moment. This year's theme will distill this fine spirit into music spanning from the renaissance to the modern era, and from classical to folk and jazz! In addition to concerts by Eliot Fisk and Zaira Meneses, guest artists for this year include Gene Bertoncini, Peter Watchorn, Grisha Goryachev, Joaquin Clerch and Eden MacAdam-Somer. Bruce Holzman and Jerome Mouffe also return as faculty.

Read below for further information regarding the various programs and competitions. For complete information and registration regarding the various programs, competitions, concerts, instructors and guest artists, please visit the Boston GuitarFest website:

Questions? Contact


THE ACADEMY: Ages 16-20. The Boston GuitarFest Academy program is a classical guitar intensive for high school and college students ages 16-20, running 7 days from June 25-July 1 (two days before The Institute begins). Academy participants will receive 2 extra days of tailored instruction, masterclasses with GuitarFest guest artists and faculty, including Eliot Fisk, private guitar lessons with NEC faculty and alumni, seminars and workshops on music theory, technique, competition preparation, career development and healthy practice, and ensemble rehearsals and coachings. Participants can also sign up at NO ADDITIONAL COST for a competition exclusive to the Academy, with various prizes, including a monetary first prize of $750 and a shared performance in Jordan Hall for the following year's festival. Participants also receive full access to all GuitarFest concerts, the Luthier Expo, and other events related to the GuitarFest Institute program.

More info + registration:
The Academy

THE INSTITUTE: Ages 21 and over. From June 27-July 1, guitarists of various levels over the age of 20 will be immersed in 5 days of private lessons, masterclasses, guitar chamber ensembles rehearsals and coachings, seminars, and concerts featuring renown artists, including GuitarFest Artistic Director and NEC faculty member Eliot Fisk. From professional guitarists to aficionados, the Institute offers a great experience for everyone. The Luthier Expo and a visit to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts are also available to all participants.

More info + registration:
The Institute

YOUNG GUITARISTS WORKSHOP: Young guitarists from the ages of 6 to 15 will spend a week (June 25-July 1) in level-appropriate group classes, masterclasses with distinguished faculty, music appreciation classes, workshops, and other fun activities. Snacks and lunch are included. The program consists of two levels for the different age groups. YGW participants can also sign up at NO ADDITIONAL COST for the two levels of youth competitions.

More info + registration:
Young Guitarists Workshop


Boston GuitarFest provides two levels of competitions during the festival week:

  • The Academy Competition, for ages 16-20, is only open to participants registered for The Academy program, and is available at no additional cost.
  • The Youth Competitions, for ages 6-15, is available to all registrants within those ages, but available at no additional cost to participants registered for the Young Guitarists Workshop.
    More info + registration:
    Youth Competitions
  • (The Adult Competition will not be taking place in 2018.)

There are various prizes for winners of each competition, including monetary prizes for The Academy Competition, as well as free and reduced registration for next year's festival programs. More information, including schedules, prizes, rules, & repertoire 

Questions about competitions? Please contact

Tuition & Housing

  Early Bird Tuition Extended! (before May 1)Regular Tuition
THE ACADEMYAges 16-20$435$525
THE INSTITUTEAges 21 and over$385$475
YOUNG GUITARISTS WORKSHOP, Level 1Ages 6-10$385$475
YOUNG GUITARISTS WORKSHOP, Level 2Ages 11-15$385$475
YOUTH COMPETITION ONLYAges 6-15Fee: $75Fee: $75

HOUSING: For The Academy and Institute participants, housing will now be available in NEC's new Student Life & Performance Center. Housing information is available on the Guitarfest website.

Luthier Expo

Guitar luthiers interested in showing their instruments to the GuitarFest participants can do so in the Luthier Expo. During the three days of the Expo, from June 29-July 1, luthiers can register for any of the three days at $75 per day. Access as an exhibitor includes space for your instruments, a table and rooms for prospective buyers. Day-pass holders will also receive auditor access to all Boston GuitarFest events on the specific day of their pass, including concerts, master classes and more.

Fill out this form and e-mail it to:
Questions, contact: