He is regularly invited for solo recitals to the international guitar festivals and he played in prestigious concert halls like for example the Berliner Philharmonie and the International House of Music in Moscow. Gerhard Reichenbach is also a festival organizer (Vissani Guitar Festival Greece, Thessaloniki Guitar Club, Internationales Bergisches Gitarrenfestival, Gitarre Wuppertal 1.0) and a passionate teacher. His students are regularely winning awards at international competitions and they have successful cariers as teachers, university teachers and performing artists. After a period of teaching at the Franz Liszt Academy in Weimar and at State Conservatory Thessaloniki in Greece, in 2009 he was appointed as Professor at the University of Music Cologne. He was awarded with the Cultural Award of the city Velingrad (Rhodopes, Bulgaria) for his intercultural activities in the Balkan countries and with the Enno Springmann Cultural Award of the city Wuppertal in Germany.
Volker Niehusmann received his education at the FolkwangHochschule in Essen under Prof. Hans
Gräf. After completing his chamber music degree with honors and concert examinations, the guitarist won the 1st Prize at the international competition in Bubenreuth, is a cultural award winner of the City of Essen and was musical director of a music series for children. The musician performed, amongst others at the International May Festival in Wiesbaden, the days for new chamber music in Rümmlingen (Switzerland), as well as in Luxembourg, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria. He has published numerous CDs, is an accompanist for various singers such as Prof. Weir and Antje Bitterlich, has been a guest teacher at singing courses at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin and also works with writers such as Peter Härtling. In 1999 he accepted an invitation to Brazil and led as a guest professor a masterclass at a guitar festival in Salvador de Bahia. Volker Niehusmann teaches at the FolkwangHochschule in Essen. His compositions are published by Margaux, Berlin.
The Italian guitarist Alberto Mesirca was born in 1984. He completed his Bachelor and Master of Arts at the Conservatory of Castelfranco Veneto, in the class of the eminent teacher Gianfranco Volpato, ending them with highest score, “Summa cum laude” and special honor mention. Further studies were made at the Music Academy of Kassel, in Germany, with Wolfgang Lendle. His Konzert-Examen was praised with highest Honors. He won for three times the “Golden Guitar”, for Best Recording in 2007 and as Best Upcoming Artist of the Year in 2009 and in 2013, again for Best Recording. In hundreds of concerts he had the chance to work with excellent musicians such as Dimitri Ashkenazy, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Martin Rummel, Daniel Rowland, Domenico Nordio, Marco De Santi, Andras Adorjan, Peter and Jonas Giger, Mirko Satto, the Enesco, Ardeo and Acies string quartets, Quartetto d’Archi di Venezia, ChamberJam Europe and Ex Novo Ensemble.
Izhar Elias (Amsterdam, 1977) is one of the most sought-after specialists in early music, chamber music and new music for guitar. He has given concerts, lectures, and masterclasses, and been the solist in concertos with renowned orchestras, in Europe, Russia, south-east Asia, Australia and the US. Izhar Elias has studied with Ton Terra, the Groningen Guitar Duo, Zoran Dukic and Kees Hendrikse. He studied performance practice of 19th-century music at the Accademia di Studi Superiori l´Ottocento with Carlo Barone in Italy. The performance practice of the baroque guitar he learned from a.o. William Carter, Adrián Rodriguez van der Spoel and Lex Eisenhardt. Through extensive research, he has been able to recreate a musical language of the Baroque, Classic and Romantic periods using original instruments and historical methods.
Edsart Udo de Haes:
In the last few years Edsart has become one of Holland’s finest Flamenco guitar players. His debut album “Aurora” received critical acclaim. Besides performing as a solo artist, he is also a frequently asked musician in theatre productions, a.o. Frank Groothof and Nynke Laverman. Edsart’s flamenco workshops are a mainstay at our festival, and this year he will also give masterclesses.
Raymond Nijenhuis (1967) has become known to the Dutch music scene as frontman of `Guitar Ray & the Rhythm Dukes´. With this trio he played from 1998 to 2006.
Besides playing with his own band, which is currently `Guitar Ray’s Groove Organza´, Raymond is active as a freelance touring / recording guitarist.
He has performed and toured in 15 different countries with a large number of, especially American Blues & Country artists who would like to use his broad musical employability and ability to play serving. In Ray’s own words: “It’s my job to the artist I work with, to make it sound as good as possible.” From Chicago or West Coast blues, Western Swing, Country Blues, Boogie, Bluesy Jazzy Jazz or Blues up to Soul Blues and more!
His 25 years of (international) stage and teaching experience, as well as his studies at the conservatories of Enschede and The Hague, have resulted in a considerable knowledge and expertise in the field of American Roots music. This was the reason why Raymond was asked by the American publisher Truefire to make some interactive guitar courses. The first two ones, entirely dedicated to “Western Swing”, were released in 2014 and 2016.