Twente Guitar Festival 2012

Blue Monday

It’s Monday, 21th of May 2012. Long ago it used to be the birthday of my grandfather on the mother’s side, I remember. The thought just came along, my head is dull and still so filled with impressions that there is hardly room for the everyday reality.

I make a round to the notice boards of the company that I used a few weeks back to attach some flyers of the Twente Guitar Festival 2012. Well, they were still there. Not bad, this time I experienced no competition from a colleague that considered notice boards only suitable for trade union announcements and took off my guitar festival flyers within a day last year.

I take a look at the back of the flyer and read a few names. Laura Young, Fernando Espi, Fareed Hague, Gillain and Heynen, SoloDuo, Reichenbach.

The last name invokes other memories with me. Meyringen, Switzerland, July 1982, my honeymoon. According to the novels of Sir Coynan Doyle the local waterfall –the Reichenbachfall- was the scene of the final battle between Sherlock Holmes en Dr. Moriarty. Both gentlemen disappeared in the raging waters and left Dr. Watson as the only witness of a tragedy. There is a monument at the site for this detective with his characteristic hat and pipe.

Whatever happened, the events that were announced on the flyer, the concerts, they are history now, just like the complete Twente Guitar Festival 2012. Four days I have lived in another world for the larger part of the days. As usual the return to the normal issues of the day is awkward.

Again, this guitar event wrote history, at least in this report. In that way I stick to the memories a bit in order to prevent a Blue Monday after all this musical joy!

The Festival

From the first edition in 2006, the goal of the Twente Guitar Festival is the organisation of an event that satisfies both guitarists -professional, semi-professional, student and amateur- and other interested. That’s the reason why the festival has master classes and workshops for most guitar disciplines. Not only the classical guitar is covered, there is also room for flamenco, jazz and other musical genres in which the guitar has a role.

In 2006 the festival started as a three-day event in the Concordia Theatre at the Oude Markt in Enschede, the last stop before Germany in the east of Holland. Soon three days appeared too short, so the festivals from 2007 up till the present day covered four days. It also became clear that the room in the Concordia Theatre was insufficient. Fortunately, Enschede has a concrete temple of music, the Artez Conservatory, that is located just a few blocks away from Concordia.

Concordia is used for the concerts and the competitions, preliminaries excluded. The Artez Conservatory is the place to go for master classes, workshops and the preliminaries. It also accommodates a marketplace for luthiers, music publishers and guitar and CD retailers.

The Twente Guitar Festival is organised by the Foundation Twente Guitar Festival with board members Jaap Majoor, Niels Ottink, Paul Driessen, Reinout Kok and Gerard Kroeze. Obviously, the work of these gentlemen does not restrict itself to the four festival days. They start timely with negotiations with artists, fund raising with sponsors (yes, quite a challenge in these days) and planning and organisation of all aspects of the festival. Subscriptions must be processed, finances require attention and master class and competition schedules need to be drawn up. Quite a job indeed!

After all these years it has shown that the organisation is adaptive, experiences are evaluated and lead to improvements where necessary. An improvement for this year was the programme of the finals of the cat. 1 competition. Now the audience actually knew what the finalists were playing if the finalists fail to make announcements. Another novelty was the lunch and meet happening.

Besides the board members, the Twente Guitar Festival has a fair number of volunteers for all kinds of activities. Family, friends and acquaintances provided extra support. Niels’ parents, for instance, were busy with the lunch and greet and the CD sales.

In this way, again one of the biggest guitar events in Holland took off. Two lunch concerts, four evening recitals, an open-air show on Ascension Day, the competition for the professionals and conservatory students, the competition for the amateurs in two categories, workshops flamenco and jazz, the master classes and a presentation by a luthier.