First annual Wilson Center Guitar Competition & Festival

WilsonCenterGuitar_WebAdThe Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the first annual Wilson Center Guitar Competition & Festival to take place August 15-17, 2013, at the Wilson Center in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Developed as a means to showcase talented guitarists between 15-30 years of age, the multi-genre competition features four different categories—Rock/Blues, Fingerstyle, Jazz, and Classical.  The competition will take place in two phases: performance video submission,February 1 – May 31, 2013, and invitation-only live performance semi-final and final rounds in Brookfield, Wisconsin, August 15 – 17, 2013.

The festival weekend also includes master class and clinic opportunities for participants and auditors, and featured evening performances by some of the finest guitarists of our time, including Daryl Stuermer of Genesis, Julian Lage, Chris Eldridge, Rene Izquierdo, and Don Linke.


The competition offers a total of $22,000 in prize money; first place winners in each category will be awarded a $3,000 cash prize, and will also be featured on a Wilson Center Club Series or Starry Nights Series performance during the 2013-2014 season.  Additional awards include a $1,500 second prize and a $1,000 third prize in each category. Supplementary non-cash prizes will be announced at a later date.

Featured Performances

Legendary guitarist and Wisconsinite Daryl Stuermer of the super-group Genesis and lead guitarist for Phil Collins will headline the festival with a performance in the Gerlach Outdoor Theater (on the grounds of the Wilson Center), culminating the weekend, on Saturday, August 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm.  First place competition winners in each genre will open the performance at 7:00 pm.  Tickets: $10 – $25.

Julian Lage, hailed by “a giant in the making” by All About Jazz and the subject of an Academy Award-nominated documentary, Jules at Eight, will perform Friday, August 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm in the Harris Theater.  Lage will share this performance with Chris Eldridge, the award-winning guitarist and member of the progressive bluegrass super-group Punch Brothers.  Tickets: $15 – $25.

Rene Izquierdo, winner of the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Competition and Professor of Classical Guitar at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will perform in the Harris Theater on Thursday, August 15 at 7:30 pm in a join performance with Don Linke, esteemed jazz guitarist and educator at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Tickets: $10 – $20.

Tickets for featured performances go on sale on April 15, 2013 and are available at or by calling 262-781-9520.  Featured performances are free of charge to competition participants.

The Wilson Center Guitar Competition and Festival is sponsored, in part, by the Brookfield Convention and Visitors Bureau and Enterforce, Inc.

Additional information about the Competition and Festival (including links to the rules and regulations, application form, and repertoire requirements) can be found at

View the complete press release announcement at:

Artist Biographies

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