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Joy of strings: Festival brings 70 classical guitarists for concerts, workshops

The classical guitar.

At a glance, it’s a simple-looking instrument.

As you delve into its complexity, new possibilities are discovered and studied.

It’s an instrument that captivates, and it’s the driving force behind Guitar New Mexico’s annual Classical Guitar Festival.

The event takes place from Thursday, June 14, through June 17, and this year’s festival promises to be as good as previous ones.

“We have close to 70 guitarists who are going to participate in the festival,” says Joseph Duran, Guitar New Mexico board member. “There will also be master classes and workshops throughout the festival.”

This year’s headliners for the shows at Keller Hall at the University of New Mexico will be Michael Chapdelaine, Matt Palmer and Bandini-Chiacchiaretta Duo.

The concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Chapdelaine performs on Thursday, June 14, Palmer on Friday, June 15, and Bandini-Chiacchiaretta Duo on Saturday, June 16.

Duran says the festival tries to cater to all ages and continues to draw bigger audiences.

“Classical music has a big appeal here,” he says. “It’s something that speaks to people. The festival started as a one- or two-day workshop. Today, we get people from all over the country. In the five years I’ve been involved, it’s continued to gain national attention.”

Duran says that musicians are always looking to get better and that the festival helps with the teaching.

He’s been a guitar player for more than 20 years.

“For me, I play other instruments, and guitar requires this intimate finesse,” he says. “The fact that it’s so portable, you can play anywhere you want.”

For more information on the entire schedule, visit

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