History

THE CONNECTICUT GUITAR FESTIVAL
Suzuki Music Schools conceived and produced ‘The Connecticut Guitar Festival’ as a way to bridge schools, students, performers, and innovators together in a celebration of guitar, regardless of genre, age, or ability. The majority of guitarists seem to have the unique ability to respect the instrument across the musical spectrum and this allows us to bring people from diverse backgrounds together to mutually appreciate and inform one another. For our 3rd annual festival, Suzuki Schools is partnering with main sponsors WSHU radio, Altamira Guitarras, Paul Green’s Rock Academy and WPKN radio to assemble a program comprised of education, entertainment, and exposition at The Westport Library. 

ABOUT SUZUKI SCHOOLS

The Suzuki Music Schools of Westport & Orange, is Fairfield County, Connecticut's leading 501(c)3 non-profit music school. We offer music lessons in violin, viola, cello, guitar, flute, piano, chamber music, and music theory to over 400 students. We also run a variety of music classes for mothers and tots from newborn to 6 years, as well as music enrichment classes for adults of all ages. Our talented faculty is trained within the Suzuki Method and aims to instill joy and confidence to every student through the medium of music. We offer free, public events at both of our campusesyear round and are also cultivating our Westport school as a cultural destination. 

Producers

Lory Ambrosini  - Festival Producer
Lory Ambrosini is a director, producer, writer, marketing guru, and guitarist. Ambrosini has worked both on stage and behind the scenes of the music industry as the lead guitarist and vocalist of 'Roadside Prophets', as a songwriter and producer, and as a promoter and manager of artists. She brings this unique set of skills to the table as Festival Producer of the 'Connecticut Guitar Festival'. Lory also serves as the Director of Media and Marketing for 'Suzuki Music Schools of Westport & Orange'.

 

Sven Rainey - Educational Director

Guitarist Sven Rainey enjoys performing as a soloist and collaborator with recent recitals in support of the doctoral degree at the Hartt School, as well as the “Evening with Guitar” series. Collaborative projects include performing an original score by Mark Cepetelli for the West Hartford Shakespeare Festival’s production of Love’s Labour ’s Lost, and an upcoming project is a presentation for the Suzuki Association of the Americas biennial conference, “Violin and Guitar Collaborations.”

Sven is a 2019 graduate of the doctoral program at the Hartt School studying with guitarist and author Richard Provost, with the doctoral essay “The Solo Guitar Sonatas of Manuel Ponce: the Influence of Nationalism, Impressionism, and Neoclassicism.” Previously, Sven completed a Graduate Performance Diploma at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University studying with Julian Gray and a Master's degree at UNLV with Ricardo Cobo.

Sven enjoys working with students at the Suzuki Music Schools of Westport and Orange in a thriving studio where students have won performance opportunities at the school’s annual Concerto Competition and regularly perform at Studio, Chamber Music, and Honors Recitals. Sven was honored to co-direct the guitar ensemble’s showcase performance at the school’s Carnegie Hall Recital in May of 2016.

Dr. Andrew Smith - Executive Director, Suzuki Music Schools

An award-winning violinist and recording artist, Andrew is Executive Director of the Suzuki Music Schools. As an artistic leader he has lead numerous international arts organizations. He was Director of the Rubicon Ensemble, UK, in residence at St Martin in the Field and Director of the European Chamber Opera, resident at Holland Park Theater, UK. He was director of the Stamford International Music Festival, UK and led the 2000 Copland Festival, US. He has produced concerts at venues from the British Embassy, Paris, to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He is CEO of String Sessions Online, a leading film and television recording house.  As a composer his albums have been released by Faber Music, London. A prizewinning classical violinist his credits include an extensive list of film, television and video games in addition to classical releases of the complete sonatas of Beethoven and Mozart.
 

OLD TEXT

 

The Connecticut Guitar Festival was founded by the Suzuki Music Schools in 2018 as part of their commitment to education and cultural enrichment in the community. Based in the annual educational events of the school's guitar department, the festival brought together a wide variety of regional partners with the one goal of celebrating the guitar as an instrument that transcends borders. Our mission is to provide concerts, education,  expositions, competitions, art and cultural enrichment to the community showing the many ways in which guitar is the instrument of the people. 

 

Founding partners included the Westport Arts Center (now MoCa Westport), Music For Youth, the Pequot Library, Factory Underground. Since its first year the festival has grown to include collaborations with the Bijoux Theater, Westport Library, Paul Green Academy and a variety of partner vendors and media sponsors. We are proud of our community reach representing all styles of the guitar from Classical to Latin, World, Jazz Rock and Blues.

As the festival has grown under the leadership of the Suzuki Schools we have relied on a collaborative team of experts and advisors to shepherd the festival