Andrew Blanch has won first prize in the Adelaide Guitar Festival’s Classical Guitar Competition, taking home a cash prize of $10,000, a brand new Jim Redgate Guitar valued at $16,000 USD (AU$22,600), and an invitation to perform as a guest artist at the 2020 Adelaide Guitar Festival. Fellow Australian Callum Henshaw took out the second prize, winning $4,000, while Swiss guitarist Lazhar Cherouana came in third, taking home $2,000.

Andrew Blanch Andrew Blanch and luthier Jim Redgate. Photo © Claudio Raschella

“I feel grateful, flattered and very happy,” Blanch told Limelight. “It’s an honour to win such a high profile and substantial competition and prize. I feel a responsibility to search for the best in myself and to use the benefits of this win to better serve music.”

In the final round at Adelaide Festival Centre, Blanch performed an arrangement of the Adagiofrom JS Bach’s Violin Sonata No 1, BWV 1001, followed by Variations on a Carnival of Veniceby Francisco Tárrega. “I was happy because I felt like I got up there and really made music,” he said. “I felt in the moment, in touch with the emotional content of each piece...