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2011 Heinsberg Guitar Competition Winners

The Heinsberg Festival & Competition was held May 31 – June 4, 2011. The competition itself was one recording submission and three rounds of free choice music. Each round was 15, 20, and 35 minutes respectively, and competitors could not repeat pieces from round to round.

The 2011 Heinsberg Winners

First Prize: Ian Watt (Scotland)
Second Prize: Chia-Wei Lin (Taiwan)
Third Prize: Noriyuki Masuda (Japan)

Ian won 4,000 Euro, a concert guitar valued at 6,000 euro, a carbon fiber guitar case, and several concert engagements.

ian watt classical guitar

Ian Watt

Watch Winner Ian Watt Play

Source and thanks to Bodo for the heads up.

14 Responses
  1. 2011 June 13
    Paul permalink

    Ian is great. What were the three pieces he played?

  2. 2011 June 15
    PaulusDeutschinger permalink


    Here’s the recipe->

    Assumption: you can really play well.
    So can others!

    So you’ll need a program that’ll guarantee that you’ll win.


    1. cross-string trills
    include some baroque works with good cross-string trilling

    2. fast scale passages
    Find some hard Rodrigo or Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Or arrangements of Paganini, or Manuel de Falla.

    3. fast arpeggios
    Again: find some hard Rodrigo or Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Or arrangements. (try find something similar) (try find something similar)

    4. modern works (you really need to play some modern works – look for something really extreme and difficult!)
    Sequenza XI
    one of Arthur Kampela’s percussion studies
    studies (e.g. no 2) from Maurizio Pisati’s Sette Studi
    Petrassi’s Nunc
    or if you’re more conservative…
    movement from Ginastera’s sonata
    a Walton Bagatelle

    5. 19th century
    Play those extremely virtuose Regondi works, than no one else manages.

    What not to play: Sor, Giuliani, also try avoid Villa-Lobos and “Invocation et Danse”, Koyunbaba.

    In a nutshell: play things that are seldom heard, and that have plenty of technical difficulties and effects. The cleaner and more precise you play the better.

    If you follow this recipe, I guarantee you’ll win where-ever you go.

    • 2011 July 1
      Greg permalink

      Another good tip is to NOT use reststroke.
      Or use it very sparingly.

      USE FREESTOKE! Winners are freestroke players!

      Since I have converted to playing tirando (free-stroke), my tone has improved by miles. I have much better control on my dynamics and tone now.

      In fact… I now immediately notice when someone plays that heavy reststroke that was being propagated by poor-minded guitarists. It sounds horrible and uncontrolled. Oh and there’s ugly clicking noises there as well.

  3. 2011 June 15
    PaulusDeutschinger permalink

    Oh and seldom-heard (hard) works by Brouwer always work!

    Think… La Espiral Eterna, or Parábola, or Tarantos

    You may also want to play hard latin-american works…
    something like this sweet but *incredibly hard* work

  4. 2011 June 15
    Kazorro permalink

    If you want to win 1st prize at a composition, you must play extremely energetic modern works. Always be on the lookout for new works that nobody else knows.

    Here are some recommendations:

  5. 2011 June 15
    Kazorro permalink

    Oh and one last tip for winning a competition. If you’re really good, you can even play pieces which would normally bore everyone… but give them a new twist.
    -> Here’s “Villa-Lobos Etude 7” in a revolutionary interpretation!

  6. 2011 June 18
    Biff permalink

    Check out this fantastic playing:
    (she won the 2010 competition at the “Adelaide International Guitar Festival”)

  7. 2011 June 20

    Congratulations to Ian!

    Wow! That was really superb! One young pro player he is. The music brings so much good memories, when my cousin plays his classical guitar and we sing from his tunes. *touching*

    Love the picture you used there! 🙂

  8. 2011 June 22
    Milan permalink

    In case someone else is researching on how to get to Heinsberg…

    which airports are closeby, what’s the train website etc.

    you can find these details here in this link

  9. 2011 June 27

    Congratulations to Ian. He did an amazing job! Young guitar students should see this video so they can be inspired to make the most of their lessons and avail of the best guitar lessons. Thank you for sharing this video and this news. 🙂

  10. 2011 July 4
    Luke permalink
  11. 2011 August 23

    Fantastic playing. I’ll have a few listens to that

  12. 2011 October 14

    Exceptionel Ian, what more can there be said than congratulations. Marvelous performance and thanks for tips Paulus.