The first Guitar Festival Nordhorn coincided with the establishment of Kulturhaus Niet In Het Zwart in 2011, an initiative of Bobby Rootveld en Sanna Rootveld-Van Elst, the members of the guitar-recorder Duo NIHZ.
Both fostered the dream to establish an institution of culture besides their concert career. This Kulturhaus would organise festivals for classical guitar, recorder and other instruments, and provide for master classes and musical courses. To this end the found an shop annex residence in the town of Nordhorn, Germany. They remade the premises into a concert hall with rooms for classes, exhibitions and recreation plus a dormitory for the guests and lived above the shop themselves. They baptised the premises and the company Kulturhaus NIHZ.
Since 2011, Kulturhaus NIHZ is the location for the Guitar Festival Nordhorn and the Recorder Festival Nordhorn. Occasionally other events take place, like the festivals dedicated to Pieter van der Staak and Louis Ignatius Gall, and the Jewish Music Festival.
Many famous artists performed at this festival, amongst others Marcin Dylla, Roland Dyens, Denis Azabagic, Pavel Steidl, Zoran Dukic, Alberto Mesirca, Gaelle Solal, Lorenzo Micheli and Victor Villandangos.
Competitions form an important part of the festival, besides the competition for professionals an amateur competition was organised for various levels of players. Currently an Ensemble Competition was added and a competition for composers of the classical guitar.
I wrote a book about the first five years of the Guitar Festival Nordhorn, titled Feast on Six Strings, Five years of Guitar Festival Nordhorn. Besides the festival report, you will find interviews with the artists (amongst them Roland Dyens), participants of the professional and amateur competition and last but not least the people behind the organisation, Duo NIHZ and the volunteers.
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