Guitar Festival Nordhorn

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 formed an important part of the festival, besides the competition for professionals an amateur competition was organised for various levels of players. Later an Ensemble Competition was added and a competition for composers of the classical guitar.

The corona crisis affected the festival, the measures made travel and manifestations impossible. I don’t carry fond memories of the very last festival concert in October 2020 with social distancing and mouth masks in the concert hall.

At the moment, the festival has been taken over by the Förderverein Erinnerung mit Zukunft e.V. This foundation has changed the concept, competitions now are no longer part of the festival. It now hosts discussion events on social issues and organizes related exhibitions and musical performances. The Kulturhaus NIHZ has largely been converted into an RB&B facility.

Below you will find links to the PDF documents of the festival stories from 2011 to 2019.

GFN 2011The very first festival. Anido Guitar Duo, Alberto Mesirca, Edsart Udo de Haes
GFN 2012Thomas Müller-Pering, Klemke Gitarrenduo, Roland Dyens
GFN 2013Zoran Dukic, Klaus Rentzel comedy guitar, Duo Resonance, Stefan Grasse, Reinbert Evers
GFN 2014Daniel Rowland & Alberto Mesirca, Carlé Costa, Gaëlle Solal, Duo SoloNeo, Lorenzo Micheli
GFN 2015Anniversary-festival. Pavel Steidl, Hubert Käppel, Tom Kerstens, Christian Lavernier, Sabrina Vlaskalic, Ben Salfield
GFN 2016Alberto Mesirca & Luca Scarlini, Ögmundur Thor Johannesson & Tal Hurwitz, Victor Villadangos, Finn Svit & Jochen Brush, Laurent Boutros & Julieta Cruzado, The Guitar Company, Marcin Dylla
GFN 2017Marcus Strand, Carlo Marcione, Alexei Belousov, Alberto Mesirca, Jan Bartlema, Grigory Novikov, Hubert Käppel
GFN 2018Pierre Bibault, Roberto Tascini, Jan Sanen, Izhar Elias, Chia Wei Lin, Evgeni Finkelstein, Saša Dejanovic, The Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Aniello Desiderio
GFN 2019The Guitar Company, Emma Rush, Grigory Novikov, Klemke Duo, Gerhard Reichenbach, Thu Le, Anton Baranov, Alberto Mesirca, Johan Fostier

Feast on Six Strings

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..

You can order a complete printed book with

Below, you will find the links to the texts of the interviews. For the festival reports, please refer to the table above.

SubjectInterviews with?
Brief history and interview Bobby en SannaBobby en Sanna Rootveld
Interviews organisers and volunteersFred en Angie Rootveld, Annette Kruisbrink en Arlette Ruelens (Anido Guitar Duo), Henk Olden, Martin Olden, Matthijs van der Kolk, Thomas Peperkamp,
Interviews artistsRoland Dyens, Pavel Steidl, Alberto Mesirca, Samuel Klemke, Anido Guitar Duo, Nutavut Ratanakarn, Sabrina Vlaskalic, Stefan Grasse, Christian Lavernier and Francesca Nebiolo, Jim ten Boske,
Interviews participants professionalAndrija Lazarevic, Jakob Bangsø, Justyna Sobczak, Raphael Silva, Thu Le,
Interviews participants amateursNandini Sudhir, Agnes Mika, Tanja Vermeeren, Mark de Gooijer, Jannette Couvée, Kevin Wiesner
LuthiersGeorge Ziata, Friederieke Lindscheid, Roberto Pozzi, Sergey Samoilov
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