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Duo NIHZ (Artist, Teacher, Jury)


Together Bobby Rootveld (guitar) and  Sanna van Elst (recorders) form Duo NIHZ. This duo from The Netherlands is currently based in Germany. Next to the traditional classical repertoire Duo NIHZ specializes in music mixed with theatre and comedy, Klezmer, Yiddish songs, and the restauration of music composed during the Shoah. Numerous composers composed especially for Duo NIHZ including Nikita Koshkin, Annette Kruisbrink, Gianmartino Maria Durighello, Fred Rootveld, Louis Ignatius Gall, Stefan Grasse, Jim ten Boske, Nutavut Ratanakarn and Jan Bijkerk. Duo NIHZ collaborates with other artists like storytellers (Loek Boer, Benjamin Stedler), guitarist Alberto Mesirca, chazan Baruch Chauskin and saxophonist Gergö Pazmandi. Duo NIHZ performed in numerous countries and on special location and festivals including: The Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, The Rundetaarn in Copenhagen, The Portugese Synagogue of Amsterdam, The Taj Concert Hall in Thimpu Bhutan, Kolkata Classical Guitar Festival in India, Thailand Guitar Festival in Bangkok, Mottola Guitar Festival in Italy, Jewish Galicia Museum in Krakow Poland and in numerous of other synagogues, churches and festivals and concerthalls in Holland, China, HongKong, Malaysia, Switzerland, Argentina, Germany, Israel, Greece, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Poland, India, Bhutan, Thailand, England, France etc. Duo NIHZ released several cd’s and dvd’s. In 2009 Duo NIHZ received a special 'Certificate of Acknowledgement' during the International Jewish Music Festival of Amsterdam. In January 2011 Duo NIHZ opened it’s own concert hall in Nordhorn, Germany: . Kulturhaus NIHZ contains Europe's biggest classical guitar library-and research archive including sheet-music, cd's and lp's. Bobby and Sanna are also the founders of the Guitar Festival Nordhorn and Recorder Festival Nordhorn. Bobby Rootveld also takes care of the musical legacy including compositions and the archive of the great late classical guitarist Maestro Louis Ignatius Gall. Bobby also used to be the chairman and is a founding member of the Twents Gitaar Festival (Netherlands) and the Valais Guitar Week (Switzerland).

Duo NIHZ has an extremely strong connection to Jewish Music. My grandfather was Jewish. He was the only surviving member of his family in the Shoah.
This off course played a big part in my upbringing and my desire to play Jewish music, make myself familiar with Jewish traditions and Israel all come from my family background. For me it is not just playing music, it is dedicating our music to the Jewish history, the sunny and dark sides. Our music is my way to get 'in touch' with my background and honouring this background.

The Anido Guitar Duo (Artist, Teacher, Jury)


Annette Kruisbrink (NL) and Arlette Ruelens (BE) have been a duo since 1995. 
They call themselves the Anido guitar duo, after the legendary guitarist and composer María Luisa Anido (1907-1996). 
Annette and Arlette studied the guitar at the conservatory of Zwolle, Holland. 
They give concerts and masterclasses guitar/composition at home and abroad 
(a.o.The Netherlands, Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Luxemburg, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and Thailand).

Their performance is powerful and expressive with subtle dynamic contrasts and different colours of sound. 

Their repertoire shows a preference for originality with amongst others own compositions, music from South-America and compositions by women composers. 
Besides being guitarists, the two are also active in other fields: 
Arlette Ruelens as a painter and Annette Kruisbrink as a composer. She has written over 350 compositions and has won several first and second prizes.


Jan Bartlema (Artist, Teacher, Jury)


Jan Bartlema was born in Zwolle in The Netherlands. He grew up in a musical family where both classical and world music were listened to. After starting with flute lessons Jan finally choose to focus on the guitar. Jan studied at the music conservatories of Zwolle and Enschede under Pieter van der Staak and Jorge Oraison respectively.


During his training he also undertook a number of master classes by John Mills, among others. After the music conservatory he furthered his training with Czech Guitarist Milan Zelenka in Prague, with whom he collaborated on various concerts and radio performances in both The Czech Republic and The Netherlands. Additionally Jan performed as soloist in various other European countries, Canada, USA and China. Along with solo recitals and guitar concerts, Jan has frequently performed with Orchestras (like Rodrigo – concierto de Aranjuez , Castelnuovo Tedesco – concerto in D and the premiere of the guitar concerto by Annette Kruisbrink) guitar and choir, guitar and organ, guitar and cello, guitar and piano/harpsichord, and as member of the chamber music group Juerga ensemble, consisting of a soprano, flute and two guitars. In his repertoire he prefers originality and his search for new music has lead him to many pieces that have been specifically dedicated to him by composers van der Staak, Kruisbrink, de Marez Oyens and Ourkouzounov.


This has resulted in the release of two CDs featuring the works of van der Staak and Kruisbrink, both of which have been highly praised by guitar industry periodicals. Two additional chamber music CDs have also been released by the Juerga ensemble and the Encuentro Guitar Quartet.

Jan’s playing is best described as powerful and expressive with a striking nuance of colour. His latest solo album “Oracion” was hailed by the Classical guitar magazine as “ a master class in musical presentation and a must-have for all collectors of good classical guitar music”.

Jan has also composed and published his own guitar compositions with De Haske Publications in The Netherlands, Les productions d’Oz in Canada and Edition Daminus in Germany. Many of these works are written as educational pieces for solo guitar, duets and ensembles but also include concert level pieces. Further more compositions for guitar with diverse combinations such as choir, theatrical percussion and flex band (brass, woodwind, guitar, bass, keyboard and percussion). Additionally Jan has supplemented his education with choir directing courses.

Currently Jan teaches music in the Music Teacher program at ROC Friese Poort in Drachten, The Netherlands.

Samuel Klemke (Artist, Teacher, Jury)


Samuel T. Klemke was born in 1978 into a family with musical roots back to his great-grandfather, who already performed music. His grandmother and great-aunt were professional musicians, as are his uncle and his father. Thus he got his first guitar lessons from his father Tobias at the age of four years, but has played on the guitar much earlier, when he could barely sit.

At the age of six Samuel had his first public performance, followed by a first solo-recital when he was 8. 1986 also was the birth year of the Guitar Trio Klemke with his sister Laura and their father Tobias. This Trio performed regularly in the northern region of Germany and throughout the country and also had TV-apperances. At age 10 he won his first national competition, followed by many more prizes. Since 1990 Samuel performed with his father Tobias, playing such ambitious pieces like the Tango Suite by Astor Piazzolla.

1991 was the founding year of the Guitar Duo Klemke, since this year Laura and Samuel Klemke perform together regularly and the Duo became their main focus. Also as a duo they won many prizes in duo / chambermusic competitions. In 1994 Samuel had his first performance in a foreign country: he played a concert on New Years Eve in Valkenburg / Netherlands. In 1995 the Guitar Duo Klemke had it’s first big success, playing in the Radisson-Plaza-Hotel for more than 600 listeners and receiving Standing Ovations. It was the same year that they also received an award by the „Marie-Luise Imbusch Stiftung“ in Lübeck.

In 1996 the Duo had their first radio-recordings with the NDR in Hamburg for the radio competition „Concertino Praga“ where they made the 7th place. In 1998 the Duo also received the award by the „Marie-Luise Imbusch Stiftung“a second tim for their exceptional artistic achievements in the national competition „Jugend musiziert“.

In 1999 Samuel picked up his guitar studies at the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar / Germany with Prof. Monika Rost. He received the artistic diploma in 2003 with the best mark possible for his solo recital. He took further studies with Prof. Thomas Müller-Pering for a year, then was allowed to study for the Concert Exam, which he finished with two highly acclaimed solo recitals after two years. With Laura he also studied the Concert Exam Chambermusic that was awarded to them in 2009. His studies were promoted by a 2-year scholarship by the government to work on the music by H. W. Henze and T. Takemitsu resulting in excellent performances of Henze’s Chambermusic 58 and all the guitar works (solo and chambermusic) by Toru Takemitsu.

During his studies in Weimar he took many Masterclasses with the world’s most renowned artists such as Pepe Romero, David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Aniello Desiderio, David Tanenbaum and others, that formed his musical personality. He was able to perform successfully in many competitions in the world from Malibu / Los Angeles to Tokyo, from Chile to Martinique, and throughout Europe (Paris, Rome, Madrid). Samuel has won more than 25 prizes and often was rewarded for his exceptional skills in performing the music of the 20th century. His activities also led to concerts in many parts of the world. He has performed and given masterclasses in the Americas, most European countries, the Near East, Japan and in 2010 he could add Australia and India to this list.

Since 2005 Samuel also began to extend his chambermusic activities. He was founding member of the vanguard Ensemble Marges that is performing newest compositions and is working with silent movies and artists of different genres as well (for example the project ART!stik Labor with the Compagnie Aquanaut). They are regular guest of the big festival for contemporary Music via nova and also form part of the jury of composition competitions. He also performs more classical music in different chambermusic combinations with violin, accordion, flute and piano, for example also with the Spanish soprano Natasha Lopez.

While a student in Weimar Samuel also took classes in electroacoustic music and instrumentation, and so far he created some pieces. He also started working for film, mainly experimental films. He composed the music for the award winning 360°-full-dome short „Super Golden Years“ in 2010. He is very much interested in sound installations and is working on some concepts to be realized soon.

So far Samuel has recorded three full-length CD’s, a single CD, and a live DVD. A double CD with the complete 24 Preludes and Fugues „Les guitares bien temperees“ by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco will soon be published.

Sergei Matohkin (Artist, Teacher, Jury)


Russian guitarist & composer, was born in 1967 in Volgograd, Russia. He started playing the guitar when he was 11. Sergey Matokhin has performed in Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, France, Spain, Germany, Poland, Israel and Great Britain both as a solo-plaer and a participant of different chamber orchestra. Nowadays, he frequently performs with various chamber ensembles as well as Volgograd, Elista, Astrakhan Chamber Orchestras and Saratov, Каzan, Volgograd Academic Symphony Orchestras and Russian folk orchestra of Volzhskiy and Tambov.

Since 1994 he has been teaching in P. A. Serebryakov Volgograd Municipal Institute of Arts and more than 40 of his students have become prizewinners of regional, All-Russian and international classical guitar-playing competitions. He is a member of the jury of regional and international contests which were arranged in Saratov, Elista, Volgograd, Belgоrоd, Netanya (Israel ). He has also organized a lot of master classes in Moscow, Saratov, Tambov, Volgograd, Elistа, Astrakhan, Wroclaw (Poland), Kharkov (Ukraine), Jerusalem (Israel), Pau (France) and Cordoba (Spain). In 2007 he became a vice-chancellor of educational institution.

In 1999 he organized the "Tabula Rasa" Festival-Competition for classical guitar players being its art-director. He regularly arranges meetings with the most famous musicians and composers of Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Georgia, Armenia, Brasilia, Serbia, Hungary, Canada, the USA, Netherlands, Israel, Switzerland, France, Italy, Cyprus and Japan. In addition he is going to active scientifically - methodical activity.

Since 2010 he has become a docent of orchestral conducting department of Moscow state university of culture and art and Ippolitov-Ivanov Moscow State musical pedagogical institute. Besides, he is teaching in Moscow educational center “Class-center”.

Alexei Belousov (Artist, Teacher, Jury)


Alexei Belousov (b. 1970) started playing guitar at an early age. Graduated at Samara Musical College, Chelyabinsk State Institute of Art and Culture, Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance.

His performing career has led him to participation in different festivals, playing in most renowned concert halls.

Appearing as a soloist, giving master – classes,
Alexei has performed throughout many countries, where his concerts are always received with both critical and popular acclaim.
Alexei is awarded by several national and international prizes.

Since 2006 he is artistic director of “Guitar Gems” International Classical Guitar Festival & Competition in Netanya, Israel.

Since 2011 he is artistic director of “A. Matyaev” International Classical Guitar Festival & Competition in Kirov, Russia.

Since 2015 he is artistic director of “L.Luthier Contest” International Classical Guitar Festival & Youth Competition in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Alexei has been invited to perform in such countries as Russia, Israel, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, China, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, USA.

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