About the Festival
The Viljandi Guitar Festival was founded in 2008 by musicians Ain Agan, Robert Jürjendal, and Aleksei Saks with the aim of supporting the development of the increasingly popular art form of guitar playing and bringing the expressive sounds of this versatile instrument to all Estonian music lovers.
The goal of the festival is to promote improvisational and cross-genre guitar playing. Festival-goers can hear guitarists improvising in a variety of music styles and learn more about various playing techniques and types of guitars. The event brings together guitarists from both Estonia and abroad, developing international cooperation between musicians, which is one of the festival’s main goals. Another important part of the festival includes artist-led workshops for students. Over the years, the tradition of dedicating the first half of the festival week to students from various Estonian and European universities and the second half to Estonian and foreign musicians, has developed.
The Viljandi Guitar Festival also gives out the annual Tiit Paulus Young Guitarist Award, which allows talented young Estonian musicians to improve their guitar skills. So far, four musicians have had the honor of receiving this prestigious award. The festival plans to continue awarding this prize in the future, along with preserving the tradition of the Guitar Master’s Day, where festival-goers get the opportunity to meet Estonia’s virtuoso guitarists, admire their skills, try out their instruments and get acquainted with various guitar teaching materials.
The Viljandi Guitar Festival has also had the honor of hosting several renowned Finnish performers and guitar virtuosos from around the world. Over the years, the concerts held as part of the festival have taken place mainly in Viljandi – a town whose atmosphere fits perfectly with the festival. However, it is also possible to attend enjoyable concerts in other cities. The Viljandi Guitar Festival gives people the opportunity to immerse themselves in otherworldly soundscapes and experience unforgettable moments.
“Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar, except, possibly two.“