San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

International Guitar Festival opens Wednesday at San José’s National Theater

Fingers from five countries will fly over frets this week at the 18th International Guitar Festival, set to take place Sept. 21-23 at the National Theater in San José.

The annual event, founded by noted Costa Rican guitarist Luis Zumbado, kicks off Wednesday night with Anabel Montesinos of Spain and Cuba’s Marco Tamayo, who will perform as soloists and then as the Tamayo-Montesinos duo. The two have won prominent guitar competitions around the world and have performed with major symphony orchestras in Europe and the U.S. This is the first time they will be performing in Costa Rica. The concert will feature works by Bach, Paganini, Sor, Turina and Brouwer.

Mexican guitar prodigy Sergio Bucheli, 12, will begin Thursday evening’s show, followed by 19-year-old countryman José Alfredo Amezcua. Both have won competitions in Mexico and internationally. Concluding Thursday’s performances will be the Costa Rica Guitar Quartet, a new addition to the festival.

On Friday night, celebrated Argentine guitarist Juanjo Domínguez takes the stage. Domínguez will cover a wide range of genres during his performance, including traditional Argentine tango, milonga and chacarera, as well as ragtime and classical themes.

All shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets cost ₡8,000-₡15,000 ($16-$30), with a 10 percent discount for students and senior citizens, and may be purchased at the theater’s box office (2221-5341). For more information, visit or

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