Johan Smith

” Johan Smith is clearly a guitarist to follow, one with [a] compelling sense of touch and musicality.”

Editor's Choice - Gramophone Magazine (Sept. 2020)

“As one listens to Johan Smith play, it’s manifestly obvious why he won the 2019 GFAC. Here is a tremendously gifted guitarist and musical artist, and his Naxos album compels hearing by all guitar lovers.”

Fanfare Magazine (Oct. 2020)

“So as one are player and instrument that you’re reminded of the ancients who mistook warriors on horseback for centaurs. “

William Yeoman - Gramophone Magazine (Sept. 2019)
2019 GFA International Concert Artist Competition Winner

GFA Winner's Tour featuring Johan Smith

Date & TimeSaturday April 23, 2022 at 7:30 pm
AdmissionGeneral: $20
Senior/Student: $15
Member: $10
TicketsAvailable at the door or in our Online Store
LocationPresbyterian Church of the Covenant, 503 Duncan Rd., Wilmington, DE 19809

The Wilmington Classical Guitar Society is pleased to bring the Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition Winner Tour to Delaware for a sixth season! The prestigious GFA Competition is known for drawing the most talented competitors from around the world, and winning the competition is a coveted milestone in the careers of many young musicians. Don’t miss your chance to see this world-class artist.

This year’s GFA touring artist is Swiss guitarist Johan Smith. As winner of the Rose Augustine First Prize in the GFA ICAC, Johan will tour over 50 cities in North America and Canada, including his recital debut in Carnegie’s Weill Hall, and his Delaware debut for Wilmington Classical Guitar.

Works by Bach, Britten, Mozart, Schwizgebel, Rodrigo, and Metheny.

Please share our event on Facebook and invite your friends!

MASTERCLASS 4/23/22: Johan Smith will be teaching a masterclass in the afternoon, April 23 at 1:30 pm (doors open at 1:00 pm) in the West Room of Presbyterian Church of the Covenant. The masterclass is free to observe and open to the public, but registration is required. Register as an auditor to sit in and hear what Mr. Smith has to teach our guest performers, or register as a performer for your chance to perform for Johan and have him critique your performance (a small tuition fee applies). Register as either an auditor or performer in our Online Store.

About the Artist

Swiss classical guitarist, Johan Smith, is a highly acclaimed, illustrious musician, bringing virtuosic interpretations to his instrument. Winner of the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) competition in  2019 and defined as the “Classical Guitar Revelation 2017” by the notable French magazine “Guitar Classical Magazine”, Johan Smith has become one of the most prominent names in the world of classical guitar. He has been invited to perform in renowned festivals, is a highly in-demand concert soloist, and has performed with orchestras such as the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and the Versoix Chamber Orchestra. He is currently preparing the recording of his second album with Naxos, as well as tours that will bring him to perform in China, the United States, Canada, and at the famous Carnegie Hall in New York.

Playing at the highest level, Johan Smith has won some of the most competitive and distinguished guitar competitions in the world. As a result of his 2019 win of classical guitar’s most venerable competition, Guitar Foundation of America (GFA), Johan has recorded his first solo album with the Naxos Label (2020); He was a featured soloist in the virtual June 2020 GFA conference, and will begin a nine- month tour from September 2021 throughout June 2022, presenting solo concerts, conducting masterclasses and outreach activities in over 50 cities across the United States and Canada. Johan is recording his second album with the Naxos Label as part of winning 1st place in the Changsha International Guitar Competition in 2019, and, will also be embarking on a 6-city tour throughout China (Hangzhou, Chengdu, Kunming, Yueyang, Xi’an, Changsha).

In addition to winning 1st prize the Guitar Foundation of America (US) and the Changsha International Guitar Competition (China) in 2019, Johan Smith has also won prizes in the following competitions: Special Prize from the Victoria & Joaquin Rodrigo Foundation, 1st prize at the VI° International Guitar Competition of Thessaloniki, 1st prize at the International Competition of Fontenay-Sous-Bois, 1st prize at V° International Festival Guitare au Beffroi, 1st prize at the 89° Leopold Bellan International Competition, 1st prize at the XIII° National Competition of Ceyzeriat (also winning the public prize), 3rd prize at the III°
Pleven International Guitar Competition, 3rd prize at I° Aalborg International Guitar Competition.

Johan’s particular interest in contemporary music has led him to collaborate with several composers, including Josquin Schwizgebel and Arnaud Fillion, who dedicated his “Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra” to Johan. His affiliation with Arnaud Fillion bestowed an opportunity to record the Fillion’s three-movement concerto with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra in October 2019, released in February 2020.

Notable career highlights include Johan’s collaboration with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra at the BCV Concert Hall in Switzerland in May 2019, performing the one of the most prestigious classical guitar concertos, Joaquín Rodrigo’s “Concerto de Aranjuez”. Johan also was a featured soloist at the 9th (2017) and 11th (2019) annual International Guitar Festival of Versoix, Switzerland, playing with the Chamber Orchestra of Versoix at the festival October 2017, and was invited back to perform a solo recital in November 2019.

Born in 1990 in Geneva, Johan obtained a Bachelor in 2015 and a “Master of Arts in Instrumental Pedagogy” in 2017 at the University of Music of Lausanne, in the class of Dagoberto Linhares. In addition to teaching guitar at the Conservatory of Morges, he also obtained the most important academic title in the field of musical performance in Switzerland: the “Master of Arts specializing in Music Performance Soloist”(2019), awarded by the highest grade.

In a completely different approach, he is the founder, composer, performer and graphic designer in the extreme metal band “Stortregn”, with whom he has already recorded four albums and played in three continents since 2005.

Johan is an endorsee of Savarez guitar strings, one of the world’s leading string manufacturers (founded in 1770).