International Classical Guitar Festival 2024
17 to 22 August 2024


Festival Director: Andrew Gough
With concert artists and tutors: Paul Galbraith, Kevin Loh, Berta Rojas, David Leisner, Gerald Garcia, Alison Bendy, Manus Noble, Roland Chadwick with the Treske String Quartet, Iain Lennon, Matthias Horn and Detlev Bork.

Under the directorship of Andrew Gough, West Dean once again offers the celebrated International Classical Guitar Festival in the idyllic and relaxing surroundings which make this the perfect setting for lessons, masterclasses, ensemble coaching and concerts. The Festival is renowned for its tuition, performance, concerts and geniality, which make it a unique and fulfilling experience for all who attend.

Course structure

The 2024 Festival includes an intensive timetable of events and instruction in a wide range of areas: repertoire classes, ensemble performing, guitar orchestra, individual lessons, the ‘Learning Zones’ and solo masterclasses. A full list of the learning opportunities is in the outline programme and timetable attached.

The evening concert series for 2024 commences on Saturday with a special solo recital by Paul Galbraith. On the Monday evening, we welcome the return of Berta Rojas to the West Dean stage. We then conclude the series on Tuesday evening with a unique musical event: Roland Chadwick’s Rococo Café Consort featuring guitarist Detlev Bork, baritone Matthias Horn, mandolinist Iain Lennon and the Treske String Quartet. They will perform music by composer/guitarist Roland Chadwick.

The Open Day on Sunday 18 August (12.30pm – 7pm) will again celebrate all things guitar, with a selection of guitars and music on display, and a variety of events to enjoy. It includes an exhibition of music and instruments, a guitar makers’ showcase with Manus Noble and a masterclass with Paul Galbraith, concluding with a guest recital by prize-winning guitarist Kevin Loh in St. Andrew’s Church at 6pm.

LEVEL: The carefully planned and highly varied programme will appeal to all enthusiasts, from grade two level experience all the way to advanced. The course is open to anyone aged eighteen years and over.

2024 Programme

The carefully planned and highly varied programme will appeal to all enthusiasts, from grade two level experience all the way to advanced . The course is open to anyone aged eighteen (18) and over.

Ensemble playing
These sessions provide important awareness of reading and listening skills, and they also help with rhythm and counting.  Participants are allocated a place in a medium-sized ensemble with students of a similar standard.  The course concludes with a performance by the ensembles on the Thursday morning. Please note that ensemble music will be given out during the first rehearsal, not in advance.

Guitar Orchestra
This year, the orchestra welcomes the return of Gerald Garcia as guest conductor. These exciting rehearsals with a larger group of players culminate in a final performance at the end of course concert. Orchestral parts will be emailed out in advance.

In 2024 we are pleased to offer soloist masterclasses with Paul Galbraith and Berta Rojas. (N.B. All masterclasses require a video audition; details on how to apply will be found in the Musical Details Form. The deadline for applications is 21 June 2024.)

Private lessons
Each course participant will receive two 30-minute individual lessons. Please note that playing in a Masterclass is regarded as one lesson.

Repertoire Classes
These are sessions where students may perform 'own choice' solo or small ensemble pieces to a small group of fellow students. Followed by some positive feedback from the tutor and an open discussion about the chosen repertoire.

Student Concerts
These concerts provide a great opportunity for course members to try out their pieces in public, and this year will again include an informal debut recital for those students for whom this would be their first public performance. There will be three lunchtime concerts, plus an evening concert on Wednesday.

Technique Workshops
These increasingly popular ‘question and answer’ classes provide students with the opportunity to discuss, and find ways to improve, a variety of technical issues.

Learning Zones
These consist of a series of lectures and practical workshops covering a wide range of musical and technical aspects of guitar performance.

Alexander Technique – optional extra with an additional charge*

This year we are pleased again to be able to offer one-to-one Alexander Technique sessions with Carolyn Nicholls, a world-renowned Alexander Technique expert who loves working with musicians.

(*Individual 30-minute lessons are available on Monday and Tuesday – £40 each. To pre-book a place, please indicate on the Musical Details Form and you will need to pay Carolyn directly at your session, by cash only.)

2024 Festival Concerts

The following concerts are included as part of the Festival programme. If you have partners/guests staying with you on a resident-only basis for the Festival, individual tickets for the concerts can be purchased by clicking on each event.

About the Guitarists and Tutors

Alison Bendy
Highly experienced guitar tutor, music publisher (Holley Music) and ensemble guitarist with the Aragon Guitar Quartet and in a duo with Gerald Garcia.

Andrew Gough
Director of the West Dean Classical Guitar Festival, Head of Guitar at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department, ensembles director and concert guitarist.

Berta Rojas
Latin Grammy Award-Winning guitarist from Paraguay, an international concert artist and Associate Professor of Berklee College of Music in Boston USA.

David Leisner
International soloist, recording artist and composer from the USA. David is a member of the guitar faculty at the Manhattan School of Music and author of Playing with Ease (OUP).

Detlev Bork
International flamenco and classical guitarist from Germany.  He is also a visiting professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and solo guitarist with the German National Ballet in Berlin.

Gerald Garcia
Renowned composer, recording artist with NAXOS, Musical Director of the National Youth Guitar Ensemble and guitarist in various ensembles, including the Mandolinquents.

Kevin Loh
International prize-winning soloist hailing from Singapore. He is a graduate of the Yehudi Menuhin School and the University of Cambridge, with a passion for fundraising and sharing his love of the Arts.

Manus Noble
Award-winning Irish soloist and composer with an interest in extended techniques. He is also a graduate of the European Institute of Guitar Making, and Director of the Bunagee Guitar Festival.

Paul Galbraith
Scottish international concert and recording artist. He is renowned for his highly acclaimed transcriptions and development of the vertical guitar posture with his eight-string ‘Brahms guitar’.

Provisional Timetable

Time Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

Orchestra and

repertoire classes

Warm-up and


Warm-up and


Warm-up and





Learning Zone: Workshop
(Old Library)

Berta Rojas



(Old Library)
Workshop or lessons


Ensemble Concert

(Old Library)
12.00pm Private lesson Practice time


12.30 – 7pm


Exhibition by individual makers and guitar retailers

Bursary Winners’ Recital

Paul Galbraith


Makers’ Showcase with Manus Noble

Kevin Loh Recital

Informal Student Concert

(Old Library)

Informal Student Concert

 (Old Library)

Informal Student Concert

 (Old Library)

Course disperses

after lunch
2pm Students' arrival and registration

Orchestra and

repertoire classes

Orchestra and

repertoire classes

Orchestra and

repertoire classes

Welcome and Introduction 

(Old Library)

Learning Zone:


(Old Library)

Learning Zone:


(Old Library)

Learning Zone:


(Old Library)

4.45pm Ensembles


5.30pm Break




Repertoire classes

or technique workshop

Repertoire classes

or technique workshop

Practice time

6.05pm Practice time Private lesson Student concert
6.30-8pm DINNER 7pm

Paul Galbraith Recital

Free time or practice Berta Rojas Recital

Roland Chadwick's Rococo Café Consort with Detlev Bork


Student Concert

Timetable maybe subject to change.


Bursaries are available to first study classical guitarists aged 18 – 24, especially those who are studying towards a music degree. If you wish to apply, please download and complete the 2024 Classical Guitar Festival Bursary Application Form.
Application deadline is 31 May 2024

West Dean Guitar Festival bursary students

Required preparation

Please complete the Musical Details form and send or email to the Bookings Office at the time you make your booking.  You need to bring your own guitar, music stand, footstool/guitar-rest, and a selection of current repertoire to use in lessons and repertoire classes, and for performances in the student concerts.

Musical Details Form

Fees and accommodation

Non-resident student fee £699 including coffee, lunch, tea and dinner daily, as evening events are planned.

Accommodation fees Summer 2024 per person, including breakfast:

Annexe Rooms Standard Rooms Superior Rooms
With en-suite shower Single occupancy with private bath/shower en-suite or adjacent (Main House/Vicarage) Twin occupancy with private bath/shower en-suite or adjacent (Main House/Vicarage) Single occupancy with en-suite bath/shower (Main House/Vicarage) Sharing twin bedroom with en-suite bath/shower (Main House/Vicarage)
£385 £525 £350 £660 £415


Partners are welcome to stay with you at the Festival on a resident-only basis, please refer to the website for details. Partners/guests can also purchase tickets for the concerts via the website.

Arrival and finishing times

The Festival begins on Saturday 17 August at 3.30pm (please note the new earlier start time to the festival.) Please arrive and register between 1.30pm and 3pm (before tea). If you wish to arrive in time for lunch on Saturday, it is essential that you book in advance by emailing the Bookings Office.

The course ends at 2pm on Thursday 22 August. Please advise us in advance if you need to depart before the advertised finishing time.

If you wish to arrive early and arrive on Friday evening 16 August, rooms may be available if booked in advance with the Bookings Office.

Booking your place

To make your booking, please complete the musical details form and book online here.

For full Terms and Conditions please refer to the website.

Further enquiries

If you have any queries concerning course content please contact:

Andrew Gough, Festival Director
E-mail: [email protected]

If you have any queries concerning booking the course or accommodation please contact:
The Bookings Office, West Dean College, West Dean, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0QZ.
Tel 01243 818300  
Phoning from abroad: +44 1243 818300 
Fax: +44 (0) 1243 818293
Email: [email protected]

Book your place today

Bursary Fund Raffle

1st Prize – An Altamira N600 Classical Guitar and case donated by Altamira Guitars and Maestoso Music, plus a year’s subscription to Acoustic Guitar magazine.

2nd Prize – Two publications on the music and life of Francisco Tárrega by Brian Whitehouse donated by Classical Guitar Centre, Birmingham, a D’Addario Gift-box and a subscription to Acoustic Guitar magazine.

3rd Prize – A mixed box of guitar strings donated by Luthier Strings and a subscription to Acoustic Guitar magazine.

Tickets: £5 each. Please purchase them from West Dean College Reception or at events or concerts during the Classical Guitar Festival.

Raffle will be drawn on Tuesday 20 August 2024 in St. Andrew’s Church, West Dean at the end of the interval of the evening concert.