Classical/jazz virtuoso Matthew Dunne has been organizing the Southwest Guitar Festival for UTSA since 1995, and in that time, he’s seen it develop from “a regional gathering” to one of the most prestigious classical-guitar festivals in the country.

Dunne decided to make this year’s SWGF particularly memorable by commissioning a concerto from acclaimed composer Sérgio Assad. The piece, Interchange for Guitar Quartet and Orchestra, will be performed by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet with the San Antonio Symphony, a nod by Dunne to a famous 1967 concert collaboration between Los Romeros — musical mentors to LAGQ — and the SA Symphony.

In addition to the concerto and a rare festival performance by Dunne himself, aficionados will want to see the highly regarded Denis Azabagic (“If you looked for flaws in his playing, you wouldn’t be able to find them,” Dunne says) and an international competition with guitar students from 34 countries shredding for $10,000 in prizes.

The Southwest Guitar Festival & International Competition runs from Wednesday, February 4, through Sunday, February 8. For more details, go to

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