Viseu International Guitar Competition


The Jury for the 6th Viseu International Guitar Competition is composed of 8 elements from 4 different countries. We are proud to have immense talent and experience in this panel and we are sure the decision of this year’s winner is in good hands.

Jozef Zsapka (Czechoslovakia)

Competition Artistic Director

Paula Sobral (Portugal)

Festival Artistic Director

José Carlos Sousa (Portugal)


Margarita Escarpa (Spain)
Judicaël Perroy (France)
Francisco Bernier (Spain)
Eudoro Grade (Portugal)
André Cardoso (Portugal)

Jozef Zsapka

About the jurors

He was born in Komarno 17.I.1947 in Czechoslovakia.
Jozef Zsapka began his guitar studies at the age of fourteen. He was a student of the Czech guitarist Arnošt Sádlík at the State Conservatory in Brno and at Music Academy in Bratislava.
His world debut began in 1972 on concert tour around the Italy with Slovak Chamber Orchestra. Since that Jozef Zsapka has performed in Japan, USA, Mexico, Thailand, Australia, Spain, Portugal, France, England, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Greece, Turkey, Jugoslawia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgary, Poland, Ukraina, Rusland, Cuba, Vietnam, Mongolia and many other countries.
Between 1971 and 1989 he was a teacher at the Conservatory of Bratislava and from 1984 the expert assistant at the Music Academy in Bratislava, in 1992 habilitated to Associated Professor and 1997 habilitated to Professor. At the beginning of year 2000 he became visiting Professor in Aveiro University in Portugal. His students are winners and laureats (approximately 120) in many Internarnational competitions (Paris, Vienna, Havana, Barcelona, Santiago de Compostella, London, Alessandria, Fiuggi, Kutna Hora, Esztergom, Sernancelhe and many more.)
He is a music director of the “International J. K. Mertz Guitar Festival and Competition – in Bratislava” with 48 year tradition with participation of prominent guitar players from all over the world.
The many – sided artist acts also as an editor (mainly of those compositions dedicated both to him and to the duo) (Opus, Fritz and Vogt, Trekel, Chanterelle, Guitarissimo)
Jozef ZSAPKA is ranked at the top of the Slovak performing art. His concert activities are wide-ranging. From the beginning of year 1980 he has performed also with his wife flutist Dagmar.
This duo belogs to the most stable instrumental combination of its kind.It was founded in 1980 and due to its intensive artistic activities it became world – renowned. From the very beginning they have been strongly affecting Czecho-Slovak interpretative art, which they present all over the world with great success. Many composers were inspired by their playing – among them e. g. Jorge Cardoso, David Babcock, Igor Rechin, Dušan Martinček, Peter Martinček, Štěpán Rak, Filimon Ginalis, Víťazoslav Kubička, Roland Dyens and others who dedicated their pieces to this duo. Their repertoire is extremely wide as it includes music of all stylistic periods. Critics rank them among the worlds top performers.
He recorded more than 41 LPs and CDs for world-class recording studios.

Paula Sobral

Born in Sernancelhe, Viseu, she began her musical studies at the Conservatory of Music in Viseu, where she studied Guitar with Luís Lapa and Christopher Lyall. In 1994, she started the Degree in Music Teaching at the University of Aveiro, in the area of ​​Classical Guitar, under the guidance of Paulo Vaz de Carvalho.
Later, Paula continued to study the instrument with guitarist Jozef Zsapka. She combined the study of the guitar with the teaching activity at the Viseu Conservatory, meanwhile participated in several masterclasses. She also taught at the School of Music of the Colégio de S. José (Guarda, Portugal) and at the Conservatory of Seia. Currently teaches at the Conservatory of Music of Viseu Dr. José de Azeredo Perdigão. In 2007 she concluded her Master’s Degree in Chamber Music at the University of Aveiro under the guidance of Professors Paulo Vaz de Carvalho, Helena Marinho, Fausto Neves, and guitarist Odair Assad.
From 1999 to 2014, together with José Carlos Sousa, she was artistic director of the Sernancelhe International Classical Guitar Competition and Festival, a pioneering event in the country. Since 2015 she has been artistic director of the International Guitar Competition in Viseu, a competition inserted in the International Music Festival of Spring in Viseu.
Her artistic activity is marked by her performance in chamber music with the guitar duo Concentus Duo, where she has played with Manuel Tavares since 2000. The duo performed in several cities in the country, at the Ciclo de Guitarra Clássica de Oliveira do Bairro Festival, Guitar Festival of the António de Almeida Foundation, International Festival of Sernancelhe, CCB, International Guitarmania Festival (Almada and Lisbon) and International Guitar Festival of Santo Tirso. Outside Portugal she was present at the International Guitar Festival in Hondarribia, Basque Country, “Guitarre-Essone” in Paris and the International Guitar Festival in Palencia, Spain. She’s a member of the Guitar Quartet of Viseu with which she has toured various venues in the country in concerts and recitals.

José Carlos Sousa

José Carlos Almeida de Sousa was born in Viseu – Portugal, in 1972. He started his musical studies at the Regional Music Conservatory Dr. Azeredo Perdigão, in his hometown where he completed the general composition course in 1995.
In 1996 he continued his studies at the University of Aveiro, where he completed his degree in Composition, in the year 2000.
He studied composition and electronic music with Evgueni Zoudilkin, João Pedro Oliveira and Isabel Soveral. He also attended several seminars on composition and electronic music guided by the composers such as Jorge Antunes, Alain Sève, Tomás Henriques, Flo Menezes, François Bayle and Emmanuel Nunes.
In June 2005, he concluded, at the University of Aveiro, a master’s degree in music with a specialization in composition, under the theme “The Timbre and its Metamorphoses in the Compositional Process of Electroacoustic Music”.
He has taught at the University of Aveiro and at the Piaget Institute in Viseu.
He was, together with Paula Sobral, organizer and artistic director of the International Classical Guitar Competition and Festival of Sernancelhe, until its 15th edition.
Since 2008, he has organized and is the Artistic Director of the Viseu International Spring Music Festival.
In 1995 he won the first prize in the 1st composition contest at the conservatory where he studied, with the children’s work for piano, “Almofada (Cushion)”.
In the Electroacoustic Composition Competition “Música Viva 2000”, he was awarded an Honorable Mention. In April 2001 he was awarded his work “Viagem” in the aforementioned competition, integrated into Porto 2001 European Capital of Culture.
His latest works are the result of orders from several national and international institutions and his music has been played in several Portuguese cities and in several music festivals: Música Viva Festival (Portugal), Primavera en La Habana (Cuba), Aveiro S Synthesis (Portugal), “33e Festival International des Musiques et Créations Electroniques” (Bourges – France), Contest and International Guitar Festival (Sernancelhe – Portugal), 14th World Saxophone Congress (Slovenia), “Guitarmania” – International Classical Guitar Festival (Almada – Portugal), Guitar Festival of Palencia (Spain), Dias Festival of Electroacoustic Music (Seia – Portugal), “Synthesis” – Guarda Contemporary Music Cycle (Portugal), Santo Tirso International Guitar Festival (Portugal), Festival Spring Music Festival in Viseu (Portugal), 8th International Guitar´Essonne Festival – (Paris – France), Electroacoustic Music Days at the Santa Cruz Air Race (Portugal), VIII Sevilla Guitar Festival (Spain), Tempo Reale Festival 2018 Florence (Italy).
He is currently a professor of composition at the Conservatory of Music of Viseu, also holding the position of Pedagogical Director of the Conservatory since 2004.

Margarita Escarpa

“A first-class artist”, expressed María Luisa Anido when she first heard Margarita Escarpa play. Ever since then, Margarita has continually reaped many successes, including important awards from international competitions. She is now considered one of the greatest classical guitarists of our time who excels by her outstanding musicality and extraordinary sensitivity and subtlety.
As a solo artist, she recorded CDs for RTVE (Spanish Radio and Television group), Opera Tres, Naxos, La Ma de Guido and GHA Records.
Since 2011 she is one of the “D’Addario artists”.
In 2021 she received the Prize “Guitarrista José Tomás 2021 Villa de Petrer”, and in 2023 the award “Premio European Guitar Foundation 2023” (Granada; Spain). Prizes offered to leading names in the world of guitar.
Margarita is also known as a dedicated teacher. In October 2021 she was appointed professor of guitar at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria, where she attains a higher degree of perfection with the students who work with her.

Judicaël Perroy

Judicaël Perroy was born on July 21, 1973, in Paris. He began playing the guitar at the age of 7 at the Municipal Inter-district Conservatory of Paris. From 1983 to 1988, he studied with Delia Estrada, and later with Raymond Gratien at the National School of Aulnay-sous-Bois, where he received a unanimous first prize with honors from the jury in June 1988. At the age of 11, Judicaël Perroy started giving concerts, including performances as a soloist in two Vivaldi concertos with the Ensemble Instrumental du Mans, conducted by André Girard.
He continued his musical studies with Robert Aussel and then with Daniel Lavialle, both of whom played a fundamental role in his artistic development. He obtained the Concert License from the École Normale de Musique de Paris in Alberto Ponce’s class in 1994, and in 1996, he won the 1st prize at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance of Paris (CNSMDP).
In 1997, he was awarded the 1st prize at the fifteenth edition of the prestigious GFA (Guitar Foundation of America) competition in San Diego, USA, which allowed him to launch his international career. Since then, he has performed in the most prestigious venues and festivals, including the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Teatro de la Republica in Mexico, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and more.
Judicaël Perroy has recorded ten albums, including two CDs dedicated to Johann Sebastian Bach and Manuel Maria Ponce for Naxos, and more recently, in 2024, a recital for GHA. His teaching is highly sought after, as he regularly gives masterclasses at major universities and higher music and art schools worldwide, and his students have been winners of the most important international competitions. From 2017 to 2020, Judicaël was a professor at the Conservatory of Music in San Francisco, USA, succeeding guitarist and composer Sergio Assad. Since then, in September 2020, he has been appointed as a guitar teacher at the Haute École Musique de Genève, succeeding guitarist and composer Dusan Bogdanovic, while also teaching at the École Supérieure Musique et Danse Nord de France since 2012.

Francisco Bernier

Considered by critics as one of the world’s leading classical guitarists of his generation, Francisco Bernier has gone on to forge a successful and prize-winning career throughout the years.
His achievements led him to perform in over 35 countries around the globe, in prestigious venues such as the Salle Cortot and the Mogador Theatre in Paris, the Salle Corum in Montpellier, the Grand Theatre in Bordeaux, Oji Hall in Tokyo, the Kyoto Concert Hall, the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Teatro Maestranza in Seville, Teatro Comunale in Alessandria, Merkin Hall in New York, Hall of the O.E.A (Organization of American States) in Washington D.C., and the Zellerbach Hall in San Francisco, to name a few.
Finalist in the Concert Artist Guild of New York and recipient of more than twenty international prizes including the “Michele Pittaluga” Competition, Francisco Bernier has performed with many orchestras, such as the Camerata of Saint Petersburg, the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, the Mediterranean Symphonic Orchestra, the Symphonic Orchestra of Vallés, the Symphonic Orchestra of Huelva and the Berkeley Symphony of San Francisco conducted by Kent Nagano.
He began his musical studies at the Conservatorio Superior de Música in Seville and he then moved to France to continue his musical studies at the Ecole Normale “Alfred Cortot” in Paris under the direction of Maestro Alberto Ponce. He received his Superior Diploma of Execution and Concert Performer with distinction by means of a unanimous decision by the jury.
From 1998 to 2002, Francisco continued his excellent education at the Hochschule für Musik of Cologne (Germany), at the Université du Québec in Montréal (Canada), and at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris (France). He also attended master classes with Alvaro Pierri, Roland Dyens, Leo Brouwer, David Russel, José Tomas, Oscar Ghiglia and received guidance from composers, orchestra conductors and musicians from other disciplines.
In September of 2009, Francisco successfully recorded in Canada with the Naxos Company.
His interest in contemporary music has lead him to remain in contact with great composers of our time, such as Luis de Pablo, José M. Sánchez Verdú, Cesar Camarero, and José Manuel López amongst others. He is also a member of the Zahir Ensemble.
In addition, Francisco Bernier is a laureate of various foundations, such as the Meyer Foundation, Beracasa and BNP- PARIBAS (France), “la Caixa” Foundation (Spain), and the Emma Contestabile Foundation (Italy).
In 2014, he was included in the top list of Spanish artists performing abroad with the help of the Ministry of foreign affairs (AECID).
Francisco currently teaches at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Seville. He is the Artistic Director of the Seville Guitar Festival and General Director of Contrastes Records (London).
Francisco Bernier performed in the following AUDITORIUM-THEATERS across the world, and more:
La Villete Theater of Paris (France) Kyoto Concert Hall (Japan) Merkin Concert Hall of New York (USA) The Hermitage Theater in Saint Petersburg (Russia) Mogador Theater of Paris (France) Maestranza Theater of Seville (Spain) Grand Theatre de Bordeux (France)
 Zellerbach Hall in San Francisco (USA) The Concert Hall of the National Philharmonic of Ukraine (Ukraine)
 Maison de Radio France (France) Oji Hall of Tokio (Japan)
 Palau de la Música of Valence (Spain) Legacy Hall of the Columbus State University (USA) Outremont Theater. Montreal (Canada) Walter Hall of Toronto (Canada)

Eudoro Grade

Eudoro Grade has developed his activity as a concert pianist, performing solo, chamber and orchestral music all over Portugal and abroad.
He is a member of three musical projects: Quarteto de Guitarras Concordis, duo Guirimbadu with marimba and vibraphone and duo Dusul with Portuguese guitar. He has recorded five CDs, four of them solo: “Guitarra”, “Sons da Memória”, “Caminho Latino” and “Músicas de Natal”, the latter with Diogo Grade, and “Encontros” with Q. Concordis.
He is the coordinator of the “Orquestra Juvenil de Guitarras do Algarve” project and president of the Algarve Guitar Association. He is artistic director of the Lagoa and Faro International Guitar Festivals.
He is also the director and coordinator of the Lagoa International Guitar Competition.
As a teacher, he teaches at the Algarve Regional Conservatories Maria Campina.

André Cardoso

André Cardoso was born in 1980. He attended the Alves Martins Secondary School in Viseu in the Arts and Crafts Technological Course. He enrolled in the Visual and Technological Education Course which he abandoned in order to dedicate himself exclusively to the study of music. He attended the Conservatório Regional de Música de Viseu Dr. Azeredo Perdigão, where he studied classical guitar with teachers Paula Sobral and Christopher Lyall. Later he entered in the University of Aveiro, in the course of Licentiate in Music Teaching, in the specific instrument of Classical Guitar. His teachers were Josef Zshapka and Paulo Vaz de Carvalho. In the discipline of Chamber Music he studied with the teacher António Chagas Rosa. He participated in masterclasses of classic guitar and chamber music oriented by Christhopher Lyall, Timothy Walker, Olga Prats, Betho Davezac, Roberto Aussel, Carlo Marchione, Judicael Perroy, Tal Hurwitz, Yamandu Costa, Jérémy Jouve, Thibault Cauvin among others. He has recorded for RDP Antena 2 and Antena 1. He was soloist with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Beiras. He has played with Orquestra Clássica do Centro and Orquestra Aeminium. He has played chamber music with a variety of formations highlighting ‘Duo Lontano’ (2003-2010, classical guitar duo) and the Guitar Quartet of Viseu (2012-). Within folk and world music he played and participated in projects such as Quimera Quinteto (music by Astor Piazzolla), Toques do Caramulo (folk mountain), Contracorrente (world intervention music), Tocar o Chão (music by Carlos Peninha), Terra da Fraternidade – ACERT (tribute to Zeca Afonso), Isabel Silvestre and Cantares de Manhouce, among other groups and musicians. He integrated the group ‘A Presença das Formigas’ (2009-) where he is interpreter and composer. This group won the Zeca Afonso Award at the Festival Cantar Abril in Almada (2009). At the same festival he won the Adriano Correia de Oliveira Award with ‘Contracorrente’ (2013). He participates as guest interpreter and musician in the albums: ‘Ciclorama’ (2010) and ‘Pé de Vento’ (2014) from ‘A Presença das Formigas’; ‘Contracorrente’ – D’Orfeu (2013); ‘A Viagem do Elefante’ – ACERT (2014) 14 songs from the show, with Luís Pastor and ‘A Cor da Língua ACERT’; ‘Mina’ (2016); ‘Tocar o Chão’ (2017); Sara Vidal (2018); Manuel Maio (2019). He also participated as performer and composer in ‘Fil’Mus’ (2010-2020, live music cinema), ‘Crónicas de Inverno’ (2015, poetry), ‘O Banco do Tempo’ (2014, dance), ‘Fogo Correndo’ (2019-, theatre). He composed with Manuel Maio, music for the choreographic video ‘Perpetuum’ (2016). He started doing amateur theatre at the age of 14. He co-founded the ‘AdHoc’ Project (1998) where he won awards with the original works ‘If I wasn’t from here, I’d find all this very strange’ (1999) and ‘Madness, is this madness?’ (2000). He participated as actor and creator, in the play ‘Twister’ (2002) with direction and texts by Jorge Fraga. He has directed several artistic projects with communities and amateur theatre groups mainly in the district of Viseu. In 2007 he co-founded the ‘Zunzum’ Cultural Association and integrated its artistic and directive body until 2017. He was founder and artistic director of the festival ‘Outono Quente’ (2012-2017). He has participated in dozens of theatrical works as narrator, director, actor, musician. He has performed regularly, throughout the country and abroad, with different musical and artistic projects namely in Spain, France, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, Holland, USA, Switzerland. He was part of the jury of the International Competition of Classical Guitar at the Spring Music Festival of Viseu (2016-). He taught at Conservatório de Música de Águeda (2002-2004) and Conservatório de Música da Guarda (2004-2006). Since 2004, he has been teaching classical guitar at Conservatório Regional de Música Dr. Azeredo Perdigão in Viseu.