Petrit Ceku Golden winner of Parkening Award

place: Malibu, USA
organiser: University Pepperdine
Petrit Ceku (Kosovo / Croatia) is the Golden winner if the prestigious International Guitar Competition Parkening which took place last week at the University Pepperdine in Malibu, California.

The Parkening International Guitar Competition honors Christopher Parkening's lifetime commitment to fostering musical excellence in young artists as demonstrated by his mentor, the great Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia. It is held on the beautiful campus of Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, where Christopher Parkening is Distinguished Professor of Music. The Parkening International Guitar Competition is the most prestigious classical guitar competition in the world. Cash prizes in excess of $50,000 U.S. were awarded at the 2012 Competition, representing the largest prize purse of any classical guitar competition worldwide.

The first Parkening International Guitar Competition was held at Pepperdine University in 2006. With generous grants from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, the Parkening International Guitar Competition is held every three years.

Petrit Ceku was born in 1985 in Prizren, Kosovo where, at primary music school, he received instruction from Luan Sapunxhiu. In 2002 he moved to Zagreb, where he continued his music education under the instruction of Xhevdet Sahatxhija. He won first prize in the All-Croatian Competition in Dubrovnik in 2003 and in the international Anna Amalia Guitar Competition in Weimar.

The following year he won the Emilio Pujol Guitar Competition in Sassari, Italy, as well as the German Andrés Segovia in Velbert. Also in 2004, he represented Croatia in the European Music Prize for Youth in Dubrovnik and won first prize as well as the Croatian Composers’ Union prize for the performance of a work by a Croatian composer. In the same year he became a student in Darko Petrinjak’s class at the Music Academy in Zagreb.

Petrit Ceku was the only guitarist in the Ferdo Livadiç International Young Music Artists’ competition in Samobor, Croatia, and won first prize by a unanimous decision of the jury. He won the annual prize of The Croatian Music Youth in 2005. He was awarded the Silver Medal in The Parkening Competition in Malibu, California and second prize in the Belgian Printemps de la guitare in Charleroi in 2006. Winning the Pittaluga Competition in Alessandria, Italy in 2007, Petrit Ceku established himself as one of the leading guitarists of the younger generation.
He has taken part in master-classes led by Manuel Barrueco, Leo Brouwer, Zoran Dukiç, Carlo Marchione, Ehat Musa, Scott Tennant and Ana Vidoviç. For several years he has attended Strings Only!, the summer school for string instruments, led by the renowned cellist Valter Despalj. Petrit Ceku is currently based in Zagreb.

(D.H., 06.06.2012)