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The Beatty Competition came about in 2007 as the perfect intersection between the philanthropic wishes of John and Susie Beatty and their devotion to music, the desire of board member Dr. Amy Crews Cutts to expand the programs offered by the International Conservatory of Music (now Marlow Guitar International) to make a greater contribution to the community, and the vision of classical guitarist Berta Rojas to create a positive, educational competition for young players. For over a decade now, the competition has enjoyed the unwavering support of John and Susie Beatty, and of Amy Crews Cutts, competition director. Amy has produced the competition since its inception – managing applications, the timetable, the sponsors, the travel plans for the judges, the duties of the large volunteer corps, and more.

She is the day-to-day face of the competition. Berta Rojas served as artistic director for the first three years, and the competition enjoys the lasting legacy of her leadership, including the judge-competitor feedback sessions, the prizes to honor historic composers, and the design of the “guitar man” logo. In 2010 Dr. Glenn Caluda picked up where Berta left off. His dedication to the educational aspects of the competition is strongly felt through his selection of judges who are experienced players and respected teachers from across the US. From 2008-2012 the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts featured the Beatty Competition winners in a recital on the Millennium Stage. Here are is the recital from the 2012 winners:


Each year The Beatty Competition Composer’s Prize celebrates an important historical composer of classical guitar music. The prize encourages contestants to explore and perform the music of these extraordinary contributors to guitar repertoire.
These are the composers featured by The Beatty Competition to date:

  • AgustÍn Barrios – sponsored by Centro Cultural de la República Cabildo of Paraguay
  • Napoleon Coste – sponsored by the DC Scottish Rite
  • Mauro Giuliani – sponsored by the DC Scottish Rite
  • Antonio Lauro – sponsored by the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
  • Manuel Ponce – sponsored by the Embassy of Mexico and the Mexican Cultural Institute
  • Julio Salvador Sagreras – sponsored by the DC Scottish Rite
  • Fernando Sor – sponsored by the International Conservatory of Music
  • Francisco Tárrega – sponsored by the DC Scottish Rite
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos – sponsored by the Embassy of Brazil
  • The Vihuelists: Luis Milán, Alonso Mudarra, Luis De Narváez, Miguel de Fuenllana, Estevan Daza, Enríquez de Valderrábano, Diego Pisador, and Francesco da Milano – sponsored by the DC Scottish Rite


The Beatty competition thanks Carol and Chris Espinosa of Portola Valley, CA for sponsoring the annual commissioning of these pieces. All contestants are required to play the set piece for their division in the first round of the competition.
Commissioned Composers and set piece titles:

  • Sergio Assad, Brazil
    Composer of the 2018 set pieces
  • Glenn Caluda, USA
    Small Chaconne for the Great Whales, Song for the Rain Forest, and Celebration
  • Ernesto Cordero, Puerto Rico
    Las Niñas, Niebla, and El Caminante
  • Mark Anthony Cruz, USA
    Chiesa di Santa Maria, Chiesa di San Francesco, and I Guardiani
  • Gerald Garcia, UK
    Antonio, Milonga, and Havabanera
  • Vincent Lindsey-Clark, UK
    Pulsar, Free Fall, and Troubadour
  • José Luis Merlin, Argentina
    Bailongo Campero, Beso de Luna, and Un Paseo a Caballo
  • Julio César Oliva, Mexico
    Columbia, Fiesta Mexicana, and Son de la Paloma
  • Raphael Scarfullery, USA
    Moon Dance, Rain Dance and Sun Dance
  • Frank Wallace, USA
    I. Round the World, II. Don’t Say Goodbye, and III. Par 9


Our “Guitar Man” logo was the vision of guitarist Berta Rojas, who has taken the role of the guitar deeply to heart.
Instrument of Peace, bridging cultural divides
Instrument of Joy, having fun playing and sharing experiences
Instrument of Harmony, finding beauty together


451 N. Hungerford Dr.
Suite 119-482
Rockville, MD  20850

Phone: 301-799-4028
[email protected]