The winner of the third triennial Parkening International Guitar Competition has been named as Petrit Ceku. The 27-year-old from Croatia triumphed in the final, held at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California on June 2, with his performance of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. He receives the Gold Medal and a cash prize of $30,000 - the largest award offered by a classical guitar competition in the world.
Ceku and his fellow finalists - Rafael Aguirre of Spain and Florian Larousse of France – were selected from 15 outstanding entrants. The panel of five international judges included Costa Pilavachi, senior vice president of Universal Music Group, and classical guitar virtuoso David Russell.
Multiple award-winner Petrit Ceku graduated from the Zagreb Academy of Music in 2008 and released his debut album on the Naxos label in the same year - a disc of Bach, Regondi, Asencio and Rodrigo. He currently studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.