2018 Artists


Join us for IARGUS 2018!

On May 16-20, 2018, we will once again congregate in Iowa City to celebrate our 12th Annual Russian Guitar Festival!  The overarching theme of IARGUS 2018 will be music by Russian women composers of the 18th century. But there will be much more! The list of star soloists is richer and more diverse than ever before: Sergei Rudnev (Russia), Mårten Falk (Sweden), Marko Erdevicki (Norway), Stefan Wester (Sweden), Vadim Kolpakov (North Carolina), and more!



One of the central concerts will be by the Dashkova Ensemble, featuring Bineta Diouf (mezzo-soprano), Olena Zhukova (harpsichord), Elena Kraineva (viola d'amore), and Oleg Timofeyev (Russian seven-string guitar). 

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Sergei Rudnev

One of the most remarkable guitar composers in Russia, Maestro Rudnev (Tula, Russia) spent many years studying and defining the Russian style on the guitar.  In doing so, he reviewed hundreds of scores  by the seven-string classics of the 19th century –- i.e., Andrey Sychra, Mikhail Vysotsky, Fiodor Zimmerman, Vasily Sarenko, and many others.  Today, Mr. Rudnev is the most popular Russian composer in his own country and abroad.

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Mårten Falk

Mårten Falk is one of Sweden’s most successful guitarists. He has toured many countries around the world, throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Mr. Falk's seven solo albums on dB Productions have been met with critical acclaim around the world, and he has been featured on many of his colleagues' albums. Mårten Falk has performed in radio in many different countries and he has taught master classes around the world. Many composers have dedicated their guitar pieces to Mårten Falk, and he has given more than 100 world premieres of music by composers from four continents.

Mårten Falk performs on many original instruments from the Renaissance to the 20th century, including the lute, vihuela, baroque guitar, romantic guitar, Russian seven-string guitar, traditional guitar, and half-acoustic guitar.


marko erdevicki

Serbian-Norwegian guitarist Marko Erdevički holds a Master’s degree from the University of Agder (Kristiansand, Norway) where he studied with Jan Erik Pettersen. Currently, Marko lives in Bergen (Norway), where he teaches classical guitar at the Bergen Municipal School of Music and Performing Arts. Marko has performed at many festivals such as Kvinnherad kulturfestival, Bjergsted Guitar Festival and Norwegian Guitar Festival (Norway), ‘800MusicaFestival (Milano, Italy) and IARGUS 2017 (Iowa, USA). He is laureate of many international competitions, most notably: second prize at the international competition in Plovdiv (Bulgaria), second prize in the Guitar Art Festival in Belgrade, and third prize in the multi-instrumental contest "Unge Talenter på Sørlandet 2006" in Arendal (Norway). Most recently, he has devoted himself to the performance of the 19th century guitar music on original, historical guitars.  This affection led him to the Russian 7-string guitar and acquaintance with Oleg Timofeyev, who introduced him to the music of Andrei Sychra (1773-1850). Mr. Erdevički performed Sychra's monumental Four Concert Etudes at IARGUS 2017. This year, the music of Mikhail Vysotsky (1791–1837) is on the menu.


Vadim Kolpakov

Coming from a long dynasty of Russian-Romani (“Gypsy”) musicians, Vadim Kolpakov is a virtuoso on the Russian seven-string guitar, as well as a singer and dancer.  He has performed extensively in Russia and abroad, from the Kremlin to Carnegie Hall. He has also participated in numerous musical projects on Russian, Canadian, and American radio and television.  Since the mid-1990s, he has been a member of the Russian-Romany group The Kolpakov Trio, and in 2004 he assembled his own group in the United States, Via Romen. His  repertoire is based on music for the Russian-Romani (“Gypsy”) guitar, but he often performs Russian, classical, rap, pop, and world music. In 2008 and 2009, Vadim went on Madonna’s “Sticky & Sweet” world tour as part of The Kolpakov Trio.  Since 2006 he frequently performs with Zingaresca, a duo with Oleg Timofeyev.


stefan wester

Stefan Wester was born and raised in Alingsås, Sweden. He studied at the Royal Academy of music in Stockholm with Rolf La Fleur, and at the Lulea University of Technology College of Music in Piteå with Tilman Hoppstock and Zoran Dukic. Stefan lives in Piteå, where he teaches guitar at the School of Music and Dance.

Stefan performs as a soloist on a regular basis, as well as in various chamber music ensembles. He works with contemporary composers and has premiered several works dedicated to him. In May 2014, he premiered Julia Finkelstein's suite, Miro's Paintings, in Iowa City, IA. Since 2007, Stefan has been helping revive the Russian 7-string Guitar and its repertoire, and is a frequent performer at IARGUS. Stefan Wester is a prolific arranger and composer for solo guitar, guitar and other instruments, guitar ensembles, and guitar orchestra.


Klezmer clarinetist Mitya Gerasimov was born and raised in Tatarstan, Russia, and graduated from Kazan Consevatory. In 2008 Mitya moved to Ukraine, and in 2010 formed his own group, the Pushkin Klezmer Band. The band has since been performing in a wide variety of venues in Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe, including clubs, synagogues, festivals, and Jewish weddings. 

Mitya Gerasimov has also performed and recorded with such diverse artists and groups as Caci Vorba, The Klezmatics, David Krakauer, Frank London, Eyal Shiloach, DJ Socalled, The Shuk, The Petrojvic Blasting Co., Nayekhovichi, Gasmac Gilmore, and many others.