March 2020 in Cambridgeshire

History and Curriculum

"Classical Minds" Guitar Festival: 14-15 March , 2020 (New Date!)

2018 marked the 14th Anniversary of this 6-day educational event held every June in Texas for those who play or appreciate classical guitar. Renowned concert artists and educators came from throughout the world to teach, coach and perform in concerts and recitals. CM took place in Houston, Texas for 14 years and is now moving to England! Our first UK "Classical Minds" will take place in the village of Foxton at Foxton Village Hall, just outside of Cambridge (Hardman Road CB22 6RN).

As a new festival to England and out of respect for our UK colleagues, we made every effort to assure no festivals were taking place around the dates chosen in October (Fed Page and Google searches showed nothing). Recently, a well established festival who took a year off, decided to put their info & dates on the Fed Page encompassing the exact same dates as CM. The dates for CM 2019 were added to the Federation Of Guitar Societies events page a year ago. No one from that festival emailed or called to communicate. So, now we are moving the festival to March 2020 in order to not compete unnecessarily.  

The festival is open to all ages from middle school through college and graduate school plus adults who study privately or just enjoy playing.

Guest Artists/Faculty

Past faculty included Gohar Vardanyan, Matt Palmer, Adam Holzman, Rene Izquierdo, Ernesto Tamayo, Martha Masters, flamenco guitarist Jeremy García, Kithara Duo, Irene Gomez, and so many more from around the world. In England, we are looking forward to including guitarists from around the UK and Europe. This year we are pleased to include Daniela Rossi, Valerie Hartzell, and CM Festival Assistant, Mathew James. Because we have moved CM to 2020, we are pleased to announce that the Raymond Burley & Valerie Hartzell workshop on 7 of March will now merge with Classical Minds which is the 14/15 of March. Welcome Raymond Burley to the CM family!


CM offers private lessons, master classes, guitar orchestra, technique classes, guitar classes, workshops, and a solo, small ensemble & guitar orchestra recital on the last day. Private lessons are limited so we advise turning in your application immediately. Master classes will be open to intermediate and advanced students only. The Master classes are open to observing by all participants and their family.


Saturday, 14 of March will feature a lecture recital with Mathew James from 4:20-5:20 pm (FREE and open to the public) and an evening concert featuring virtuoso guitarists Daniela Rossi and Valérie Hartzell. Both events will be held in the Main Hall at Foxton Village Hall (Hardman Road CB22 6RN). Tickets to the evening concert are £10, General Public/£5 Senior Citizens & Spouses, children and partners of festival participants.

They Come Back

When CM was in Texas, many students returned each year and renewed old friendships and build new ones. They thrived under the instruction and tutelage of world-class instructors. We strive to continue this wonderful tradition in England.


Valérie Hartzell founded Classical Minds Guitar Festival in 2004 as an Institute of the Immanual and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival at the University of Houston. The goal was to educate the Houston community about classical guitar and to enhance knowledge of the instrument. As both festivals grew, it became necessary to seek a new venue with more space. In 2016, Classical Minds moved to the campus of Episcopal High School in Bellaire, Texas. 

In 2018, Hartzell decided it was time to bring this festival to England where she currently lives.

Mission Statement

The "Classical Minds" Guitar Festival seeks to promote fine arts, music education as well as fostering artistic growth and creativity through the classical guitar while creating a sense of community for professionals and aficionados alike.

You are visitor number: 11777