Eight students pose for a photo with Manuel Barrueco in the middle of the front row

Gwenyth Aggeler (USA)

Gwenyth Aggeler is a 17-year-old guitarist from Denver, CO. She began studying the guitar at age 6 with Aaron Medina and continued her studies in middle and high-school with Alex Komodore.

Gwenyth was featured on NPR’s radio program From the Top in February of 2019 and recently performed on From the Top’s live-stream concert series. She has been awarded prizes in several competitions including a prize in the New York Guitar Competition, first prize in the Eastern Music Festival High School Guitar Competition, and second prize in the junior and senior divisions of the Guitar Foundation of America International Youth Competition.

Gwenyth has performed in master classes with Manuel Barrueco, Martha Masters, Judicaël Perroy , Los Romeros, Jason Vieaux, and Thomas Viloteau. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at Peabody Conservatory in the studio of Maestro Manuel Barrueco.

Ewan Armstrong (USA)

Tommy Dupuis (Canada)

The extraordinary journey of classical guitarist Tommy Dupuis began when he was 17 at the Cégep de Drummondville when he undertook a double Diploma of College Studies program in Health Sciences and Music (jazz guitar interpretation). Following his first few live performances, he fell in love with the music scene and the ability to share more than music with his audience. When he graduated, he decided to dedicate himself entirely to music by pursuing his undergraduate studies in classical guitar at the School of Music of Sherbrooke University. Three years later he was admitted into the graduate program at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University with the grand classical guitarist Manuel Barrueco, where he is the studio’s graduate assistant.

Tommy will be the touring artist for the Jeunesse Musicale Canada’s 2024–2025 Emerging Artist Tour.

Nadja Jankovic (Montenegro)

Nadja Jankovic was born in 2000 and started playing the guitar at the age of nine. She attended “Vida Matjan” music high school, studying guitar with Professors Maroje Brcic and Stefan Schmidt as well as piano with Professor Jelena Kordic.

So far, she has won more than 30 international first prizes, such as: first prize at Julian Arcas International Guitar Competition, first prize and laureate at the International Youth Competition Forum Gitarre Wien, lauerate at Guitar Festival Rust International Classical Guitar Competition, first prize at Concorso Internazionale Alirio Diaz. In 2015, Nadja won second prize in the Guitar Foundation America International Youth Competition.

Nadja has enjoyed a rich international performing career, which has taken her throughout Europe and the United States including concerts in Florence, Rome, Vienna, Baden Baden, Tholey etc. In her home country of Montenegro, Nadja has given numerous concerts in the Church of the Holy Spirit and Cathedral of Saint Tryphon in Kotor, a solo recital in the Parliament of Montenegro, and performed with the KotorArt festival Orchestra in the KotorArt Festival.

Nadja has participated in many international master classes with artists such as:  Paolo Pegoraro, Adriano del Sal, Oscar Ghiglia, Fotis Koutsothodoros, Alirio Diaz, Gabriel Guillen, Stefan Schmidt, Judicael Perroy, Lukasz Kuropaczewski, Petrit Çeku, Manuel Barrueco, Vera Ogrizovic, Srdjan Tosic, Darko Karajic, Jelica Mijanovic, Xhevdet Sahatxhija, Tomas Oferman, Maroje Brcic, Vladimir Gorbac, Carlo Marchione, Olaf Van Gonnissen, Andrea De Vitis, Anders Miolin, Rovshan Mamedkuliev, Nikita Koshkin, Hubert Käppel, Gabriel Bianco, Leon Koudelak, and Costas Cotsiolis.

In 2016 Nadja became a member of the “D’Addario family.” She is currently attending the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in the studio of Maestro Manuel Barrueco.

Jennifer Kim (USA)

Hailed by Pepe Romero as a “wonderful musician and guitarist” who he believes will “grow into a great artist,” Jennifer Kim is already developing an international reputation at the young age of seventeen for her stunning virtuosity and sensitive musicality.

She was a Grand Prize Winner of the 25th annual Spotlight Awards held in May 2013, won the first prize in the Indiana International Guitar Competition Senior Youth Division, a shared first prize at the Pacific Arts Guitar Competition, the American String Teachers Association California State and Regional Junior competitions, and recently, she was a prize winner at the inaugural Classics Alive Competition. At the young age of eleven, Jennifer was awarded fourth place in the Guitar Foundation of America International Youth Competition and was selected as a finalist in the 2011 ASTA National Competition. In 2012, Jennifer was awarded 3rd place in the Christopher Parkening International Young Guitarist Competition, at 13, the youngest competitor.

Jennifer’s concerts include performing the “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Rodrigo at the 90th Gala Celebration of the American Guitar Society in 2013, and again in March of 2014 with the Mill Valley Philharmonic under conductor Laurie Cohen.  In 2015, Jennifer toured for the Piatigorsky Foundation, and during the 2016-2017 season, Jennifer makes her debut with the Bartlesville Symphony in addition to several solo recitals throughout the season.

Jennifer began classical guitar studies with her father when she was eight, and from2008 until 2016 she has studied with Jack Sanders. Currently, Jennifer is in the studio of Manuel Barrueco at the Peabody Conservatory, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree.

Andres Felipe Palacios (Colombia)

Andres Felipe Palacios began studying the guitar at the age of eight in his native Colombia.  His first performance experiences were through Colombian Andean music, which led him to participate in a wide variety of festivals and national competitions: Winner of the Young Performers Series, performing as part of the National Concert Season of the Banco de la República; Festival Colombia al Parque; Finalist of 39th Festival Mono Núñez; Grand Prize for Excellence Concurso Nacional de Música Andina Colombiana Cacique Tundama; Special Mention Festival Hatoviejo Cotrafa; and the Grand Prize for Excellence, Festival Nacional de la Canción Zue De Oro.

Andres got a Bachelor of Arts in Guitar with Cum Laude distinction at the University of Antioquia and is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Guitar and Pedagogy at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University under the guidance of Manuel Barrueco. He is the recipient of the Excellence in Music Leadership Fellow and Ambassador Scholar of the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation.

Thomas Potts (USA)

Thomas Potts first started playing guitar at age eight, studying with Jeremy Lyons at Artist Music Academy in White Marsh, MD. In 2016, he competed for the first time at the Beatty Guitar Competition in Washington D.C., where he was awarded third prize. One month later, he competed in the Salisbury Guitar Festival Competition in Salisbury, MD where he won Best Performance of a Work by a Living Composer for his interpretation of Danza de Altiplano by Leo Brouwer. In 2017, Thomas was awarded a full-ride merit scholarship to the New England Music Camp (NEMC) in Sidney, Maine.

An aspiring composer, upon his return to NEMC the following year, Thomas was given the opportunity to study composition in weekly private lessons with Dr. Christopher Cicconi. In addition to his classical studies, Thomas is an active performer in the Baltimore area and is a member of the backing band for local singer Katyrah Love.

Thomas is currently Pursuing a BFA in Guitar Performance at Peabody Conservatory studying with Maestro Manuel Barrueco.

Penelope Shvarts (USA)

Penelope Shvarts has played both classical and flamenco guitar since she was 5 years old, having studied with teachers Gohar Vardanyan, Elysa and Jason Hochman, and Grisha and Dmitry Goryachev. She has a plethora of accolades from competitions like the National High School Guitar Competition, Southern Guitar Festival, YoungArts National Arts Competition, and Guitar Foundation of America International Youth Competition.

Most recently, Penelope was presented in the Emerging Artist Showcase at the Long Island Guitar Festival and performed alongside violinist Midori at the Midori & Friends 30th Anniversary Gala. While studying music, Penelope has worked with organizations such as Strings4Smiles, Notelove, and Midori & Friends, where she helps to promote free music education.

In the fall of 2023, Penelope will begin her undergraduate degree in classical guitar performance at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where she will study under Maestro Manuel Barrueco.

Hejia Zhu (China)

Hejia Zhu was born in Fuzhou, China, in 2007. Since age of 8, she studied classical guitar at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. During this period, she participated in master classes with many international guitarists, such as Alvaro Pierri, Hubert Kappel, Meng Su, Eric Franceries, Jeremy Jouve, and Diego Campagna. In the fall of 2023, Hejia is starting her Bachelor of Music degree in Guitar Performance at the Peabody Conservatory with Maestro Manuel Barrueco.