Mart Hillen, third-year student at the ArtEZ Academy of Pop Music and previously in the spotlight on account of his impressive guitar play, won the ‘Fingerstyle Academy Award 2016’ last Friday.
While the young wonder guitarist had been the support act for the master class of the world's best fingerstyle guitarist, Tommy Emmanuel in the morning, a little while later he was playing a duet with his hero. Mart and four other guitarists were contending for the prestigious title but even more for a duet with the master himself. Mart was selected on account of his impressive fingerstyle rendition of AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck'.
"We saw an overall picture that was perfect in every respect. A guitar virtuoso, it looks good, it sounds good" – that was the jury's verdict on Mart Hillen.
The master class was given in the Blue Note Hall of the Amsterdam Conservatory. A jury consisting of Gerard Boontjes (chairman and founder of the Rock Academy in Tilburg), Lars de Rijck (2nd place in Holland's Got Talent 2009) and Karlijn Langendijk (Fingerstyle Academy teacher) chose Mart unanimously as the winner. Besides the duet with his hero, Mart won a Mayson MS1/SCE2 steel string guitar worth 1270 euros. "It rocks!"