Lee Ritenour’s Six String Theory Guitar Grand Prize Winners:


2016: Tie in Guitar!   Carter Low (Blues) and Roland Balogh (Jazz)

2014: Tony Pusztai (Acoustic) Berklee College of Music Scholarship

2012: Karl Marino (Classical/Flamenco) Berklee College of Music Scholarship. Will graduate in 2017

2011: David Browne-Murray (Acoustic) Berklee College of Music Scholarship

2010: Shon Boublil (Classical) Berklee College of Music Scholarship. Graduated in 2014

Guitar Category Winners:


Roland Balogh- tie           Jazz/Fusion

Carter Low- tie                  Blues

Rhythm Shaw                    Acoustic

Tom Caunt                          Rock

Stephen Lee                      Classical

Peter Skrabak                    Rhythm Guitar


Antal Pusztai                      Classical

Johan Borgh                       Blues

Brooks Robertson            Country

Max Goodman                  India

Damir Puh                        Rock

Roman Nochevnyy           Jazz


Karl Marino                         Classical

Jamie Dupuis                     Country

Alex Sill                              Rock

Rami Halperin                     Blues

Yoav Eshed                         Jazz/Fusion

Jon Finley                            Acoustic


Updates on Previous Guitar Winners:

Carter Low (2016 Guitar Winner tie)  Write Up after Win:


Tony Pusztai  (2014 Guitar Grand Prize Winner, acoustic) Won Berklee College of Music Scholarship. Recorded a track on Ritenour’s 2015 “Twist of Rit” album.

Karl Marino (2012 Guitar Grand Prize Winner, classical) Won Berklee College of Music 4 year scholarship, will graduate in 2017.  “Going to Berklee is certainly one of the greatest things that has happened to me. I feel it is a gift of immeasurable value. I am doing a dual major, which I could be able to finish in 2 years from now, in Performance and Film Scoring. I have gained valuable insight in the fields of arranging and composing, and also I get to meet very interesting people who are very passionate about what they do. I have a few film scoring gigs in my hometown of Montreal and I also get to play and polish my craft quite a bit in Boston. It is a lot of hard work, but it is making me grow incredibly as a musician. Thanks to Six String competition!!”

David Browne-Murray  (2011 Guitar Grand Prize Winner, acoustic) won Berklee College of Music Scholarship

Brooks Robertson (2014 Country Guitar Winner) won a Berklee College of Music Scholarship in 2015 and a Yamaha paid scholarship to the 2016 Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival & Workshop.

Shon Boublil  (2010 Guitar Grand Prize Winner, classical)

In 2010 Shon Boublil won the Grand Prize (out of 500 contestants from around the world) at the first SST competition which was held in Santa Monica live and was awarded a four-year full scholarship to Berklee College of Music.  After spending four years in Boston, with one semester at Berklee Valencia campus in Spain, he graduated from Berklee with a Bachelor degree in musical performance with a highest distinction.  Shon made his debut recording on probably one of the most interesting live guitar CDs produced, Six String Theory, along with 20 of well-known guitarists in the world that included Lee Ritenour, B. B. King, George Benson, Steve Lukather, Joe Bonamassa and Slash.  Shon has also participated and won many national and international classical guitar competitions including the CMC (Canadian Music Competition) and a first place at the International Classical Guitar competition held in Concordia. He was recognized as a Yamaha Performing Artist and a D’Addario Gold Performing Artist. During these past years Shon performed solo in concert halls in the US, France, Spain, Russia and Canada. No doubt, his decision to study the art of music was an excellent choice.

“Taking part in 6 String Theory competition and CD was a great honor for me.  I’m really proud to be associated with the competition as it has opened up many music opportunities which were nonexistent before. Graduated with honors from Berklee in 2014 from full-ride scholarship won in the Six String Theory competition. I have performed solo, in duets on stage with violinists, pianist, singers and with various student jazz bands.  I’ve also played my guitar for several student film scoring projects. I’ve played jazz, blues, classical, Latin and ethnic music. The diversity here is simply inspiring and I’m enjoying absorbing it all. Berklee is a lot more than what I imagined it to be. I opened the show for Lee playing solo for half an hour in 2012.  It was a great experience. I also opened the show for Sonny Landreth at Peter’s Player in 2012.”

David Browne Murray (2011 Guitar Grand Prize Winner)

“Having competed in the 2010 and 2011 competitions, I had the chance to attend world-renowned master classes and workshops in the semi-finalist and finalist competition. There was such a great community aspect that blew me away. I can’t remember having so much fun playing guitar as I did at the finals-playing at that level was amazing! The people and networking were great!”

Carter Low’s message after prize winning trip to Montana, LA and Tokyo Trip:

“I had such an amazing experience over the last 2 weeks. Played Blue Note Tokyo with the amazing Lee Ritenour and my new friends Roland Balogh, Nick Hetko , Raphaël Pannierr and Isaias Elpes ! Thank you Lee Ritenour for everything, the last 2 weeks were just incredible. Some dreams came true and there are no words to describe how happy i am to have been apart of this. It was a Privileged and a true honor. I could write a short novel on all of the memories i have made within the last two weeks but its super hard to put it into a short paragraph. I just want to Thank you Lee, Sharleen Bazeghii and everyone that was a part of creating this beautiful experiences for musicians. Thank you to the Crown Of The Continent Guitar Foundation , Steve Anderson and everyone that help make that week possible for musicians, and for all the lifelong memories and friendships that came out of it. Thank you to All of the amazing players at the crown that I got to learn from, Listen to and hang with such as, Brent Mason, Gonzalo Bergara, Dweezil Zappa, James Hogan, Shane Theriot, Jon Herington, Kurt Morgan, Adam Nitti, Kirk L Covington, Julian Lage, Chris Eldridge, Wesley Ritenour and many more. Every one of them inspired me. Thank you to Dennis Websterr and Everybody at Yamaha for my beautiful new Rev Star guitar! One of my closet buddy’s, Andy Vimar for the great hangs in LA! Everybody at the woodshed Recording studio for the surreal experience. I cant put my experiences into words and there are to many people to thank personally but I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the kind and amazing people I met and got to spend time with. And of coure Blaine Davies, Tristan Paxton, Chris Hind, Tyson McIlroy, Michael Schau, Ken Davies, Bob Gauvin, Joe Turner for helping me with my entry videos. Got home from Tokyo on Monday… after 2 weeks of non-stop music and guitar its nice to come home and play some more guitar! Thanks for having me Lee Ritenour!!!”


Other Berklee College of Music Scholarship Winners:

Brooks Robertson, Guitar; Jonathan Brown, Guitar; Yotam Ishay, Keyboards; Andrea Erd, Guitar; Hans De Wild, Keyboards; Michael Ning, Bass; Damien Chambers, Drums

Quotes from some SST Judges:


Keb’ Mo’: “They are all fantastic. Hard to choose, but this is only one contest in the game of life.”

Vince Gill: “Picking a winner was truly impossible. All these guitar players have my utmost respect.”

Steve Lukather: “Jeez I love them all and wish I could hug them, for trying so hard. They are ALL great, they really are. OK here goes… God I hate this… damn glad it is not ME on the chopping block! haha”

Abe Laboriel Jr: “this was not easy…”

Chris Coleman: “This was seriously close!! CRAZY!!”

Daniel Jobim: “So many good players out there so it was hard to choose!”

Don Alder: “The winners are getting some incredible opportunities, like performing at venues I’ve only dreamed of playing.”

Pat Kelley: “I really enjoyed seeing all of the videos. The semi-finalists are all amazing players and it was a difficult choice”

Nathan East: “Wow, some of these bass players are crazy good!”

Will Kennedy: “Wow! That was an amazing line up this year!!”

Hotei: “All of the candidates were really fantastic, so it was not so easy to evaluate them”

Tom Kennedy: “It’s always difficult, but I definitely based my decisions on functionality first”

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