Juho Ranta-Maunus wins Young Guitarist of the Year 2020

Of all the Guitarist of the Year 2020 – sponsored by PRS – categories, Young Guitarist of the Year was the most hotly contested. All five of this year’s finalists were so talented that our team of editors and star judges had an extremely difficult time picking just one player, but after much deliberation, we determined that winner to be – drum roll, please – Juho Ranta-Maunus.

Guitarist of the Year 2020 winners

Guitarist of the Year 2020 PRS prizes

(Image credit: Future)

• Electric Guitarist of the Year 2020: Igor Paspalj
• Acoustic Guitarist of the Year 2020:
Alan Gogoll
• Bassist of the Year 2020:
Danny Sapko
• Guitar Teacher of the Year 2020:
Mike Papapavlou

Juho’s prog-tinged composition, Diversity, showed exceptional control of the instrument and a vibrato far beyond his years. He knows just when to hold back and let a note ring, and when to let loose with a flurry of licks, and it was this, ahem, diversity that led to him being crowned the winner of this year’s competition.

After starting his playing journey at the age of eight, 14-year-old Juho now studies the guitar at South Ostrobothnia Music Institute in Seinäjoki, Finland. He’s a big fan of progressive rock and metal in its many forms, with Kiko Loureiro, John Petrucci and Plini among his favorite players.

For his performance, he played a PRS SE Custom 24M-SB Limited through a Blackstar HT-20RH MKII amp, and used a Boss GT-100 multi-effects pedal for his FX.

Juho will receive a feature in Guitar World (both print and online), and record a professionally shot performance video.

What’s more, he’s landed himself the star prize, a PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo, worth $1,549, which delivers both electric and acoustic tones from one classy package.

Guitarist of the Year will return in 2021. To register to hear more about next year’s contest, sign up at GuitaristoftheYearAwards.com.

PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo

(Image credit: PRS Guitars)

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.