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.
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 (opens in new tab).