Watch 13-Year-Old Hunter Hallberg's Incredible Contest-Winning Performance at the UK Guitar Show

Thirteen-year-old Hunter Hallberg was named Young Guitarist of the Year 2018 at the UK Guitar Show on September 29, winning a PRS S2 Singlecut semi-hollow guitar and a one-year Ernie Ball string endorsement, among other prizes.

Hallberg beat out hundreds of video entries in the initial round, with the standout performances judged by Bullet for My Valentine’s Matt Tuck, British blues-rock phenom Chris Buck and musician and Chapman Guitars founder Rob Chapman.

Hallberg then advanced to the finals at the PRS-sponsored event, where he performed alongside 14-year-old Abigail Zachko and 15-year-old Alex Hooi. The three young guitarists were judged at the show by Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar Techniques and MusicRadar editors, as well as Chris Buck.

Hallberg began playing guitar in 2014 after attending a John Petrucci guitar clinic, and says his biggest influences include Petrucci, Guthrie Govan, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Tony MacAlpine, Plini and Tosin Abasi.

You can check out Hunter’s winning performance—his first-ever original song, “Jewel”—above.

To view the other semifinalist performances, head over to

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.