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Iliana Matos

"Her name deserves to go down in guitar history as one of the great players of our time".

Classical Guitar Magazine


Celebrating 30 Years as a Performer

In May 1986 at the age of eighteen, Iliana Matos made her debut at the International Guitar Festival and Competition of Havana. A few months after, she began her professional studies at the Superior Institute of Havana. While studying there, Ms. Matos performed in several concerts throughout the island: it was during this time Ms. Matos established herself as an exciting and favorite performer with audiences. Since then, she has been presenting recitals in more than thirty countries.

From May 2016 to May 2017, this world renowned Cuban/Spanish guitar virtuoso will celebrate her 30th Anniversary as a Performer with tours in Latin America, North America, Africa, Asia and Europe, highlighting this important milestone in her career.

Upcoming Performances

Fall 2016

North American Tour

USA

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
September 30, Solo Recital
October 1, Masterclass.
Roosevelt University. Chicago
October 4, Masterclass.
WTTW. Channel 11. Chicago Tonight
October 4, Interview/perform
Latino Music Festival. Guitarrísimo. Instituto Cervantes of Chicago
October 5, Solo Recital.
New Jersey City University
October 9, Solo Recital & Masterclass.
Texas A&M International Guitar Symposium and Competition
October 14-16. Evening Concert, Jury & Masterclass
McNallySmith College of Music. St Paul. Minnesota
October 21, Masterclass
Minessota Classical Guitar Society
Saturday 22, Solo Recital

CANADA

Edmonton Classical Guitar Society.
November 5, Openning Concert for the 2016-17 Season
November 6, Special Concert for Children
University of British Columbia
November 10, Masterclass
November 11, Workshop
Vancouver Classical Guitar Society
November 12, Solo Recital

Awards

First Prize. I “Luys Milan” International Guitar Competition. Valencia, Spain, 2002.

First Prize. X International Guitar Competition “Ciudad de Vélez-Málaga”. Spain 2002

First Prize. VIII International Guitar Competition in Linares “Andrés Segovia”. Spain, 2001.

First Prize and Special Prize for the Best Interpretation of Spanish Music at XII “S.A.R. La Infanta Doña Cristina” International Guitar Competition. Spain, 1996.

Special Audience Prize. XXX Francisco Tárrega Guitar Competition, Benicasim, Spain, 1996.

First Prize. XVII Andrés Segovia International Guitar Competition, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 1995.

Special Prize for Best Interpretation of Spanish Music at XI “S.A.R. La Infanta Doña Cristina” International Guitar Competition. Spain, 1995.

Third Prize. IX “Alirio Díaz” International Guitar Competition, Caracas, Venezuela 1994.

Young Artist Prize. XI Carrefour Mondail de la Guitare, Martinique, France, 1994.

Special Prize for the best interpretation of “Descarga” by Ernesto Cordero of the International Guitar Competition of Jalapa, Mexico 1991.

First Prize. III Manuel M. Ponce International Guitar Competition D.F. México, 1990.

Third Prize and Special Prize for the Best Interpretation of Cuban Music at the UNEAC, Music Competition in La Habana, Cuba 1987.

Biography

Hailed by the critics as “The guitar guru” (E-Veritas. University of Miami) “the powerful and intense style of Iliana Matos" (Classical Guitar Magazine) has made possible an extraordinary career. Following the tradition of María Luisa Anido, the Great Lady of Guitar, who, when hearing Iliana play, wrote: “I am impressed by your wonderful guitaristic art, and I am proud to know that a woman (and a Cuban woman!) came to such a degree of artistic perfection”. Barcelona 1995.

After hearing Iliana Matos perform in Caracas, the legendary Alirio Díaz wrote: "Her refined technique, always put at the service of a personal musicality, is what more can surprise in the guitar art of the Cuban and Latin American virtuosa Iliana Matos. All this, added to other exquisite qualities, has made her an appealing personality within our world of music". Venezuela 1992.

Iliana Matos graduated from the National School of Art in Havana where she studied with José Angel Pérez Puente. She earned a Bachelor of Music (Classical Guitar Performance) from the Superior Institute of Havana (where her teachers included Rey Guerra, Miguel Bonachea and Jesús Ortega), and received a Special Diploma given to the most outstanding graduate for her artistic creative work. She continued her studies with Gabriel Estarellas at the Royal Music Conservatory of Madrid and graduated with a Master of Music Degree from de Extremadura University under Ricardo Gallén. As a student she participated in master classes with Leo Brouwer, David Russell, Sharon Isbin, Costas Cotsiolis, Tania Chagnot, Paolo Paolini, Tomás Müller, Wolfgang Lendle, Carlos Bonell, Juan Carlos Rivera and Joaquín Clerch.

Prize winner of eleven major international competitions, including first prizes in the Andrés Segovia in Palma de Mallorca, Luys Milán, and Manuel Ponce International Guitar Competitions. She made history by becoming the first woman to win the prestigious S.A.R. La Infanta Doña Cristina International Guitar Competition, and the only person to win the special prize for Best Interpretation of Spanish Music in two consecutive years, 1995 and 1996.

Her highly acclaimed GSP CD “Angels in The Street” has earned universal acclaim from critics, placing her among the elite of today's classical guitarists: “Her name deserves to go down in guitar history as one of the great players of our time." (Classical Guitar Magazine); "a match-made-in-heaven recording that is about as perfect as guitar records get... she simply, radiantly shines, a virtuoso in service to the music" (American Record Guide); "she has sufficient of all credentials necessary to take her place in the annals of guitar as one of its truly gifted and outstanding exponents." (Musicweb-international.com), "it's impossible while listening to 'Angels' to believe that her name will not someday ring the same peal of recognition as does Bream and Williams" (Minor7th.com).

As an ambassador of the Ibero-American guitar, she performed as soloist with the National Orchestra of Oporto at the VIII Ibero-American Summit and for the Spanish Royal Family in 1998.

Her presentation at the National Auditorium of Spain together with the Classical Orchestra of Madeira received the news headline “Special triumph in a model program ". In the same review: "In both concerts Cuban guitarist Iliana Matos’ solos scored a sound success after playing them with beautiful, round sound, effortless technique and blatant musicality". ABC. García Del Busto. Madrid 2000.

With her love of contemporary music and desire to develop the guitar repertoire, Iliana Matos has premiered works by numerous composers, including Eduardo Morales, Tomás Marco, Zulema de la Cruz, Gabriel Estarellas, Flores Chaviano, Ileana Pérez, Madays Andino, Ñico Rojas, Yalil Guerra, Luis Mario Ochoa and Eduardo Martín. As well, she has performed extensively throughout Latin American, USA, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Living in Spain for the past 20 years, she has contributed to the development of a new generation of Spanish guitarists while teaching at the Escola Luthier of Barcelona (Ramon Llull University), Conservatory Profesional of Plasencia, and the Conservatory of the Balearics, the Conservatory of Salamanca and the Royal Music Conservatory of Madrid.

In addition to this, she regularly gives master classes all over the world and has performed at numerous festivals such as Cordoba Guitar Festival, Spanish Music Festival of León, International Festival of Contemporary Spanish Music, Miguel Llobet Guitar Festival, Antonio Lauro Guitar Festival, Monterrey Guitar Festival, Belo Horizonte Guitar Festival, and the Viña del Mar Guitar Festival.

She has recorded for labels in Spain and the United States of America, including GSP Recordings, Albany Records, Gadiraifa and Verso.

She was included in the Dictionary of the Spanish and Latin American Music, SGAE 2000 and 2011 Supplement of the Encyclopedia of the Guitar, and her CD “Angels in the Street” was listed in the “Guitar’s TOP 100" written by the Canadian musicologist Enrique Robichaud.

Concert Reviews

E-Veritas. University of Miami. USA.
“The guitar guru: Iliana Matos”
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La Republica. Italy.
“one of the most famous guitarists in the world…A musician uncommon”
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ABC. Spain.
“In both concerts Cuban guitarist Iliana Matos’ solos scored a sound success after hitting them with beautiful, round sound, effortless technique and blatant musicality”
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Diário de Noticias-Madeira. Portugal.
“An award-winning performer guitar”
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Guitar Art. Germany
“Iliana, my best compliments on a great concert! We could go on listening to your beautifully realized interpretations of these classics for the whole evening and the lesser known Cuban pieces were a delight”
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El Mercantil Valenciano. Spain
“Cuban guitarist Iliana Matos, demonstrated guitar playing of the highest order specially in her interpretation of the very difficult Bach Chaconne where her beautiful diction of the cantabile in the Andante section made history”.
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Diario 16. Spain
“The great interpretative talent of Iliana Matos”.
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Les Cahiers de LA GUITARE et de la Musique. French
“Iliana Matos, refined musician, nuanced, virtuoso… nobody was surprise to know that Iliana Matos was recently elected "Young Talent" 95 of the Carrefour Mondial. Due to this honorific merit, she will now tour the Caribbean”.
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La Nación. Venezuela
“The concert by the cuban guitarist was impressive.”
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El Día, México.
“She proved her high level as a Latin american music performer. Her playing was great.”
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Trabajadores. Cuba.
Iliana Matos was the next soloist in the Concerto for guitar and Orchestra, El Elegíaco of Leo Brouwer. And she walked comfortably through more familiar landscapes at the beginning, but that gradually became complex mazes by which she, as an accomplice of the composer, tends to the listener a solid thread, so we perfectly assimilate the most impulsive musical thoughts
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Classical Guitar Magazine. Colin Cooper. UK.
“…I was pleased to see that the Cuban guitarrist Iliana Matos had won the first prize in the 3rd Manuel Ponce Guitar Competition in Mexico. I thought her performance in the 4th Havana Guitar Festival in 1988 was outstanding…”
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Classical Guitar Magazine. Colin Cooper. UK.
“…In Cuba,I was much taken whith the powerful and intense style of the 21- year old Iliana Matos,one of the few players to make a success of Pujol`s marking "doloroso" in the Guajira…”.
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Recording Reviews

Classical Guitar Magazine. Steve Marsh. England
“Her name deserves to go down in guitar history as one of the great players of our time”
Read full review

MusicWeb International. Zane Turner. United Kingdom
“she has sufficient of all credentials necessary to take her place in the annals of guitar as one of its truly gifted and outstanding exponents”
Read full review

American Record Guide. Ellis. USA
“a match-made-in-heaven recording that is about as perfect as guitar records get... she simply, radiantly shines, a virtuoso in service to the music”
Read full review

Minor7th.com. Alan Fark. USA
“it's impossible while listening to 'Angels' to believe that her name will not someday ring the same peal of recognition as does Bream and William”
Read full review

All Music Guide. USA
“Guitarist Iliana Matos is a major unheralded talent, with clean articulation of rapid, hard passages and a winning way of drawing the listener in by slightly hanging back at a piece's beginning”
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Bridge Guitar Reviews. Henk te Veldhuis. Holland
“Iliana Matos has succeeded with 'Angels in the Street' to deliver a CD which is brilliant with the exceptional well-chosen repertoire and her unique and modern approach to classical guitar music…Truly a masterwork”
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Guitare Diffusion. Belgium
“A captivating production where the elegant mastery of Iliana Matos gives life to the fascinating music of Eduardo Martín, who will be soon part of the repertoire of guitar players looking for something new”
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Guitare Classique. F.N. French
“The round and vivid sound of Iliana Matos serves this repertoire admirably and her musicality expresses equally well both the complex rhythmic intricacies and meditative melodies”
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Acordes. José Luis Ruiz del Puerto. Spain
“The overwhelming technique of Iliana, her delicate, yet powerful and flawless quality of sound, the exquisite musicality that is present in her interpretations, are some of the adjectives that we can emphasize about her. But they are not the only ones: the virtuosity, the polyphonic clarity or the strict maintenance of the rhythmical complexity that appears in many of the works are evident and they are put to the musical service of these inspired musical notes”
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OpusMúsica. Joaquim Zueras Navarro. Spain.
“We are facing a meritorious CD, particularly suitable for those who follow the evolution of the guitar repertoire...which the virtuosity of Iliana Matos exalts”
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Gendai Guitar. Nobuaki Nagaoka. Japan
“Matos plays with lively rhythms and emotional expressions highlighting the originality of the work”
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Aladin Communication. Korea
“Iliana Matos, who has a very sophisticated technique and the impetuous rhythm, holds us her high musicality”
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El Tono de la Voz. Cuba
“A real jewel. ‘Angels in the Street', the composition from which the CD is titled, is simply amazing”.
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Randy Morse, KZUM 89.3 FM. USA
"This is another beautiful album from GSP. Her playing is exquisite, and I love Eduardo's compositions. Congratulations!"

Discography

Angels in the street

De la rumba al son

Preludio

Son

Allegro

Angeles en la calle

Collaborations

Eduardo Morales-Caso

Las Sombras Divinas Verso

Spain. 2012

Music of Ileana Pérez Velazquez

An Enchanted Being

Albany Records (USA) 2007

Certamen de Guitarra Clásica “Luys Milán”

Gadiraifa (Spain) 2004

Gallery

Videos

Iliana Matos. Guitarra.

Vals Op.8 No.4 by Agustin Barrios Mangoré

Guarania, Gato y Malambo by Héctor Ayala

Choro by Héctor Ayala

Zapateado by Joaquín Rodrigo

EL Jardín de Lindaraja by Eduardo Morales-Caso

Fantasía para una Dama by Gabriel Estarellas

Canción Triste by Fariña

Dúo Iliana Matos/Eduardo Martín

Hasta Alicia Baila by Eduardo Martín

Sones y Flores by Eduardo Martín/Walfrido Domínguez

Amaneceres by Eduardo Martín

Dúo Iliana Matos y Pepe Sotorres

Historia del Tango , Nightclub 1960 by Astor Piazzolla

Historia del Tango, Café 1930 by Astor Piazzolla

Dúo Iliana Matos/María Eugenia de la Rúa