b. 1952, Cuban, classical guitarist (bahr-ru-A'-ko, i believe)

For one of the most prolific and accomplished classical guitarists of our day, Barrueco is surprisingly not well known, part of which stems from his choice of instrument and genre. He grew up in Cuba, emulating his idol, fellow Cuban Leo Brouwer, b. 1939, and trying to learn from the piano music he heard from the nearby conservatory. By the age of 12, he was already a great guitarist, evidenced by his playing of Bach's Chaconne before that age.

In 1967, his family emigrated to the the US, settling in Baltimore, MD. This move disoriented the prodigy and he spent several years acclimitizing himself the America. After this period of rest, Barrueco was discovered by good old Aaron Shearer, teacher at the Peabody Institute there in Baltimore. Barrueco then went on to study at Peabody, and in 1974, became the first guitarist to win the Concert Artists Guild Award and performed at Carnegie Hall.

He loved the clarity and precision of the piano sounds he heard as a boy, and implimented this in his guitar playing, which is evident in recordings to this day. He is a very innovative guitarist, always exploring new avenues with the instrument. One such avenue was his Lennon and McCartney record, where he played Beatles arrangements against an orchestra in concerto style. He is opening the instrument to new and wider audiences and doing us all a favor. He is to classical guitar as Braveheart is to Mel Gibson.

I recently went to a Barrueco master class at Peabody, and it was a more than pleasurable experience. His interpretations are sufficiently traditional, keeping with the ornaments of the period and the suchlike, while still not being boring. He is charismatic without being overbearing. He is recently divorced and very kind fellow. IMHO, his Mozart and Sor album ownz with a capital z.

Select Discography:
Nylon and Steel
Bach and DeVisée
Plays Lenon and McCartney
Mozart and Sor
300 Years of Classical Guitar (3 CD Vox Box)
Cantos Y Danzas
De Falla, Ponce, and Rodrigo
Brouwer, Villa Lobos, and Orbon
On the Road With...
Sometime Ago

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