Manuel Barrueco has firmly established himself as one of the most important guitarists in the world today. Since his dazzling debut recital at Carnegie Hall in 1974, his artistry has continually been described as that of a superb instrumentalist and an elegant musician, with a seductive sound and uncommon lyrical gifts.
His extensive discography on EMI/Angel also demonstrates his outstanding versatility with commanding performances of the works of Bach and Mozart, to the great Spanish masters, to the music of jazz greats Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett. ¡Cuba!, his most recent recording, was called “an extraordinary musical achievement” by the San Francisco Chronicle, while his recording of Joaquín Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” with conductor/tenor Placído Domingo and the Philharmonia Orchestra was called the best recording of that piece in Classical CD Magazine. Other recent recordings are Cantos y Danzas, which includes collaborations with soprano Barbara Hendricks and flutist Emmanuel Pahud, and Three Solo Sonatas by J.S. Bach.
Manuel Barrueco has played under the batons of conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Franz Welser Möst and David Zinman, and his commitment to the expansion of the guitar repertoire has led him to collaborations with contemporary composers such as Arvo Pärt, Toru Takemitsu, Roberto Sierra and Steven Stucky.
His performances have been broadcast on NHK Television in Japan and Bayerischer Rundfunk Television in Germany, while in the U.S. he has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning as well as appearing in a Lexus car commercial.
Two highlights of the 1998/1999 season included a performance at the Hollywood Bowl Opening Night Gala with famed Beatles producer Sir George Martin, and a performance of the “Concierto de Aranjuez” in Joaquín Rodrigo’s native Valencia in a memorial concert commemorating the composer’s recent death. Other appearances included performances with the Milwaukee Symphony and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestras. He is also currently involved in an ongoing residency with San Francisco Performances, which brings him regularly to that city for recital and community outreach programs.
Appearances abroad included concerts in England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Iceland, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Mexico. The 1999/2000 season brings him back to many of these countries in addition to Austria, Holland, Slovenia, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
Manuel Barrueco began to play the guitar at the age of eight and he attended the Esteban Salas Conservatory in his native Santiago de Cuba. He emigrated with his family to the United States in 1967, later completing his advanced studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland, where he now teaches.