Miami Classical Guitar Society - HISTORY


Miami Classical Guitar Society


Officially founded in 1987 by guitarist Carlos Molina, together with Ignacio Ares, MIAMI CLASSICAL GUITAR SOCIETY, a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural organization, has an unparalleled record of excellence in initiating and developing a guitar movement in the city of Miami for the first time in its history, establishing South Florida as a hub of international importance for the instrument.

* 2012-2013 Season celebrated the 25th Year Anniversary of the MCGS, bringing together dozens of guitarists from around the world, with over 500 guests who attended this event alone! *

Dedicated to enriching our culture by promoting greater appreciation and awareness for the art of classical guitar in South Florida, MCGS has offered our community, music lovers, teachers, and students the opportunity to enjoy performances by local, national and international world-renowned classical guitarists, as well as develop skills and talent through exposure and education. We accomplish these objectives though a richly varied yearly programming of concerts, master classes, lectures, lecture-recitals, guitar history courses, international guitar competitions and festivals, community ensembles, and outreach education programs.

The MCGS began its activities with the “1988-1989 Masters Concert Series," featuring guitarists Juan Mercadal, Manuel Barrueco, David Tanenbaum, Flores Chaviano, Yasmin and Lou Mowad, and Adam Holzman. This first series was an absolute success, and the MCGS recruited over one hundred members in its first year.

The following year, 1990, the MCGS presented the first “International Series”, with guitarists from several countries, including Olivier Chassain from France, Ricardo Cobo from Colombia, Francisco Cuenca from Spain, and Carlos Molina and Benjamin Verdery from the U.S. The MCGS also began offering master classes, and a five lecture series on the history of the guitar, by Carlos Molina.

The MCGS has sustained its cultural endeavor, featuring many of the most renowned national and international artists in the guitar world. Establishing a yearly international series, we have presented close to Two Hundred concerts with guitarists from over 35 countries. Some invited artists in our roster are: David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Ernesto Bitetti, Roberto Aussel, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Nikita Koshkin, Roland Dyens, William Kanengiser, Scott Tenant, Benjamin Verdery and Rye Schmidt, Badi Assad, Jorge Morel, Ricardo Iznaola, David Tanenbaum, Adam Holzman, Manuel Lopez Ramos, Norbert Kraft, Ricardo Cobo, Ricardo Gallén, Marcin Dylla, Stephen Aron, Antigoni Goni, Lily Afshar, Javier Garcia Moreno, Dimitri Illarionov, Massimo Delle Cese, Elena Papandreou, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Eric Franceries, Olivier Chassain, Jaime Marquez, Prague Guitar Quartet, Richard Provost, Stephen Aron, Ivan Rijos, Eleftheria Kotzia, David Martinez, Irina Kulikova, Miguel Angel Girollet, Falla Guitar Trio, Berta Rojas, Rene Izquierdo, Vladimir Gorbach, Ruben Riera, Albert Kunze, Fernando Maglia, Yasmin and Lou Mowad, Antigoni Goni, Martha Masters and Masters-Carlton Duo, Ernesto Diaz Tamayo, John Holmquist, the Quaternaglia Guitar Quartet, Luis Quintero, Richard Stover, Cristobal Pazmino, Fabio Zanon, Quartet Entrequatre, Judicael Perroy, Denis Azabagic, Hugo Geller, Panibianco del Monaco Duo, Lorenzo Michelli, Martha Masters, Vladislav Blaha, Flores Chaviano, Gabriel Guillén, Juuso Nieminen, Pedro Mateo González, the Martinez Andújar Duo, Nexus Guitar Quartet, Iliana Matos, Carles Pons, Jeremy Jouve, and Andras Csaki among many others. Click here for Complete History List

International Festivals

In 1991, the MCGS was chosen by the Guitar Foundation of America to host and organize an international guitar Convention and Competition festival that would represent the United States. Under the direction of Carlos Molina, the Guitar Festival of the Americas, celebrated at Florida International University, was the largest gathering of professional guitarists and aficionados in the state of Florida. Twelve concerts, twelve lectures, four master classes, an international competition, a vendor’s guitar luthier exposition and an opening and closing reception gathered more than 150 guitarists in five days! Some of the most prestigious guitarists performed at the festival: Manuel Barrueco, Roberto Aussel, Manuel Lopez Ramos, Norbert Kraft, Carlos Molina, Luis Quintero, Adam Holzman, Richard Stover, Ricardo Cobo, and Richard Provost.

In 1996, the MCGS created the First Guitar Ensemble Festival of Miami, with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet as our principal guests. The festival ended with a Community Guitar Orchestra of close to 100 guitarists, conducted by Carlos Molina. The following year, we held the Second Guitar Ensemble Festival with the Quaternaglia Quartet from Brazil.

In 2002, the MCGS produced Sun Waves Guitar Fest 2002, an international guitar festival, hosting once again the GFA International Convention and Competition, and directed by Carlos Molina. Concerts by David Russell, Benjamin Verdery and Rye Schmidt, Badi Assad, Manuel Barrueco, Jorge Morel, the Martinez Andújar Duo, Gabriel Guillén, Elena Papandreu, Eric Franceries, Olivier Chassain, Ricardo Gallén, Jaime Marquez, the Prague Guitar Quartet were the highlights. The festival was held at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, and included lectures by specialists, master classes, an international competition, a vendor’s guitar luthier exhibit, an art gallery exhibition, an opening gala/fiesta with popular guitar music, and even a boat tour through the Miami Bay… An unforgettable historic event! It was attended by 317 guitarists, professors and aficionados, in addition to our FL audience who packed the theater and events throughout the week- long festival. It also celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the GFA. A truly spectacular gathering!

The following year, 2003, the MCGS formed the First International Course of Artistic Expressions for the Guitar, held at Miami's Spanish Cultural Center, with Carlos Molina and Ricardo Gallén (Spain) as professors and concert artists, and the II Course of Artistic Expressions followed.

In 2004, the MCGS created and inaugurated Miami's First International Guitar Competition and Assemblage, with Carlos Molina and Ricardo Gallén, and the Nexus Guitar Quartet (Italy), as guest artists and jurors, offering national and international competitors the opportunity to perform in front of an international panel of notable judges, and a chance at top prizes and awards. The week long festival also included an assemblage of concerts by renown international guitarists, masterclasses, lectures, and lecture-recitals. Two other editions have followed, Miami's 2nd International Guitar Competition and Assemblage in 2006, and the Third Competition in 2007. We are currently organizing our fourth Miami International Competition and Assemblage, so stay tuned for news in the near future!

Parallel Events / Education

In addition to our annual guitar series of concerts and our international competitions, the MCGS has organized a diversity of educational events and programs for over two decades, such as offered dozens of master classes and lecture-recitals in conjunction with our yearly series by many of our invited guest artists. We have also included guest musicologists, such as Robert Vidal, who presented a commented film of Andrés Segovia; held special series events like an “In Memoriam Joaquin Rodrigo Guitar Series” honoring the Spanish composer Rodrigo's 100th birthday, which included an illustrated lecture by Carlos Molina on the transcendence of Rodrigo’s music for guitarists, as well as a full Rodrigo concert with guitar and voice, piano, and flute; and created many social events, including honoring Juan Mercadal’s fiftieth anniversary as a performer, and gala dinners with David Russell and other guest artists. Moreover, in 1989, the MCGS organized the Miami Guitar Ensemble, constituted by members of our organization, giving concerts throughout our community.

In addition, the MCGS visits middle and high schools on a yearly basis to inspire young students about the importance of music education, and to introduce them to the classical guitar. Various concerts have been organized throughout the years presenting young high school guitar performers, and allowing them a platform to showcase their talents. For our 25th Anniversary, Ferguson High School's student guitar orchestra was invited to perform on opening night.

In 2012, the MCGS was honored to be chosen as a Finalist by the Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Miami.

The Miami Classical Guitar Society continues with its initial goals of promoting the art of classical guitar. Today Miami finally has a thriving guitar movement and one of the most active guitar societies in the United States. The MCGS offers several membership categories, offering members not only discounted concert tickets and regular information about events related to the guitar, but also the opportunity to meet and share with artists at receptions and social events.

Thank you for your support, and we look forward to sharing this New Season with you!

See Complete Chronological History List

© All materials Copyright Miami Classical Guitar Society, All Rights Reserved.