Skip to main content
32nd KOBLENZ GUITAR FESTIVAL & ACADEMY Sunday 12th May - Monday 20th May 2024

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD OF THE KOBLENZ INTERNATIONAL GUITAR ACADEMY FOR MANUEL BARRUECO

Manuel BarruecoManuel Barrueco / Photo Kai MyllerAt irregular intervals the Koblenz International Guitar Academy presents its “Lifetime Achievement Award” to someone who has made outstanding achievements in service of the guitar.

Until now the prize has been awarded to Pepe und Celin Romero, Konrad Ragossnig, John D’Addario, Bernard Maillot, Wolf Biermann and Hubert Käppel

On Pentecost Monday, during a festive musical ceremony, students, colleagues, companions and friends will be coming together to celebrate and honour Manuel Barrueco. He has helped raise the significance of the guitar in the classical music world and advanced the instruments reputation as a fully fledged part of concert life across the globe.

Without question, Manuel Barrueco is one of the most outstanding figures in the history of the classical guitar. In 2024 he will be celebrating 50 years on stage and has been for more than two decades a regular part of the Koblenz International Guitar Festival & Academy.

We are extremely grateful to him for the work together over many years. We offer our sincerest congratulations and are looking forward to many more years together in the future.

Prof. Georg Schmitz
Koblenz Guitar Festival & Academy


Hubert Käppel

Ich hörte Manuel Barrueco zum ersten Mal in Maastricht, Niederlande. Das war ungefähr im Herbst 1979 oder 1980. Bis dahin war er mir völlig unbekannt. Einer meiner damaligen Studenten an der Musikhochschule Köln/Aachen berichtete von einem besonders guten nordamerikanischen Gitarristen (dass er aus Kuba stammte, wussten wir vor dem Konzert nicht), der in einem kleinen Saal, es könnte auch ein Café oder Restaurant gewesen sein, spielen würde.

Und so fuhr ich mit meinen Studenten nach Maastricht.  Vor relativ kleinem Publikum spielte er Werke von Albéniz und Granados. Wir hörten dieses außergewöhnliche Recital und wir alle waren total begeistert. So musikalisch, so perfekt, so klangvoll, so sauber und interpretatorisch auf dem höchsten Niveau hatte ich diese Werke noch nie gehört.

Etwas später, am 9. Januar 1982, veranstaltete mein Freund Heiner Viertmann, der über Jahrzehnte das größte Geschäft für klassische Gitarren in Europa führte, ein grandioses Konzert mit Manuel in der ausverkauften Aula der Musikhochschule Köln. Nach diesem überwältigenden Erfolg war uns allen klar: ein neuer Star der klassischen Gitarre war geboren.

In den darauffolgenden Jahren traf ich Manuel häufig bei den verschiedensten Festivals, sei es in Finnland, Polen, in anderen europäischen Ländern oder später dann auch immer wieder in Koblenz. Bei diesen Gelegenheiten lernte ich den Menschen und Freund Manuel Barrueco kennen. Wir sprachen – auch unter 4 Augen - selten über Gitarre, mehr über Gott und die Welt und vieles andere.

Lieber Manuel, du hast die Gitarre aus ihrem oft oberflächlichen Dasein innerhalb der musikalischen Welt in höhere interpretatorische Gefilde katapultiert. Du gehörst zu den größten Künstlern der klassischen Gitarre im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert.

Lieber Manuel, ich verneige mich vor dir mit dem größten Respekt und mit der größten Bewunderung. Du hast den Preis der KOBLENZ INTERNATIONAL GUITAR ACADEMY mehr als jeder andere verdient!

Ich hoffe, wir werden dich noch viele Jahre erleben und genießen können!


I heard Manuel Barrueco for the first time in Maastricht. That was around autumn 1979 or 1980 and until then he was completely unknown to me. At the time one of my students at the Cologne/Aachen University of Music told me about a particularly good North American guitarist (we didn't know at that time that he was from Cuba) who would be playing in a small hall, which could also have been a café or restaurant.

And so, I travelled to Maastricht with my students.  He played works by Albéniz and Granados in front of a relatively small audience. We listened to this extraordinary recital and we were all absolutely amazed. I had never heard these works performed so musically, so perfectly, so sonorously, so cleanly and at the highest level of interpretation.

A few years later, on 9 January 1982, my friend Heiner Viertmann, who for decades ran one of the largest classical guitar shops in Europe, organised a magnificent concert with Manuel in the sold-out auditorium of the Cologne University of Music. After this overwhelming success, we all realised that a new classical guitar star had been born.

In the years that followed, I often met Manuel at various festivals, whether in Finland, Poland, across Europe or later once again in Koblenz. It was on these occasions that I got to know Manuel Barrueco as a person and a friend. We rarely spoke - even in private - about the guitar, but more about everything and anything.

Dear Manuel, you have catapulted the guitar from its often-superficial existence within the musical world into higher interpretative realms. You are one of the greatest artists of the classical guitar in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Dear Manuel, I bow to you with my greatest respect and admiration. You deserve the Koblenz International Guitar Academy Lifetime Achievement Award more than anyone else!

I hope we will be able to experience and enjoy you for many years to come!

Hubert Käppel

Lukasz Kuropaczewski

Maestro Manuel Barrueco is one of the most important people in my life. He is my mentor, my inspiration, my friend. He taught me more than anybody. He will forever be my role model in music and life. Thank you, Maestro and congratulations on the Koblenz Lifetime Achievement Award!

Lukasz Kuropaczewski

Yucen Du

祝贺Manuel Barrueco荣获终身成就奖!他的音乐才华与演奏技艺无可比拟,为吉他音乐界树立了光辉的典范。愿他继续在音乐之路上璀璨前行,为世界带来更多美妙的音乐,启发更多人心灵的共鸣与感动
 
Yucen Du

Tilman Hoppstock

Dear Manuel Barrueco,
We haven't met often and don't know each other well personally. Nevertheless, I have been very familiar with you for many years through your playing, because when I heard your recordings for the first time at the end of the 1970s - around 45 years ago - it was like an epiphany for me, because it was guitar playing that completely redefined the dimensions of our instrument.
That sound! This precision! This clarity! The uniqueness of the interpretations of the works of Albéniz, Granados and Villa-Lobos! Until then, I didn't realise that it was possible to present the structure of the music in such a complex way. Incredible in EVERY respect!
These inspirations have always accompanied and influenced my own playing.I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
There is probably no other guitarist in the world who deserves the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Koblenz International Guitar Academy more than you. Congratulations to you (and hopefully we will get to know each other better soon),
 
Tilman Hoppstock

Glauber Rocha

Dear Manuel Barrueco,

É um privilégio escrever essa pequena mensagem em sua homenagem, você é um dos grandes violonistas do séc.XX.
Recordo a primeira vez que escutei as suas gravações dos anos 80 e 90, esses discos foram impactantes na minha trajetória violonística.

Maestro, muito obrigado pelo amor e dedicação ao violão durante todos esses anos, continue nos inspirando com o seu imenso talento! 

Glauber Rocha

Kristina Vårlid

Gratulerer så masse til Maestro Manuel Barrueco med denne velfortjente prisen. Det er fantastisk alt han har gjort for den klassiske gitaren, tidløse innspillinger, arrangementer, konserter og mye mer. Han er en levende legende! Et av høydepunktene for meg i Koblenz var når jeg fikk æren av å ha en mesterklasse med ham samt å høre han spille live. Det var stort! Takk for alt! 

Kristina Vårlid

Marco Tamayo

We had only a handful of cassettes, a scarce resource. Occasionally, I couldn't rewind the tape with the recorder, resorting to a pencil—a primitive method that became my gateway to learning from the great guitarists of that era. One of my top three or four guitar idols was always Manuel Barrueco. I immersed myself in his recordings of Giuliani and Paganini, among others. Meticulously, I copied his fingerings for every discernible nuance, be it glissandos or strings. The process was demanding but rewarding.


Supporting this journey were low-definition VHS tapes, a stark contrast to today's standards—a significant challenge. I admired Barrueco's elegance, his use of colors, and his rubato. I aimed to shape my path influenced by his interpretations. Upon meeting him, I discovered the human behind the enchanting magic that had captivated me since childhood. A great man, balancing emotions with rigorous discipline. All I had imagined was affirmed in our encounters.

Once, an unexpected opportunity arose to play for him at a Masterclass, despite not being initially on the list. When he inquired who wanted to play, I eagerly jumped in. Post-performance, he imparted a valuable comment, a real lesson—one I now share with all my students and intend to pass on for life. It was then that I grasped the challenge of extracting his fingerings from a simple tape. Thank you sincerely for your art, dedication, elegance, and for being a standard-bearer of our instrument.

Congratulations on the well-deserved award.

Sincerely,
Marco Tamayo

Stephen Goss

I cannot remember when I first heard the name Manuel Barrueco. His early EMI Classics recordings had a profound effect on my musical development. It’s as if technique and musicianship on the guitar had suddenly come of age - the sign of things to come. Manuel has commissioned some of the most important recent works involving the guitar, composers like Michael Daugherty, Arvo Pärt, Roberto Sierra, and Toru Takemitsu are names that immediately come to mind. Manuel completely revolutionised guitar pedagogy, nurturing many of today’s top soloists in his class at Peabody. Above all, Manuel is an incredibly warm, generous, witty, and friendly person, someone I am proud know a little. Congratulations Manuel on receiving this lifetime achievement award.

Stephen Goss

Alfred Eickholt

Manuel Barrueco ist sicher einer der außergewöhnlichsten Künstler unseres Instrumentes. Als Solist, Kammermusiker und Lehrer repräsentiert er die Gitarre über Jahrzehnte auf höchstem Niveau, und seine internationale Karriere ist nahezu unvergleichlich.

Seine bereits 1979 veröffentlichten Aufnahmen von Werken von Albeniz und Granados inspirierten und beeinflussten eine ganze Gitarren-Generation. Seitdem hat er sich durch sein Können, seine Arbeit und sein menschliches Auftreten unschätzbare Verdienste um die Gitarre erworben. Sein Lebenswerk stellt ihn auf eine Stufe mit den großen Musikerinnen und Musikern unserer Zeit, mit denen er zusammenspielte oder zu Kompositionen anregte.

Eine komplette Aufzählung derjenigen, mit denen er zusammen gearbeitet hat, würde den Rahmen jedes Grußwortes sprengen. Sie reicht von Arvo Pärt zu Toru Takemitsu, von Placido Domingo zu Seiji Ozawa, von Barbara Hendricks zu Frank Peter Zimmermann, oder von „The King´s Singers“ zu Al di Meola, um nur einige wenige zu nennen.

Er wurde in alle weltberühmten Konzertsäle und Musikmetropolen eingeladen und präsentiert dort seit mehr als 45 Jahren die hohe Kunst seines Gitarrenspiels. Er ist ein Botschafter unseres Instrumentes, der kaum überzeugender sein könnte, und wir dürfen seine Arbeit ohne Übertreibung als Geschenk für die Gitarrengemeinschaft der Welt bezeichnen. Daher kann ich mich vor dieser Lebensleistung nur verneigen und ihm mit Dank und großem Respekt zu dieser Auszeichnung gratulieren

Mit allen guten Wünschen für viele weitere Jahre im Geist unseres Instrumentes

Alfred Eickholt

Rafael Padron

Manuel, Manuel Barrueco siempre estará ahí!
En mi experiencia de ser un guitarrista, Manuel es un increíble ser humano , una persona encantadora en todos los sentidos!
Te agradezco mucho por todas tus enseñanzas, nunca acabaré de aprender de ti, sigo aprendiendo cada día.
Mi Maestro por siempre!
Gracias Manuel

Rafael Padron

Cecilia Rodrigo

I first met Manuel Barrueco around 1986, at a solo guitar recital he gave in Mainz, attended by my parents. As I listened to my father's comments after the concert, I realized that we were witnessing the beginnings of a great guitarist, as time has proven in the years that followed.
Since then, I have had the opportunity to meet Manuel and his wife on several occasions in guitar forums all around the world. I wish him many more years of success, also in his educational work.

Cecilia Rodrigo

Kornela Arwicz - Sienicka

Gratuluję z całego serca przyznanej nagrody za całokształt twórczości, życząc dalszych sukcesów zawodowych i osobistych oraz spełnienia marzeń.

Kornela Arwicz - Sienicka

Zoran Dukic

“Čestitke od srca dragi Manuel, i više nego zaslužena nagrada. Otisci tvojih fantastičnih prstiju u našem svijetu gitare će se iščitavati još duboko u budućnost.”

Zoran Dukic

David Russell & María Jesús Rodriguez

Dear Manuel,
 
It’s a pleasure to congratulate you on your magnificent career. You made an outstanding contribution to the world of classical guitar, which hopefully will continue for many years to come.
You raised the bar to new heights for the following generations to emulate.
María and I are fortunate to have been your friends for many years and we have enjoyed many magic moments together. We always look forward to our next meeting.
We send you big hugs to celebrate this very well deserved recognition.
 
David and María.

Jörg Falk

When Manuel's first recordings came to Germany in the 80s, with Albeniz, Granadas and Villa-Lobos, the interpretations were a revelation. Lightness, elegance and virtuosity never heard before, combined with the seriousness of the arrangements. To this day, Manuel's interpretations, live or on CD, are a model of artistic seriousness and earnestness. I love and admire his playing.

Jörg Falk

Dale Kavanagh

When I was at the “Banff School of Fine Arts” as a student, I was given a special gift from the school.  They offered me  to have lessons from the classical guitarist, who  I admired most of all. I humbly asked for Manuel Barrueco. To my great surprise, my wish was their command and Manuel agreed to come for a teaching residency at the school.  It was an overwhelmingly positive experience.
Barrueco’s Granados/Albeniz recording in the early 80’s was the most eye and ear opening moment for me. His clarity, tone production and overall perfection was something totally new and extremely exciting for me, but as we know, also, for the entire classical music world.  He created a new standard and a new musical direction.
Congratulations and Thank-you, dear Manuel, for your outstanding art and lifelong devotion to our wonderful instrument, the classical guitar.

Dale Kavanagh

Fabio Scarduelli

Que honra poder deixar uma mensagem ao artista e violonista que mais me inspira. Cresci e me tornei músico ouvindo as gravações de Manuel Barrueco e posso dizer que, mesmo não tendo sido seu aluno, devo a ele grande parte da minha formação musical. Sua concepção de sonoridade e precisão imprimiram um caminho estético ao violão a partir da segunda metade do século XX. Sua produção fonográfica é uma obra prima atemporal. Certamente um dos maiores violonistas de todos os tempos. Parabéns e um grande abraço, com carinho e admiração.

Fabio Scarduelli

Aniello Desiderio

Carissimo Manuel,
quando nel 1990 ascoltai il tuo disco Bach & De Visee, compresi realmente tutte le potenzialità sonore e interpretative della chitarra, fu una rivelazione. 
Mai premio così meritato. 
Grazie per tutto ciò che hai dato e continui a dare al nostro strumento!

Aniello Desiderio

Gabriel Bianco

Tous les guitaristes ont un lien avec Maestro Manuel Barrueco, il est un guitariste légendaire. Ses interprétations de la musique espagnole sont pour moi une référence. Son approche musicale est toujours soignée, raffinée, et il est, à mon avis, l’un des pionniers de la technique moderne. Je souhaite à Maestro Manuel Barrueco de continuer son immense carrière et de continuer de nous ravir avec sa musique.

Gabriel Bianco

Meng Su

Congratulations, Maestro Manny! 
I know you still feel young but Congrats on receiving a lifetime achievement award! 
As your longest student of 12 years(!), I thank you for all your contribution to our beautiful instrument, and your recordings, arrangements, and all the enlightening words you said in your teaching. 

Meng 

Marko Topchii

It is always a great joy to meet Manuel Barrueco, who was a long-time classical guitar legend when I was a baby. At the same time, there is no feeling of distance between us, and we can talk about all the most simple things that matter. It was a joy to be a prize-winner of his competition in Baltimore, and it was an event that happened at a very right time for me. Watching his artistic steps is like reading a scenario written with care, curiosity and enthusiasm.

Marko Topchii

Jörg Gauchel

Manuel Barrueco hörte ich zum ersten Mal Mitte der 80er Jahre in einem Konzert beim Mettmanner Gitarrenkongress. Mein Gitarrenlehrer hatte in meinen Mitschülern und mir hohe Erwartungen geweckt: Da spiele ein junger kubanischer Gitarrist, der es aufgrund seiner Professionalität, Perfektion und musikalischen Gestaltungskraft ohne Weiteres mit den größten Pianisten und Geigern der Welt aufnehmen könne. Und so fuhren dann mein Lehrer, seine Freundin und mindestens drei Schüler auf der Rückbank in einem viel zu engen VW-Käfer zum Konzert. Manuel Barruecos bezaubernder Klang, den er seiner Gitarre entlockte, überwältigte mich mit einer Schönheit, der ich mich seither nicht mehr entziehen kann. Die Klarheit und die Feinheit seines Spiels und seine souveräne Ausstrahlung auf der Bühne nehmen mich seit nunmehr 40 Jahren immer wieder staunend gefangen. Wohl kaum einen Gitarristen habe ich häufiger im Konzert erlebt. Auch seine zahlreichen Aufnahmen höre ich immer wieder mit großer Freude. Und ist es nicht wundervoll, wie vielen jungen Gitarristinnen und Gitarristen Manuel Barrueco als Lehrer „den letzten Schliff“ gibt und sie in ihrer individuellen künstlerischen Persönlichkeit formt?

So gratuliere ich Manuel Barrueco herzlichst zum Preis für das Lebenswerk!

Jörg Gauchel

Russell Poyner

What can I add that has not already been said? What superlatives can I use that have not already been used? I first discovered Manuel Barrueco in my early teens, in those analogue days before internet, when we would really have to search for what we wanted. This sometimes led to, as is my case with Manuel Barrueco, wonderful surprises.
Browsing through the Birmingham Central Library music department, I stumbled across the recording “Manuel Barrueco – 300 Years Of Guitar Masterpieces”, the one with the “Bullfight” cover. When I finally arrived home, what a revelation it was to listen to this recording, especially the Bach Lute Suites. The sound, the clarity, the interpretation…. The list goes on!
It took a few years before I could have to pleasure of hearing him live, but it was well worth the wait and finally it happened at Koblenz Guitar Festival in 2004. Since then, I’ve had the luck of hearing him give many amazing performances.
Congratulations, Maestro!
Well-deserved!

Russell Poyner

Judicaël Perroy

Manuel Barrueco has always been with me. I remember often going to the library specifically to listen to a vinyl record by Manuel that featured transcriptions of Albéniz and Granados. I heard at this time a new way of making transcriptions and playing them on the guitar. I was 11 years old. Since then, he has always been there since I hear him often at concerts and play his own transcriptions. Thank you for everything!

Judicaël Perroy

Raphaël Feuillâtre

Congratulations, Manuel Barrueco! Your impact extends beyond the guitar, opening doors to new horizons. Thanks for your lasting influence and dedication.

Raphaël Feuillâtre

Günter M. Schillings

Lieber Manuel,
in 9 Tagen, am 29.05.2024 wird sich der Tag zum 20. Mal jähren, an dem Du Dein erstes Konzert in Koblenz im historischen Rathaussaal gegeben hattest, das schon Wochen zuvor ausverkauft war. 
Du präsentiertes unserem begeisterten Publikum ein abwechslungsreiches Programm mit Werken von Silvius L. Weiss bis Chick Corea und bis zum heutigen Tag hat dieser Strom begeisterter Besucher  zu Deinen Konzerten nicht abgenommen.
Wir haben in diesen 20 Jahren - zusammen mit Deiner lieben Frau Asgerdur - immer wieder Zeit für intensive Gespräche für Musikalisches und Privates finden können: Du schautest stets nach vorne, wolltest Dich nicht im Gestern verlieren und hattest immer die Lebendigkeit, Dich auf neue Sichtweisen einzulassen, um diese Erfahrungen dann auch in Deinen Konzerten (als Solist - mit oder ohne Orchester, oder als  Kammermusiker mit dem Bejing-Duo), oder in Deinen grandiosen Meisterkursen den jungen Generationen mitzuteilen und diese an Deiner Bereitschaft Neues in sich aufzunehmen - intensiv teilhaben zu lassen!
Deine Art, der Gitarre eine menschliche Stimme zu verleihen ist einmalig und hat Generationen von Gitarristen weltweit geprägt. 
Es ist für mich eine große Freude, daß Du - als Künstler von internationalem Rang und Mensch von höchster Integrität - diese bedeutende Auszeichnung für Dein Lebenswerk erhältst.
Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

Günter M. Schillings

Duo Melis - Alexis Muzurakis & Susana Prieto

"Dear maestro Barrueco,
Since our first steps in the guitar, your mastery has been always a strong inspiration for us. 
There are those who are virtuosos, those who are great artictic personalities and those who have pushed the bounderies of the instrument. Maestro Barrueco belongs to the very few musicians who feet all three categories. A LEGEND."

Duo Melis
Alexis Muzurakis & Susana Prieto

Evangelina Mascardi

Estimado Maestro Barrueco
Mi más sincero agradecimiento por ser una referencia y por dedicar la vida a la guitarra. Felicidades!

Evangelina Mascardi