Restricted access

This content is exclusive to members of the International Journal of Music.

Join now for as low as $1.67 per month…

…or get FREE access if you are a student or teacher!

Manuel Barrueco: “Music Is What Feelings Sound Like”


This interview with renowned guitarist Manuel Barrueco provides a comprehensive exploration of his musical journey, influences, collaborations, and recent album release. Barrueco recounts his early introduction to the guitar through familial and cultural connections, underscoring the instrument’s significance in Cuban and Spanish musical heritage. Reflecting on his career alongside eminent figures like Andrés Segovia and Leo Brouwer, Barrueco discusses his transformative approach to classical guitar concerts, emphasizing complete works over individual pieces.

The interview delves into Barrueco’s experiences collaborating with musicians such as Al Di Meola, Tōru Takemitsu, and Plácido Domingo, shedding light on the unique dynamics and lessons learned from each collaboration. Focusing on his latest album, “Music from Cuba and Spain,” Barrueco elucidates the historical and cultural interplay between Spanish and Cuban music, presenting a nuanced repertoire that has earned a Latin Grammy nomination. The interview concludes by previewing Barrueco’s upcoming project with Cañizares and exploring the intersection of classical and flamenco guitar, highlighting the distinct contributions each style makes to the other.

Beyond his artistic endeavors, Barrueco discusses his role as the artistic director of the Baltimore International Guitar Competition, offering insights into the competition’s format, blind judging, and the career development opportunities provided to the winner. The interview touches on the challenges posed by the global pandemic, Barrueco’s own practice routine during this period, and his observations on the evolving landscape of classical guitar, particularly among the younger generation.

In summary, the interview provides a rich tapestry of Manuel Barrueco’s musical odyssey, featuring his reflections on the past, present, and future of classical guitar, collaborations with notable artists, and insights into the intricacies of the Baltimore International Guitar Competition.

Cite this:

Publication date:

ISSN: 2792-8349

Copyright ©

International Journal of Music