March 3, 2019 at 4 pm

Musco Center Presents

Manuel Barrueco, Guitar

Music of Spain and Cuba

Spanish and Cuban History Through Song

 Click here for tickets.  

Internationally recognized as one of the most important guitarists of our time, Manuel Barrueco is a superior and elegant instrumentalist who possesses a seductive sound and uncommon melodic gifts. Barrueco will make his return to Chapman University with a Musco Center for the Arts debut on Sunday, March 3 at 4 pm. In addition to his Musco Center engagement, he will also participate in this year’s Orange County Classical Guitar Festival presented by The Orange County Guitar Circle and Chapman University.

A master of classical guitar, this Grammy-nominated artist began playing the guitar at the age of eight while attending the Esteban Salas Conservatory in his native Cuba, until he immigrated with his family to the United States in 1967 as political refugees. Barrueco completed his advanced studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Within eight years of moving to the United States, he performed at Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with conductor and tenor Plácido Domingo and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Barrueco last performed at Chapman’s Memorial Hall in 1994. For his return, Barrueco will play a program that takes listeners on a colorful journey through Spanish and Cuban history. Ties remain strong between Spain and Cuba and Cubans affectionately refer to Spain as the “madre patria” (motherland).


Starting with Six Pavans by Luis Milán, a Spanish Renaissance composer, Barrueco sets the tone between the two countries. Milán’s Pavanas for the vihuela, a precursor of the guitar, are extracted from his most noted book, “El Maestro” (The Teacher). This book is believed to be the first publication of music in Spain, for any instrument.

Continuing the musical tour of Spain and Cuba, the program explores the influences of Spain’s colonization period of Cuba. Cuban composer Héctor Angulo’s Yoruba Chants from Cuba gathers a group of songs brought from what is now Nigeria.

Next, the blending of Spanish, Cuban, and African cultural influences is exemplified in the “criollo” (creole) style. This popular style of music is represented by Barrueco’s soulful playing of The Cuban Dances by Ignacio Cervantes and Preludio y Danza by Julián Orbón, a Cuban composer born in Asturias, Spain.

The conversational and yearning sound of Spanish guitar resounds through La Maja de Goya and A la Cubana by Enrique Granados, whose father was Cuban. The program will conclude with Barrueco skillfully playing four pieces from Albéniz’s “Suite Española”: Castilla, Aragón, Cuba, and Asturias.

Tickets for March 3 are on sale now for $25-45 and may be purchased through the Musco Center online at or by calling the box office at 844-OC-MUSCO (844-626-8726). All print-at-home tickets include a no-cost parking pass. Musco Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Chapman University at 415 North Glassell, Orange, Calif.


Manuel Barrueco is a featured guest of the Orange County Classical Guitar Festival. The inaugural festival will take place March 2 & 3 at Chapman University. The festival will provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity for admirers of the guitar and its repertoire to participate in a myriad of events including competitions, guest lectures, and performances by world-renowned artists. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn directly from Mr. Barreuco during a master class on Saturday, March 2.


Manuel Barrueco’s recording catalog includes over a dozen recordings for the EMI label. His recording of Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with conductor and tenor Plácido Domingo and the Philharmonia Orchestra was cited as the best recording of that piece in Classic CD Magazine. His Koch Classics release, Concierto Barroco, with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and conductor Víctor Pablo Pérez, received a Latin Grammy nomination for “Best Classical Recording.” His early recordings, available on VOX, have become a classic amongst guitar recordings.

With a career dedicated to bringing guitar to the world, Barrueco’s tours have brought him to the Hollywood Bowl, New York’s Lincoln Center, Royal Albert Hall and more. Throughout three decades of performing, he has appeared with prestigious orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony and Royal Philharmonic. Mr. Barrueco has also been a featured artist-in-residence for the University of Alicante in Spain.

Barrueco’s commitment to contemporary music and to the expansion of guitar repertoire has led to collaborations with many distinguished composers such as Steven Stucky, Michael Daugherty, Roberto Sierra, Arvo Pärt, Jonathan Leshnoff, Gabriela Lena Frank, Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, and Toru Takemitsu.


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