The Miami Classical Guitar Society Brings the World's Best Guitarists to the 305

“The classical guitar of today is not only classical any more. You can find numerous interpreters and composers who go beyond the limits of what you may call normal music and acquire the most avant-garde techniques of interpretation,” says Carlos Molina. 

Molina was born in Havana and is the founder of the Cuban School of Guitar. Graduating from the National Conservatory in Cuba, he began performing in 1969 while earning a law degree from the University of Havana. In 1970, he won first prize at the National Guitar Competition in Cuba. He then embarked on his first tour of Europe.

“I did all my music studies in Cuba, and in contrast with the old world masters, I was one of the first in my country to study many years of harmony, counterpoint, music appreciation, musical analysis, history of music, pedagogy, orchestration, and even musical calligraphy.”

Molina also has a distinguished relationship with famed Cuban composer and conductor Leo Brouwer, who wrote a piece, “Canticum,” specifically for Molina. 

Since leaving Cuba in 1982, Molina has continued to increase his international profile, both as performer and as judge of guitar competitions. His 40-plus-year career has forged many important relationships within the guitar world and since 1987, he’s been the force propelling the Miami Classical Guitar Society (MCGS). Its mission: to promote the art and appreciation of the classical guitar.

With 200 concerts under its belt, the Society has showcased some of Miami's brightest guitar talents. Aside from concerts, the Society’s schedule includes master classes, lectures, recitals, history courses, competitions, community ensembles, and outreach education.

An impassioned player, Molina exhibits the deliriousness of a mystic trance when speaking about the guitar. “We are witnessing the third golden age of classical guitar, which started in the 17th century with Gaspar Sanz, Guerau, and others," he says. “Today, you find very young performers from so many countries of Europe, America, and Asia. Besides collecting dozens of international awards, displaying wonderful careers, they have a very solid music and cultural education.”

For this season, the MCGS's 28th, the Society has another ambitious calendar of performances, one of the most notable involving the Paraguayan Berta Rojas, one of the most distinguished female performers alive today, whose recent recordings with Paquito d’Rivera and the Camerata Bariloche are worthy of note.

This past October, MCGS kicked off its season with a young Thai virtuoso, Ekachai Jearakul, who won the Guitar Foundation of America’s International Competition.

This Friday, Molina will be performing with his wife, soprano vocalist Marisa Molina, in association with Florida International University’s new International GuitArt Festival. The remainder of the season will feature Italian Roberto Fabbri next month, Colin Davin in April, and Rojas closing it out in May.

“This year’s roster will give Miami audiences the opportunity to hear guitarists from many different countries and receive perspectives of what is happening worldwide,” says an elated Molina. A tireless leader in his field and a hidden gem within South Florida’s cultural landscape, Molina holds the future of South Florida classical guitar in  his capable hands.

The Molina Duo at the Miami International GuitArt Festival. 4 p.m. Friday, February 26, at FIU’s Wertheim Performing Arts Center, 10910 SW 17th St., Miami. Tickets cost from $5 to $20 via

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