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Ricardo Iznaola has pursued a multi-faceted musical career for over four decades as concert and recording artist, composer, teacher, lecturer, and writer. An American citizen, he was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1949, lived and studied in Venezuela, where his musical roots began to grow and develop, and Spain, where he was mentored by the great Spanish master Regino Sainz de la Maza, with whom he developed a deep professional and personal relationship. He has won nine prizes as performer and composer in Venezuela, Spain, England, Germany and the United States. Critics, colleagues and audiences in four continents have being unanimous in highlighting the importance of his re-discovery and promotion of the monumental Sonata by Antonio José, which he has edited and published with Bèrben in Italy, his interpretations of music by the Spanish composers of the so-called Generation of 1927, and his unique transcriptions of piano and orchestral masterpieces such as Chopin's Waltzes, Ravel's Alborada del Gracioso, or Manuel de Falla's Ritual Fire Dance.
Ricardo Iznaola's didactic works have become standard texts for the training of guitar professionals, and are used as required materials in many prestigious conservatories and universities in the U.S. and Europe. These include Kitharologus - The Path to Virtuosity, a technical handbook; On Practicing, an essay on practicing approaches; and The Physiology of Guitar Playing, a treatise on the physiomechanics of guitar playing. Mr. Iznaola's comprehensive treatise on the art of guitar playing, Summa Kitharologica, is in progress.
Worthy of mention among his orchestral, chamber, vocal and solo works are the symphonic suite In the Eyes, a Silver Dagger – Four Symphonic Tableaux after Lorca’s Blood Wedding, the guitar concerto Tiempo Muerto , Musique de Salon (in versions for solo guitar, guitar duo, various mixed ensembles, guitar and string orchestra. etc.), Gran Guaguancó for cello and guitar, Beethovenspiel for violin and guitar, Tríptico Criollo for flute or violin and guitar, Corinna’s Songbook for mezzo-soprano and piano, Danzas de la Abuela for flute, cello and guitar, Trio Classico for flute, viola and guitar, and, among the solo guitar works, the Sonata Daedalus, the Ten Etudes-Homages, Death of Icarus (in memoriam Regino Sainz de la Maza,) Music for Blood Wedding, among many others.
Since 1970, when his debut recording with the world-premiere of Antonio Lauro's legendary Sonata was released by the Promus label in South America and Belter in Spain, Ricardo Iznaola has produced 15 recordings for the Promus, Columbia and Luthier labels. In 1991 he founded his own recording and publishing company, IGW (Iznaola Guitar Works), through which his most recent and critically acclaimed CD's have been issued. IGW has recently released a double CD set, Heritage - The Guitar in Venezuela, an anthology of music by Venezuelan composers and a double CD set with Mr. Iznaola’s guitar arrangement of Franz Schubert’s lieder cycle Die Winterreise (Winter’s Journey), with acclaimed American basso Kenneth Cox.
Ricardo Iznaola is Artist-in-residence, Director of the Conservatory Program and Chair of the Guitar and Harp Department at the Lamont School of Music of the University of Denver, where he has been honored with the Distinguished Faculty Artist Award in 1990 and the 1999 University Lecturer Award. In 2004, he was awarded the John Evans Distinguished Professorship, the highest distinction bestowed by the University of Denver. Since 2001 he has been a faculty-artist at the prestigious Bowdoin International Music Festival, in Maine, USA.