King of classical guitar gives first Sydney concert

25 February 2014

Marco Tamayo, one of the world's best classical guitarists who during his career has been dubbed a 'prodigy young talent' and 'The King of the guitar', will give his first public performance in Australia at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on 4 March.

The Cuban-born, Austrian citizen only recently joined the University of Sydney in August last year as an associate lecturer in guitar at the Con.

"I'm delighted to be a member of this fantastic team and it is an enormous pleasure to teach at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. The atmosphere is lovely, the colleagues are great, and the students are like one big family.

"Australia is a country of great guitar makers and musicians. My guitar, which I have been playing since 2003, was made by an Australian, so I feel I have had a connection with this country and its music industry for some time now," said Marco Tamayo.

Marco Tamayo began playing the guitar from the age of three. When he was six years old, he made his first public appearance on national television in Cuba and was recognised as a prodigy of the guitar. At the age of ten, he was touring Bulgaria and the former German Democratic Republic with his brother.

Before coming to Australia, Marco Tamayo was living in Salzburg and had been teaching at his former university, The Mozarteum University, since 2000 where he was appointed Professor.

The University of Sydney's Dr Goetz Richter, Associate Professor in Violin and Chair of the String Unit, said: "All string players at the Conservatorium and in particular our classical guitarists are thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Marco Tamayo in Australia.

"He is an exceptionally intuitive musician - an artist of strong imagination and a performer of compelling charisma. His artistry is formed by a real sense of purpose in harnessing the power of music and music-making, and his guitar playing has a special attraction through its detailed attention to sound.

"In addition, Marco Tamayo is a warm human being and his rapport with students is immediate. We are really excited about the transformative impact of Marco's ongoing presence on Sydney and guitar playing in Australia," said Dr Richter.

In between teaching, Marco Tamayo has a hectic schedule of international concerts and masterclasses at guitar festivals around the globe in USA, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Greece, Spain, Germany, México, Poland, France, Hungary, and in universities such as the Seoul University of Arts, South Korea, and Mannes College of Music in New York.

Marco Tamayo's official debut took place at the Chopin-Pleyel hall in Paris, in 1999. In 2000 he embarked on his first Italian concert tour, giving ten concerts in the region of Piedmont, in Milan, Turin, Alessandria, Piacenza and elsewhere. After the tour, the national Italian newspaper 'La Stampa' tagged him, 'Il Re della Chitarra' (The King of the guitar).

Performing a well-crafted program showcasing the canon of classical guitar, Marco Tamayo's first Sydney recital will emphasise the key southern European composers who established this instrument-specific catalogue in the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Marco Tamayo: An Evening of Enchantment will be held at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in the Recital Hall West at 6.30pm. Concert tickets are $20 adult and $10 child/concession/senior and can be purchased online at and or at the Box Office at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in advance or on the night.

Event details:

What: Marco Tamayo: An Evening of Enchantment

Where: Recital Hall West, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Macquarie Street, Sydney

When: Tuesday, 4 March 2014, 6.30pm

Cost: $20 Adult, $10 child/concession/senior

Bookings: or Tickets available in advance or on the night at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Box Office

About Marco Tamayo's Sydney concert program

Widely recognised principal guitar composer of the classic-romantic period, Fernando Sor's Gran Solo establishes an ambitious young composer who had an intuitive feel for the guitar. Similarly, works by Joaquín Turina and Francisco Tarrega show that a deep knowledge of the instrument itself is required for the creation of timeless contributions. Tarrega was well-known as a virtuoso guitarist in his day, and Turina was close friends with legendary Andres Segovia who helped him expand his guitar-specific knowledge.

The concert will include a number of Marco's own transcriptions and editions, specifically works by Morricone and Macagni. An often required tool of the modern-day classical guitarist, transcribing skills allows the audience to enjoy interesting and beautiful works on this well-loved instrument. Many will recognise the themes from Morricone's Cinema Paradiso, as well as the Intermezzo from Mascagni's famous opera Cavalleria Rusticana.

About Marco Tamayo

One of the most accomplished and sought-after classical guitarists of his generation, Marco Tamayo has received much praise for his brilliant technique, artistry and exceptionally warm tone and expressive interpretations on the guitar - Classical Guitar Magazine. Marco Tamayo was born in La Havanna, Cuba, were he started to play guitar at the age of three under his father's tuition. He studied with Antonio Alberto Rodríguez and Leo Brouwer, Harold Gramatges, and later in Europe at the University of Music in Munich and at the Mozarteum University of Arts in Salzburg. Winner of numerous major international guitar competitions, Marco has also performed concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of St. Petersburg, the Philharmonic of Torino, the Chamber Orchestra of Aix en Provence, and the Philharmonic of La Habana under the baton of Leo Brouwer, amongst many others. He is highly sought internationally as a teacher, and recently premiered unpublished works by Mauro Giuliani on a Guadagnini instrument built in 1837. His recordings include three albums on the Naxos Classical Label.

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