JAVIER CONTRERAS

 

Guitarist and composer born in the Chilean Patagonia. Recognised by peers as possessing great technical excellence and considered by many as one of the most brilliant composers of his generation, having in his repertoire a large quantity of pieces for solo instruments, chamber music, orchestras and choirs.  As a composer he has been largely self-taught and as a guitarist his main influences have been his father, Manuel Contreras, Ariela Caripan in Music Conservatory of UMAG and recognised Chilean guitarist, Jose Antonio Escobar.  He won first prize in the “Boston Guitar Fest” composition competition (Boston, USA), first prize in the Lisker Music Foundation composition competition (Chicago, USA), first prize in Black Cedar Inaugural Commissioning Competition and first prize in the Liliana Perez Coroy national classical guitar competition (Chile).  He has also won awards in the Miguel Llovet classical guitar competition (Barcelona, Spain) and in the “International Guitar Festival Rust” composition competition (Austria).  He has toured, performing concerts, recordings and masterclasses in the USA, Spain, England and India and has participated in the most important guitar festivals in South America, such as the “Festival Guitarras del Mundo” in Argentina among other important festivals in Brazil, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Paraguay.  His music has been recorded by the award-winning guitarist José Antonio Escobar in the disc “Guitar Music of Chile” on the NAXOS label (Canada) as well as on various independent records of his own music. The prominent publication “Mel Bay” in the United States has published a number of his pieces and also the specialized classical guitar magazine “Gendai Guitar” in Japan. During the year 2015 h was invited to inaugurate the Kirchner cultural centre by way of a concert in the main hall of the centre, currently the biggest in Latin America. Prestigious musicians from across the world have performed his pieces, among them the guitarists Ana Vidovic (USA-Croatia), Petri Kumela (Finland), Graham Davine (England), Shin-Ichi Fukuda (Japan), Esteban Espinoza and Romilio Orellana (Chile), the cellist Alexander Ramm (Russia), Duo Ribeira-Leite (Brazil), David Lisker (USA), the Catholic University of Chile Chamber Orchestra, the Mikkeli City Orchestra (Finland) and grammy-award winning Duo Halasz (Germany). Currently he is part of a number of chamber music groups, among them the ensemble “Extremo Sur” and the guitar duo “Dúo Sudamericano”. 

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