Alfonso Montes

Born in Cuidad Bolivar, Venezuela in 1955 his early involvement with folk music eventually developed into formal studies with Leopoldo Igarza in Caracas. In 1976 he won a scholarship from the Venezuelan Cultural Council which enabled him to study for six years in London with the British composer John William Duarte during which time he obtained the Performance Diploma of the Royal College of Music (ARCM-1980).

In 1983, upon returning to Venezuela, he became a dominant influence in guitar affairs and, among various posts, was appointed as the first Lecturer in Guitar at the University School of Music (I.U.D.E.M.). It was also at this time that Alfonso worked with venezuelan composer Antonio Lauro and visited Cuba to study the works of Leo Brouwer with whom he met several times.

As well as his guitar works he is also a composer of symphonic, chamber and film music and over the years has received many commissions for works. His music has been played and recorded by many orchestras and soloist around the world and his publications have sold in their thousands.

Besides his work with Irina, Alfonso has done recordings and performances with the great masters Paco de Lucia and John Williams, among others.

In the year 2000, due to his democratic and anti-corruption convictions, he suffered harassment from the Chávez regime and left Venezuela. He now lives in Stuttgart.

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