The Cuban-born guitarist was born on 8 August 1965 in Havana, where years later he received one of the Cuban government's highest artistic awards, "La orden por la cultura nacional". It was there in Cuba that he studied guitar, music and composition and completed his studies at the University of the Arts in 1989.

From 1990 Joaquín Clerch continued his studies at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg: he studied guitar with Eliot Fisk and early music with Anthony Spiri and Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Joaquín Clerch is certainly one of the leading, if not the leading guitarist of his generation worldwide. (Eliot Fisk)
Joaquín Clerch is an exceptionally gifted musician. Apart from his technically outstanding and very poetic guitar playing, his intellectual engagement with the problems of performance practice and music-making is also extraordinary. (Nikolaus Harnoncourt.)

In 1991, he completed his studies in Salzburg with honours and received the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research's appreciation award for special artistic achievements. In the same year he began his international teaching career, first as assistant to Professor Fisk at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and then as a lecturer at the Munich Academy of Music. Since 1999 he has been Professor of Guitar at the Robert Schumann University of Music in Düsseldorf.

Some people are born for music. Mozart was one such person and the Cuban guitarist and composer Joaquín Clerch is another. (Klassieke Zaken)


He is one of the leading guitar teachers. Many of his students have received international awards and prizes at the most important competitions, are at the top of the guitar scene and teach at conservatories and music academies worldwide.


Joaquín Clerch has won major guitar competitions, including the Andres Segovia in Granada, Heitor Villalobos in Rio de Janeiro, Printemps de la Guitare in Charleroi / Brussels and the ARD competition in Munich.


His guitar playing has taken him to important concert halls around the world such as Concertgebouw / Amsterdam, Palacio de la Musica / Barcelona, Theatre Royal de la Monnaie / Brussels, Alte Oper / Frankfurt, Semperoper / Dresden, Auditorio Manuel de Falla / Granada, Teatro Nacional / Havana, Cemal Resit Rey / Istanbul, Kölner Philharmonie / Cologne, Brucknerhaus / Linz, Auditorio Nacional de Musica / Madrid, Münchener Philharmonie / Munich, Radio France / Paris, Beijing Concert Hall / Beijing or Konzerthaus / Vienna.


As a soloist, he has performed with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de España, the Orquesta Nacional de Cuba, the Filarmónica de Bogotá, the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, the Orchestre Nacional du Capitole de Toulouse (under the direction of Michel Plasson) and also with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria under the direction of Adrian Leaper, with whom he made the world's first recording of the two guitar concertos by Leo Brouwer and Carlos Fariñas (El Concierto de la Habana, 1998, and Concierto, 1996), both dedicated to him. Leo Brouwer and Carlos Fariñas were teachers of Joaquín Clerch and are without doubt among the most important composers in the history of Cuba.


Alongside his concert activities, Joaquin Clerch is also active as a composer. His compositions for guitar are published by Schott Music Group under the Edition Chanterelle label and can also be heard on the Naxos label. His own recordings of his guitar concertos have been released by duo-phon records and MDG.



He has received important awards for his CD recordings, including the Echo Prize for the CD Classica Cubana and the Cuba Disco Prize for his recording of the complete guitar works of Carlos Fariñas.


... as an outstanding guitarist, composer of his own pieces and a great teacher. Joaquín Clerch stands alone in this combination. He is one of the really, really great ones. (Deggendorfer Zeitung)

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