MCGS Founder - Carlos Molina
THE MIAMI CLASSICAL GUITAR SOCIETY - FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT CARLOS MOLINA
"...excellent artist and great interpreter of the unforgettable master Villa-Lobos" -Mindinha Villa-Lobos
Born in Havana, Cuba, CARLOS MOLINA is lauded as founder of the Cuban School of Guitar, one of the most distinguished instrumental schools worldwide. He began his performing career in 1969, after graduating with highest honors and degree in Guitar Performance from the National Conservatory in Cuba, concurrent with a Law degree from the School of Law at the University of Havana. He finished his music studies at the Superior School of Music, known today as Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA). In 1970 he won First Prize at the National Guitar Competition in Cuba, and a tour of Europe followed.
In 2009, Molina was honored with the Order Maestro Alirio Díaz, the highest guitar award in Venezuela, and in 2007 with a Lifetime Award: Premio Chitaristico Citta di Fiuggi, in Italy, together with Alirio Díaz, Leo Brouwer, and Carlos Carfagna.
With a performing career that expands over 40 years, Molina has performed in prestigious halls such as the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Major Hall, Dvorak Hall of Prague, Ateneo of Madrid, Chopin Hall of Warsaw, Zeneakademia of Budapest, Hall of Mirrors at Palatial Palace in Bratislava, Salle du Conservatoire d’Orleans, Sala Carlos Chávez in Mexico, Teatro Amadeo Roldán in Cuba, among many others. He has shared concerts with Alirio Díaz, Leo Brouwer, Turibio Santos, Benjamin Verdery, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, and Nikita Koshkin, and toured worldwide as solo guitarist of principal ballerina Alicia Alonso and the National Ballet of Cuba.
Molina has been featured in fifty-six international guitar festivals, and since 2001 has been performing with his wife, soprano Marisa Molina, as a duo.
Parallel to his concert career, Molina gives master classes and juries yearly at international guitar competitions, serving as juror at 36 international guitar competitions worldwide, including seven times at the Guitar Foundation of America International Convention and Competition. A tireless promoter of the instrument, Molina has directed and produced nine guitar festivals, starting with the First Guitar Festival of Cuba in 1976, Panorama de la Guitarra, and the First International Guitar Festival of Cuba in 1978, Encuentro de Guitarristas de América Latina y el Caribe. In 1987, Molina founded the Miami Classical Guitar Society, which has featured many of the most renowned national and international artists in the guitar world. In 1991 and again in 2002, Molina was selected by the GFA to direct and produce its International Convention and Competition in Miami, hosted by the MCGS. In 2004, Molina created Miami's First International Guitar Competition and Assemblage, through the Miami Classical Guitar Society.
He has been dedicatee of many works, including by Cuban composer Leo Brouwer in 1968 with the Canticum, the first guitar piece Brouwer wrote since Elogio de la danza in 1964, composed at the request of Molina, who was preparing a recital of Brouwer's pieces (*citation reference); by Russian composer Nikita Koshkin in 2002 with the duo Return of the Winds; as well as other dedicated works by Olivier Chassain, Gerard Drozd, Roberto Fabbri, Jon Christopher Nelson, Orlando Jacinto García, Carlos Rafael Rivera, Timothy Melbinger, Antonino Hernández Lisazo, Armando Rodríguez, Carlos Atilano, and Molina's brother, Luis Manuel Molina, with Capricho Místico para una Guitarra Solitaria.
As a guitar professor, Molina began teaching at the National Conservatory in Havana, Cuba in 1969, and established History of the Guitar as a mandatory subject in 1975. He was appointed guitar professor at the University of Havana's Superior Institute of the Arts (ISA) in 1976, and became Chairman of the guitar department two years later. Once in the United States, Molina joined the music faculty at Miami Dade College. In 1987, he initiated the guitar program at Florida International University, where he taught for eleven years.
From 1973-1975, Molina directed, wrote, and produced a live television series in Cuba entitled Cinco Líneas y Cuatro Espacios, (Five Lines and Four Spaces), an educational music program including aspects of music in general. In the U.S., Molina produced 37 radio programs for Radio Martí in 1987, entitled Tertulia Musical, in which he highlighted Cuban music and musicians.
In addition, Molina has published various articles about the guitar, beginning in 1971 with a series for La Gaceta de Cuba, the official magazine of the UNEAC (Union of Artists and Writers). In 1976, he published articles in Revista Bohemia, Revista Verde Olivo, and National Library publications. In the U.S. he published two articles in Guitar Review (1988), and in Spain he published La Guitarra en la Historia from the Coleccion Bordon, Cordoba (1999).
Starting in 1975 at the University of Havana, the Biblioteca Nacional, and the Casa de las Américas in Cuba, Molina has presented over 70 lectures internationally, ranging from the history of the guitar to composers and technique. He has also lectured at the Congreso de Intelectuales Cubanos in Madrid; at Arizona State University; Florida International University; Rotenberg International Festival in Germany; Laval University in Quebec; National Guitar Summer Workshop in New Milford, CT; Festival Internacional de Córdoba and Festival de Coria in Spain; Rust International Festival in Austria; and most recently at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.
Molina is featured in Cuban Music from A to Z by Helio Orovio (Duke University, 2004); Diccionario de la Música Española e Hispanoamericana, (Madrid, Sociedad General de Autores, 2000); Leo Brouwer by Isabelle Hernandez (Bogota Colombia, 2000); Antonio Lauro by Alejandro Bruzual (Caracas, 2000); Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana, Musica by Cristobal Diaz Alaya (Madrid 1999/2000); Diccionario de la Música Cubana by Helio Orovio (Colombia, 1993); Música Cubana, by Cristobal Diaz Ayala (Puerto Rico 1981); and Gitarren Lexikon, by Josef Powrozniak (Poland 1976). In 1996, the Board of County Commissioners of Miami-Dade County declared the 31st of May as the Day of Maestro Carlos Molina.
Leo Brouwer, Alirio Diaz, Carlos Molina - Receiving Lifetime Award: Premio Chitaristico Citta di Fiuggi - Italy, 2007
Carlos Molina and Leo Brouwer - Cuba