Iliana Matos

"Her name deserves to go down in guitar history as one of the great players of our time".

Classical Guitar Magazine

New Video

I am pleased to have a new recording For Your Consideration among the entries for the GRAMMY Awards® in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo Category:

        • Composer: Lentini
        • Composition: Concerto for Guitar and Strings
        • Performers: Iliana Matos, guitar, and Miran Vautopic, Conductor - Zagreb Festival Orchestra
        • Album: Prisma 2 (Navona Records)

Listen at Apple Music, Spotify, or YouTube

Program notes and bios here: Lentini Concerto at Navona Records


"…Words cannot do justice to Iliana Matos’ interpretation and performance…" Steven Kennedy - Cinemusical.

2021 Virtual Season

Mount Royal University. The Conservatory. Canada

February 1 Masterclass Academy Program


Société de Guitare de Montreal. Canada

February 14 Virtual Concert

February 15 Masterclass



Edmonton Classical Guitar Society. Canada

February 27 Livestream Concert


University of Lethbridge. Canada

March 9 Virtual Concert


South Bay Guitar Society. USA

March 20 Virtual Concert



Conservatorio Nacional de Música. Ecuador

April 19 Masterclass

Guitar Society of Toronto. Canada

April 24 Virtual Concert at International Performing Artist Series. Toronto Guitar Day


Montenegro Online International Guitar Competition

May 28/29 Jury


Festival Internacional de Guitarra de Madrid Online International Guitar Competition

June 12/13 Jury


New Mexico Guitar Festival. USA

June 25 Virtual Concert

June 26 Masterclass


Guitar Society of Toronto. Canada

July 3 Virtual Concert at Great Canadian Giving Challenge


Centric MusicFest. Canada

July 14 Virtual Concert

Guitar FestWest Online International Guitar Competition & Youth Workshop. Canada

August 2/7 Jury-Masterclass-Youth Workshop



First Prize. I “Luys Milan” International Guitar Competition. Valencia, Spain, 2002.

First Prize. X International Guitar Competition “Ciudad de Vélez-Málaga”. Spain 2002

First Prize. VIII International Guitar Competition in Linares “Andrés Segovia”. Spain, 2001.

First Prize and Special Prize for the Best Interpretation of Spanish Music at XII “S.A.R. La Infanta Doña Cristina” International Guitar Competition. Spain, 1996.

Special Audience Prize. XXX Francisco Tárrega Guitar Competition, Benicasim, Spain, 1996.

First Prize. XVII Andrés Segovia International Guitar Competition, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 1995.

Special Prize for Best Interpretation of Spanish Music at XI “S.A.R. La Infanta Doña Cristina” International Guitar Competition. Spain, 1995.

Third Prize. IX “Alirio Díaz” International Guitar Competition, Caracas, Venezuela 1994.

Young Artist Prize. XI Carrefour Mondail de la Guitare, Martinique, France, 1994.

Special Prize for the best interpretation of “Descarga” by Ernesto Cordero of the International Guitar Competition of Jalapa, Mexico 1991.

First Prize. III Manuel M. Ponce International Guitar Competition D.F. México, 1990.

Third Prize and Special Prize for the Best Interpretation of Cuban Music at the UNEAC, Music Competition in La Habana, Cuba 1987.


Hailed by the critics as “The guitar guru” (E-Veritas. University of Miami) “the powerful andintense style of Iliana Matos" (Classical Guitar Magazine) has made possible an extraordinarycareer. Following the tradition of María Luisa Anido, the Great Lady of Guitar, who, whenhearing Iliana play, wrote: “I am impressed by your wonderful guitaristic art, and I am proud toknow that a woman (and a Cuban woman!) came to such a degree of artistic perfection”.Barcelona 1995.

After hearing Iliana Matos perform in Caracas, the legendary Alirio Díaz wrote: "Her refinedtechnique, always put at the service of a personal musicality, is what more can surprise in theguitar art of the Cuban and Latin American virtuosa Iliana Matos. All this, added to otherexquisite qualities, has made her an appealing personality within our world of music".Venezuela 1992.

Iliana Matos graduated from the National School of Art in Havana where she studied with JoséAngel Pérez Puente. She earned a Bachelor of Music (Classical Guitar Performance) from theSuperior Institute of Havana (where her teachers included Rey Guerra, Miguel Bonachea andJesús Ortega), and received a Special Diploma given to the most outstanding graduate for herartistic creative work. She continued her studies with Gabriel Estarellas at the Royal MusicConservatory of Madrid and graduated with a Master of Music Degree from de ExtremaduraUniversity under Ricardo Gallén. As a student she participated in master classes with LeoBrouwer, David Russell, Sharon Isbin, Costas Cotsiolis, Tania Chagnot, Paolo Paolini, TomásMüller, Wolfgang Lendle, Carlos Bonell, Juan Carlos Rivera and Joaquín Clerch.Prize winner of eleven major international competitions, including first prizes in the AndrésSegovia in Palma de Mallorca, Luys Milán, and Manuel Ponce International GuitarCompetitions. She made history by becoming the first woman to win the prestigious S.A.R. LaInfanta Doña Cristina International Guitar Competition in Madrid, and the only person to win thespecial prize for Best Interpretation of Spanish Music in two consecutive years, 1995 and 1996.

Her highly acclaimed GSP CD “Angels in The Street” has earned universal acclaim fromcritics, placing her among the elite of today's classical guitarists: “Her name deserves to go downin guitar history as one of the great players of our time." (Classical Guitar Magazine); "a match-made-in-heaven recording that is about as perfect as guitar records get... she simply, radiantlyshines, a virtuoso in service to the music" (American Record Guide); "she has sufficient of allcredentials necessary to take her place in the annals of guitar as one of its truly gifted andoutstanding exponents." (Musicweb-international.com), "it's impossible while listening to'Angels' to believe that her name will not someday ring the same peal of recognition as doesBream and Williams" (Minor7th.com).

As an ambassador of the Ibero-American guitar, she performed as soloist with the NationalOrchestra of Oporto at the VIII Ibero-American Summit and for the Spanish Royal Family in1998.

Her presentation at the National Auditorium of Spain together with the Classical Orchestra ofMadeira received the news headline “Special triumph in a model program ". In the samereview: "In both concerts Cuban guitarist Iliana Matos’ solos scored a sound success afterplaying them with beautiful, round sound, effortless technique and blatant musicality". ABC.García Del Busto. Madrid 2000.

With her love of contemporary music and desire to develop the guitar repertoire, Iliana Matoshas premiered works by numerous composers, including Leo Brouwer, Carlos Rafael Rivera,Eduardo Morales, Tomás Marco, Zulema de la Cruz, Gabriel Estarellas, Flores Chaviano, IleanaPérez, Madays Andino, Ñico Rojas, Yalil Guerra, Luis Mario Ochoa and Eduardo Martín. Aswell, she has performed extensively throughout Latin American, USA, Europe, Africa and theMiddle East.

In addition to this, she regularly gives master classes all over the world and has performed atnumerous festivals such as Cordoba Guitar Festival, Spanish Music Festival of León,International Festival of Contemporary Spanish Music, Miguel Llobet Guitar Festival, AntonioLauro Guitar Festival, Monterrey Guitar Festival, Belo Horizonte Guitar Festival, ChicagoLatino Music Festival, New Orleans International Guitar Festival, Lone Star Guitar Festival,Hamilton Guitar Festival, Sauble Beach Guitar Festival, Shenyang International Guitar Festival,Women of the Guitar, among others.

She has recorded for labels in Spain and the United States of America, including GSPRecordings, Albany Records, Gadiraifa and Verso.

She was included in the Dictionary of the Spanish and Latin American Music, SGAE 2000and 2011 Supplement of the Encyclopedia of the Guitar, and her CD “Angels in the Street” waslisted in the “Guitar’s TOP 100" written by the Canadian musicologist Enrique Robichaud.

Living in Spain for the past 20 years, she has contributed to the development of a new generationof Spanish guitarists while teaching at the Royal Music Conservatory of Madrid, Conservatory ofthe Balearics, and the Conservatory of Salamanca. In addition to this, she regularly gives masterclasses all over the world and has performed extensively throughout Latin American, USA,Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Currently, Mrs. Matos serves on the faculty atUniversity of Lethbridge Faculty of Arts & Science (Canada) where she is head of guitar studies.

Over the past three decades, Iliana Matos has established herself as one of the world´spreeminent classical guitarists. As part of her world tour "Celebrating 30th Anniversary as aPerformer" in 2016, legendary Spanish-Cuban virtuoso Iliana Matos completed a tour of 19cities in China, including a concert at the Shenyang International Guitar Festival. NorthAmerican tour have included concerts in 23 cities, being featured by prestigious universities,guitar societies and festivals. In Mexico, she completed a tour of 7 cities, including concert andmasterclass at the International Guitar Festival organized by the Conservatory National of Mexico.

Concert Reviews

E-Veritas. University of Miami. USA.
“The guitar guru: Iliana Matos”
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La Republica. Italy.
“one of the most famous guitarists in the world…A musician uncommon”
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ABC. Spain.
“In both concerts Cuban guitarist Iliana Matos’ solos scored a sound success after hitting them with beautiful, round sound, effortless technique and blatant musicality”
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Diário de Noticias-Madeira. Portugal.
“An award-winning performer guitar”
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Guitar Art. Germany
“Iliana, my best compliments on a great concert! We could go on listening to your beautifully realized interpretations of these classics for the whole evening and the lesser known Cuban pieces were a delight”
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El Mercantil Valenciano. Spain
“Cuban guitarist Iliana Matos, demonstrated guitar playing of the highest order specially in her interpretation of the very difficult Bach Chaconne where her beautiful diction of the cantabile in the Andante section made history”.
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Diario 16. Spain
“The great interpretative talent of Iliana Matos”.
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Les Cahiers de LA GUITARE et de la Musique. French
“Iliana Matos, refined musician, nuanced, virtuoso… nobody was surprise to know that Iliana Matos was recently elected "Young Talent" 95 of the Carrefour Mondial. Due to this honorific merit, she will now tour the Caribbean”.
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La Nación. Venezuela
“The concert by the cuban guitarist was impressive.”
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El Día, México.
“She proved her high level as a Latin american music performer. Her playing was great.”
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Trabajadores. Cuba.
Iliana Matos was the next soloist in the Concerto for guitar and Orchestra, El Elegíaco of Leo Brouwer. And she walked comfortably through more familiar landscapes at the beginning, but that gradually became complex mazes by which she, as an accomplice of the composer, tends to the listener a solid thread, so we perfectly assimilate the most impulsive musical thoughts
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Classical Guitar Magazine. Colin Cooper. UK.
“…I was pleased to see that the Cuban guitarrist Iliana Matos had won the first prize in the 3rd Manuel Ponce Guitar Competition in Mexico. I thought her performance in the 4th Havana Guitar Festival in 1988 was outstanding…”
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Classical Guitar Magazine. Colin Cooper. UK.
“…In Cuba,I was much taken whith the powerful and intense style of the 21- year old Iliana Matos,one of the few players to make a success of Pujol`s marking "doloroso" in the Guajira…”.
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Recording Reviews

Classical Guitar Magazine. Steve Marsh. England
“Her name deserves to go down in guitar history as one of the great players of our time”
Read full review

MusicWeb International. Zane Turner. United Kingdom
“she has sufficient of all credentials necessary to take her place in the annals of guitar as one of its truly gifted and outstanding exponents”
Read full review

American Record Guide. Ellis. USA
“a match-made-in-heaven recording that is about as perfect as guitar records get... she simply, radiantly shines, a virtuoso in service to the music”
Read full review

Minor7th.com. Alan Fark. USA
“it's impossible while listening to 'Angels' to believe that her name will not someday ring the same peal of recognition as does Bream and William”
Read full review

All Music Guide. USA
“Guitarist Iliana Matos is a major unheralded talent, with clean articulation of rapid, hard passages and a winning way of drawing the listener in by slightly hanging back at a piece's beginning”
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Bridge Guitar Reviews. Henk te Veldhuis. Holland
“Iliana Matos has succeeded with 'Angels in the Street' to deliver a CD which is brilliant with the exceptional well-chosen repertoire and her unique and modern approach to classical guitar music…Truly a masterwork”
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Guitare Diffusion. Belgium
“A captivating production where the elegant mastery of Iliana Matos gives life to the fascinating music of Eduardo Martín, who will be soon part of the repertoire of guitar players looking for something new”
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Guitare Classique. F.N. French
“The round and vivid sound of Iliana Matos serves this repertoire admirably and her musicality expresses equally well both the complex rhythmic intricacies and meditative melodies”
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Acordes. José Luis Ruiz del Puerto. Spain
“The overwhelming technique of Iliana, her delicate, yet powerful and flawless quality of sound, the exquisite musicality that is present in her interpretations, are some of the adjectives that we can emphasize about her. But they are not the only ones: the virtuosity, the polyphonic clarity or the strict maintenance of the rhythmical complexity that appears in many of the works are evident and they are put to the musical service of these inspired musical notes”
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OpusMúsica. Joaquim Zueras Navarro. Spain.
“We are facing a meritorious CD, particularly suitable for those who follow the evolution of the guitar repertoire...which the virtuosity of Iliana Matos exalts”
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Gendai Guitar. Nobuaki Nagaoka. Japan
“Matos plays with lively rhythms and emotional expressions highlighting the originality of the work”
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Aladin Communication. Korea
“Iliana Matos, who has a very sophisticated technique and the impetuous rhythm, holds us her high musicality”
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El Tono de la Voz. Cuba
“A real jewel. ‘Angels in the Street', the composition from which the CD is titled, is simply amazing”.
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Randy Morse, KZUM 89.3 FM. USA
"This is another beautiful album from GSP. Her playing is exquisite, and I love Eduardo's compositions. Congratulations!"


Angels in the street

De la rumba al son




Angeles en la calle


Eduardo Morales-Caso

Las Sombras Divinas Verso

Spain. 2012

Music of Ileana Pérez Velazquez

An Enchanted Being

Albany Records (USA) 2007

Certamen de Guitarra Clásica “Luys Milán”

Gadiraifa (Spain) 2004



Iliana Matos. Guitarra.

Manuel Ponce - Sonata Clásica. I. Allegro

Manuel Ponce - Sonata Clásica. II. Andante

Manuel Ponce. Sonata Clásica. III. Menuet

Manuel Ponce - Sonata Clásica. IV. Allegro

An Idea (Passacaglia for Eli) By Leo Brouwer. Live recording at the Guitar Salon International showroom in Santa Monica, CA.

Elegía a Benny Moré by José Antonio (Ñico) Rojas. Live recording at the Guitar Salon International showroom in Santa Monica, CA.

Mirándote by Eduardo Martín. Live recording at the Guitar Salon International showroom in Santa Monica, CA.

Gran Jota by Francisco Tárrega. Iliana Matos, guitar. Live Performance at Sauble Beach Guitar Festival. August 25, 2016

Mirándote by Eduardo Martín. Iliana Matos, guitar. Live Performance at Sauble Beach Guitar Festival. August 25, 2016

Vals Op.8 No.4 by Agustin Barrios Mangoré

Guarania, Gato y Malambo by Héctor Ayala

Choro by Héctor Ayala

Zapateado by Joaquín Rodrigo

EL Jardín de Lindaraja by Eduardo Morales-Caso

Fantasía para una Dama by Gabriel Estarellas

Canción Triste by Fariña

Dúo Iliana Matos/Eduardo Martín

Hasta Alicia Baila by Eduardo Martín

Sones y Flores by Eduardo Martín/Walfrido Domínguez

Amaneceres by Eduardo Martín

Dúo Iliana Matos y Pepe Sotorres

Historia del Tango , Nightclub 1960 by Astor Piazzolla

Historia del Tango, Café 1930 by Astor Piazzolla

Dúo Iliana Matos/María Eugenia de la Rúa