“Guitarist Manuel Cabrera II played music from round the world with authority”

from “Sweet strumming” a concert review by Dr. Chang Tou Liang, published in The Straits Times on 4 April 2011.

Manuel Cabrera II obtained his Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance from the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music in Manila, Philippines under the guidance of Prof. Ruben Reyes. He later studied with acclaimed Japanese guitarist Norio Sato and received his Master of Music Degree in Guitar under a scholarship at the Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima, Japan. He has also performed at the master classes of David Leisner, David Russel, Kazufumi Matsunaga, Josep Enriquez, and Angelito Agcaoili.

As a student, Manuel won major competitions both local and international, including 1st prize at the 31st Nippon Guitar Competition Solo Category, Osaka Japan; 2nd prize at the Classical Guitar Competition, Tokyo, Japan; 1st prize at the 1999 National Music Competitions for Young Artists (Manila, Philippines); 1st prize at the “GITARA” Competition, University of the Philippines, Diliman; and 5th prize at the 49th Tokyo International Guitar Competition. He was recently honored by television network ABS-CBN by featuring him and his achievements as an internationally recognized Filipino classical guitarist at the Global Pinoy (Global Filipino) segment of its cable channel, The Filipino Channel.

Earlier this year, he held his successful solo debut concert at The Esplanade, earning him positive reviews from critics. He had been featured at the 2004 “Filipino Artists Series” at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and at the “New Artists Concert” at Elisabeth University of Music, Hiroshima. He had also been featured as a Soloist with the University of the Philippines Chamber Orchestra and with the University of Santo Tomas Symphony Orchestra at the “Concert at the Park”, Rizal Park, Manila. He had as well performed at solo concerts in Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka, Japan and was featured as a performer at the Guitarra 2010 International Guitar Festival.

Manuel is also a dedicated and accomplished pedagogue. He taught at the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music from 2000 to 2007. He is now based in Singapore and is actively pursuing a career in performing and teaching. He is presently a part-time lecturer at the Nanyang Academy of FIne Arts Department of Music where he teaches classical guitar and is also the founder and director of the NAFA Guitar Ensemble.