Peabody Distinguished Alumni Award (2004)
Society of Peabody Alumni
Citation for the Peabody Distinguished Alumni Award
May 1, 2004
Manuel Barreuco, you have traveled a long way since you began to play the guitar at age eight in Santiago de Cuba. At age ten you were already studying the classical repertory at the Estaban Salas Conservatory. You emigrated to the U.S. in 1967, and just a few years later, Aaron Shearer convinced you to come and audition at Peabody despite your reservations.
You were the first guitar student ever granted a full scholarship by the conservatory and in 1974 you were the first guitarist to win the Concert Artists Guild Award entitling you to a recital at Carnegie Hall.
You received your bachelor of music degree from Peabody in 1975 and returned to Peabody by joining the faculty here in 1990. You not only maintain a full studio, but each June you offer a week-long master class that is attended by students from all over the world.
Somehow you manage to travel the world and maintain a hectic concert and recording schedule. Recently you have performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and The Aukland Symphony in New Zealand.
Your have made well over a dozen recordings for EMI. Your CD, “¡Cuba!,” was called “an extraordinary musical achievement” by the San Francisco Chronicle, while your recording of Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with conductor/tenor Plácido Domingo and the Philharmonia Orchestra, was mentioned as the best recording of that piece in Classic CD Magazine.
Your performances have been broadcast on television in Japan and Europe; and in the U.S. you have been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, in a Lexus car commercial, and as a musical guest on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
In reviews of your recordings and performances, you have been referred to as “the undisputed crown prince of the present guitar dynasty,” “A musician of utter taste and intelligence” and “simply and consistently awesome.”
You have exemplified the Johns Hopkins tradition of excellence and brought credit to Peabody Conservatory and the University throughout your career. It is for all this that The Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association confers upon you the honor of the Distinguished Alumni Award.