Berta Rojas has been praised as “guitarist extraordinaire” by the Washington Post and as “Ambassador of the classical guitar” by Classical Guitar Magazine.
She has been nominated three times for a Latin Grammy Award: in the Best Instrumental Album category for ‘Día y Medio – A Day and a Half’, a duet with Paquito D’Rivera (2012); in the Best Classical Album category for her album ‘Salsa Roja’ (2014), and more recently in the Best Tango Album category for ‘History of Tango’ (2015), an album recorded with the Camerata Bariloche.
Berta’s acknowledged warmth and musicality have gained her a prominent position among audiences that have applauded her at such major stages as the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall and the Frederick P. Rose Hall of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, London’s South Bank Centre, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the National Concert Hall in Dublin—where she performed as a soloist with the Irish Radio and Television Orchestra—, as well as the Flagey Studio 4 in Brussels—where she performed with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra for the Belgian National Television.
In 2011, Berta, along with Paquito D’Rivera as guest star, initiated the four-year tour “In the Footsteps of Mangoré” which followed the travels of Agustín Barrios, pioneer of the classical guitar in the Americas. The duo performed in 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries, concluding the journey at the national theater of the capital of El Salvador, the final resting place of this celebrated composer.
Her repertoire embraces new works by composers of diverse genres. This is echoed in her discography which includes recordings such as ‘Cielo Abierto’ (2006) and ‘Terruño’ (2009), as well as the duo with Carlos Barbosa-Lima in ‘Alma y Corazón’ (2007) and the acclaimed album ‘Intimate Barrios’ (2008), that offers works by the great Paraguayan composer and guitarist, Agustín Barrios.
In 2009, she created the first online classical guitar competition, the Barrios World Wide Web Competition. With two editions already held, it has attracted tremendous interest throughout the guitar world. Additionally, Berta was Artistic Director of the three editions of the Ibero-American Guitar Festival at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., and co-founded the Beatty Music Scholarship Competition for Classical Guitar, which gives its young winners an opportunity to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Berta Rojas first studied with Felipe Sosa, Violeta de Mestral and Abel Carlevaro. She got a Bachelor of Music degree from the Escuela Universitaria de Música in Uruguay, where she was a student of Eduardo Fernández and Mario Payseé. Then, she earned a Master of Music degree from Peabody Institute under the guidance of Manuel Barrueco, Ray Chester and Julian Gray. She also got a Graduate Performance Diploma from the same institution.
Rojas has been honored as a Fellow of the Americas by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for her artistic excellence. In 2015 she was designated “Distinguished Ambassador of Paraguayan Musical Art” by the Senate, and given the National Order of Comuneros by the Chamber of Deputies. In 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded her the National Order of Merit “Don José Falcón” for her outstanding work on behalf of culture. In 2016, the Autonomous University of Encarnación and the American University of Asunción bestowed honorary doctorates upon her. In a 2014 publication, the news agency EFE included her among the most influential women in the Hispanic World.
Berta Rojas is an artist of Fanjul & Ward.
Angélica Fanjul | firstname.lastname@example.org
THEY’VE SAID ABOUT HER
“All is performed to perfection by an artist who seemingly takes everything in her stride… One runs out of superlatives when writing about Berta Rojas, it has all been said before, countless times.” Steve Marsh, Classical Guitar Magazine
“Ms. Rojas’ playing is informed by electrifying technique and virtuosity, and features her characteristic, sinewy tone, a palette of myriad wondrous colours and is framed by subtle, swinging gesture and soulful enunciation.” Raul Da Gama, The World Music Report
“’Terruño’ contains some of the most exciting pieces recently written for solo guitar, and uses every aspect of the instrument. Rojas executes the fast scales and arpeggios, harmonics, ‘rasgueados’, and percussive tapping techniques with incredible precision, tone, and clarity.” Brad Conroy, Guitar International
“Her tremolo is as smooth as glass and the often remarkably challenging technical components of the music are disguised by formidable technique, making them seem non-existent.” Zane Turner, MusicWeb International
“I have not watched another guitarist who could draw such warmly golden tones out of a piece of wood! Nor have I encountered a guitar more sonorous or more deeply throated; listening to this one guitar was equivalent to listening to a choir of them!” Julie Yap Daza, Tempo Tabloid, Philippines
* Double click on the video to enlarge