Ahmed Dickinson Cardenas

photo: Nacho Lopez

“You are left with the sensation of being touched to the core by exquisitely played pieces” — Songlines

Described as “a true pioneer” (Classic FM Magazine), award-winning London-based Cuban guitarist, Ahmed Dickinson Cárdenas, is one of the finest performers of the Cuban classical guitar school.

Over the last 10 years, Cárdenas has established a successful career in the United Kingdom, while maintaining strong links with Cuba.

Cárdenas is widely-recognized as an ambassador both for the music and musicians of his native country. In 2008, he founded Cubafilin Records, a record label dedicated to the exclusive promotion of Cuban musicians and their original works. For nearly 10 years, he enjoyed the great privilege of collaborating with the prolific late guitarist and composer Jose Antonio (Ñico) Rojas. Cárdenas transcribed Rojas’s extensive unpublished works during this period, and subsequent performances and recordings earned two prizes at the Cubadisco Awards 2009: Best Instrumental Soloist and Best Instrumental Album. The same album was nominated for Best Artist and Best Newcomer in Songlines World Music Magazine, and Best Album and Best Single at the Latin American Music Awards UK.

Passionate about collaborating with other artists, Cárdenas has released six albums. He has also worked with acclaimed soprano Laura Mitchell, flamenco Jazz guitarist Eduardo Niebla, Cuban percussionist Hammadi Rencurrell, violinists Emma Blanco, the Santiago Quartet. He also led the Cuban Guitar Orchestra Sonantas Habaneras in Havana for two years.

Cárdenas graduated from the Superior Institute of Art (ISA Havana) and was awarded a first-class honours degree on the guitar, completing his qualification a year early. In 2005, he moved to London to study with Carlos Bonell and Chris Stell at the Royal College of Music and was awarded prizes at the Royal College of Music Guitar Competition and the Ivor Mairant Guitar Competition, among others. In 2006, supported by The Kramer-Chappell Scholarship and the Mad Hatters Club, he undertook further studies with Robert Brightmore at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Since his arrival in the United Kingdom, Cárdenas has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Ashley Stewart Arts Sponsorship 2011, Concordia Foundation 2008-2009, and Ivor Mairants International Guitar Competition 2006.

Recent engagements include performances at the Royal Albert Hall and Barbican, as well as a tour to Spain, Malta, Azerbaijan, England, Scotland, and Ireland promoting his sixth album The Bridge in collaboration with Grammy-nominated composer Eduardo Martín.

Cárdenas teaches classical guitar at London College of Music. www.ahmeddickinson.com


Ilusión y Verdad

Release Date: March 11, 2022
Catalog Number: AR0017
21st Century
ILUSIÓN Y VERDAD from Cuban guitarist Ahmed Dickinson Cárdenas and Maltese flutist Fiorella Camilleri is a vibrant collection of works for guitar and flute. The music incorporates not only the infectious Afro-Cuban rhythms for which Cárdenas is known, but also features elements of blues and rock, among others. Works like Hasta Alicia Baila and Sones Y Flores are especially inspired by the diverse history of Cuban music and its relationship to jazz and western classical music. Throughout the album, Cárdenas and Camilleri exhibit their ability to transcend genre limitations with ease, creating new and fascinating cross-cultural musical connections. Even still, Cárdenas’s performances reveal him to be a proud ambassador for his country’s music. Lauded by Classic FM Magazine as a “true pioneer,” Cárdenas upholds this title with ILUSIÓN Y VERDAD.