Ahmed Dickinson Cárdenas

"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 Cárdenas transcribed Rojas's extensive unpublished works during this period, and subsequent performances and recordings earned two prizes at the Cubadisco Awards 2009: Best Instrumental Soloist and Best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

 

photo: Nacho Lopez

 

Fiorella Camilleri

Maltese-born flutist Fiorella Camilleri started playing the flute at age 14. Since then she has been an active chamber musician with different ensembles playing repertoire ranging from the classical to the contemporary, performing in Italy, Malta, and Japan respectively. Her latest chamber music achievement led her to Shizuoka and Tokyo, where she led a research project supported by the Malta Arts Fund. This project, which took place in 2017, involved merging Maltese and Japanese traditional music. She explores the subject of international cultural diplomacy through chamber music and research based projects.

 

Camilleri continues her education by participating in masterclasses with principal orchestra players, most recently with Emily Beynon, Paul Edmond Davies, Andreas Blau, and Nicola Mazzanti. Camilleri was chosen as an active participant artist at the Aurora International Music Festival in Sweden (2018). In April 2012, she finished a two-year master’s degree, “Biennio Specialistico,” in Flute performance at the Istituto Pareggiato Orazio Vecchi Tonelli in Modena, under the guidance of Michele Marasco, Andrea Oliva, and Gabriele Betti.

 

Camilleri was the winner of the Young Musician Award (2007), which enabled her to attend masterclasses at the Thames Valley University, London College of Music, with flutist Christine Hankin. Furthermore, she holds both the associate and the licenciate Trinity College diplomas (2006-2007). For the past 14 years, Camilleri has been holding the sub principal flute/piccolo chair with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. Camilleri plays on a 14K Muramatsu flute and on a Philip Hammig granadilla wooden piccolo.

 

In addition to her music career Camilleri holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in International Relations from the University of Malta (2004). www.fiorellacamilleri.com

 

photo: Claire Farrugia

 

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