Since his first U.S. tour in 1967, Carlos Barbosa-Lima has had international attention, performing as guest soloist and in recital with orchestras and music festivals throughout the world.
Born December 17, 1944 in São Paulo, Brazil, he began studying the guitar at the age of seven. A chance encounter in a guitar store with Luiz Bonfá, Brazils top guitarist at that time, brought good advice; to study with Isaias Savio, the father figure of the modern Brazilian guitar movement. In later years, Bonfá would remember, The youngster was fingering a guitar, trying to discover its secrets. I stopped to listen, and his playing gave me no doubt that he would one day become a great interpreter of this magnificent instrument.
Carlos Barbosa-Lima did study with Savio during his formative years, and by the time he was twelve, he had recorded an album, was appearing regularly on Brazilian television, and had his concert debut in São Paulo. Small wonder he was considered a child prodigy. In 1968, he had the rare opportunity to study with the great Andres Segovia. Today, Carlos records, concertizes, and conducts master classes around the world, continuing the legacy of his teachers. He resides in the United States and, with the east coast as his base, travels the world.
His playing integrates many stylesclassical, Brazilian, popular, and jazz. He explains, Perhaps it was because of my own development in Brazil, where we do not have this airtight division between classical and popular. I always felt a great affinity for the popular style treated in a classical way.
He has transcribed for guitar, compositions by Scarlatti, Bach, Handel, Scott Joplin, and many others. He has successfully arranged works by Gershwin, Sondheim, Cole Porter, and many Brazilian composers. Many contemporary composers, including Ginastera, have written and dedicated works to him.