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Two-time Latin Grammy nominee guitarist, educator, and composer João Luiz began to play the popular music of his native Brazil professionally during his childhood and was later trained in classical guitar by his mentor Henrique Pinto. Winner of the 2006 Concert Artists Guild Competition as a member of the critically acclaimed Brasil Guitar Duo, João has performed extensively in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. As a performer and composer João is equally at home with classical, Brazilian and world music. His solo guitar, guitar ensemble and chamber music repertoire cover all the main works in the guitar literature from Dowland to Berio and Brazilian rhythms from choro to baião. His versatility led him to be chosen to collaborate with Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos Prieto on a project to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Cuban composer Leo Brouwer in a landmark concert in Cuba in 2014.


His arrangements and compositions have been recorded and played by Marina Piccinini, Fábio Zanon, Paulo Martelli, Quaternaglia, Olson/De Cari Duo, Paquito D’Rivera, Clarice Assad, Bridget Kibbey, Jiji, Sybarite 5, The Newman & Oltman guitar duo, Aquarelle Guitar Quartet, and the New York City Classical Guitar Society. Luiz’s Harp Concerto Recife was written for Bridget Kibbey was premiered by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in 2019. Recent commissions include works for the USC Thornton School of Music guitar department, Conjunto Sicarú, GFA, Duo Amaris, and Duo Sonidos. João has recorded more than fifteen CDs playing solo, duo, trio and in quartet, most of which have featured his arrangements of classical or Brazilian works. Eager to expand the repertoire of his instrument João has commissioned and premiered works written for him by Sérgio Assad, Leo Brouwer, Clarice Assad, David Leisner, Paulo Bellinati, Marco Pereira, Ronaldo Miranda, Mariel Mayz, David Sampson, and Frederic Hand. João is the director of chamber music at CUNY Hunter College and also teaches guitar at Stony Brook University and Mannes College.


"João Luiz, an exceptional Brazilian classical guitarist, collaborated closely with me in the creation of 24 studies for classical guitar, each artfully reflecting the diverse styles of 24 composers spanning over a century of Brazilian music. Though dedicated coaching, we meticulously shaped and refined interpretations for each piece. João's innate understanding of the idiomatic nuances within these musical styles, rooted in his Brazilian heritage, made this creative journey seamless and his accomplishments truly impeccable. This collection traverses the musical landscape from Chiquinha Gonzaga, a pioneering female composer of paramount significance, to the works of contemporary composers in the 20th century, showing João Luiz's exceptional talent and commitment to preserving Brazil's rich musical heritage."

"... Mr. Luiz gave a fastidious but deeply felt reading of Leo Brouwer's Pieza sin Titulo."
"Sonata Cubana was dedicated to excellent guitarist João Luiz who asked me for it. I have a special affection for him as well as admiration for his enormous talent and love for music, better to say "the musics," because he is a consumer and researcher of all of them, including the popular. His special sound and professionalism motivated me greatly to make my seventh sonata for this instrument. I composed it in two phases. Initially, the first three movements (completed on March 26, 2021) and after some time, João asked me to complete it with a fourth tempo (finished on May 9, 2022) which I did following his request to recreate the Changüi. Therefore, this sonata includes popular Cuban genres such as Son, Changüi, Rumba and elements of the dance music of my country. We have been connected in recent years in various recording projects with my work, such as a monograph of music for 2 guitars, projects creating new pieces such as Los guardians de la mania (2019) for guitar, in addition chamber music concerts; as most recently with the world premiere of Sonatas de la Meditación (2020) for guitar and ensemble (commissioned by Intersection and Global Education Center, Nashville). It is really very difficult for me to talk or write about my music. I prefer to compose it and not to explain it. Thanks to João for encouraging these projects in favor of the guitar repertoire in the 21st century and promoting my music in particular."

"João Luiz is one of the musicians that fate presented to me as a partner, springboard, or catapult so that my music, through his flowing point of view, evolves from wherever I am to another environment, representation, history, or variation of place where I decide to reside. I will always be grateful to him and all the other 'partners' who made true the realization of the dream, the reality, the purpose."


João Luiz has three solo guitar programs, a number which reflects the large number of works composed for him by people such as Leo Brouwer and Sérgio Assad. To see them, click on the following programs link.
João also has a large chamber music repertoire covering nearly everything for voice and guitar, flute and guitar, and string quartet and guitar.
As concerns concerti, he would love to perform more of Brouwer's Sonata de la Meditacion, a work for which he gave its world premiere as well as his own concertino. He often performs Concerto de Aranjuez (J. Rodrigo), Tres Danzas Concertantes (Leo Brouwer), Concerto in D, Op. 99 (Castelnuovo-Tedesco), Concerto para violão (Heitor Villa-Lobos), MadrigAfro I (João Luiz), Concerto in D (Vivaldi).

Sonata Cubana n. 7  (Leo Brouwer, dedicated to João Luiz)

Guinguiana from 24 Studies for Guitar (Sérgio Assad, dedicated to João Luiz)

Los guardians de la Magia (Leo Brouwer, dedicated to João Luiz)

Mignoniana from 24 Studies for Guitar (Sérgio Assad, dedicated to João Luiz)

Badeniana from 24 Studies for Guitar (Sérgio Assad, dedicated to João Luiz)

Gnattaliana from 24 Studies for Guitar (Sérgio Assad, dedicated to João Luiz)

Choros No. 1 (Heitor Villa-Lobos, arranged by João Luiz)

Fandango (Joaquin Rodrigo arranged by João Luiz)

Boccherini Guitar Quintet No. in D major, G. 448  III. Grave assai - Fandango

Recorded at the 2021 Portland Chamber Music Festival

Agua de Beber (Tom Jobim / Vinicius de Moraes arranged by João Luiz)

João Luiz and Clarice Assad

7 Meetings - I. Free and Morbid (João Luiz for Bridget Kibbey)

João Luiz and Bridget Kibbey

7 Meetings - II. Calmo (João Luiz for Bridget Kibbey)

João Luiz and Bridget Kibbey

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