Brazilian guitarist Luiz Mantovani has built a thriving international career that successfully combines performance, teaching, and research. Highlights from recent seasons include an all-Villa-Lobos program at the Festival Villa-Lobos in Rio and a performance film of Rebay’s Sonata in E No. 2 at the Heiligenkreuz Abbey in Austria, funded by the Hermann Hauser Guitar Foundation and released by GuitarCoop. Regular collaborations with contemporary composers have resulted in numerous commissions and premieres over the past two decades, including Israeli Lior Navok’s Guitar Concerto, premiered in 2010 with the Israel Sinfonietta.
A winner of several competitions in his native country, Luiz has also earned significant international prizes, such as the Schadt String Competition (1999), BMOP Concerto Competition (2001) and the Pro Musicis International Award (2002). The latter led to solo appearances in Carnegie Hall in New York and Salle Cortot in Paris, among others. On one of these occasions, The New York Times praised his rendition of William Walton’s Five Bagatelles as “powerful, beautifully shaped and just about flawless.”
A keen chamber musician, he was a member of the Brazilian Guitar Quartet for 11 years, with which he performed extensively across four continents. With the BGQ, Luiz recorded three albums for Delos International. The second of them, Brazilian Guitar Quartet plays Villa-Lobos, was awarded the Latin Grammy in 2011 for “Best Classical Album”. He has also collaborated with German guitarist Nelly von Alven in the NOVA Guitar Duo, resulting in two albums for the Italian label Stradivarius, Sortilegios (2019) and Journey (2022).
Luiz Mantovani holds a PhD from the Royal College of Music in London, where he investigated the chamber sonatas of Viennese composer Ferdinand Rebay. Regarded as a leading expert on Rebay, he was honoured with the Best Paper Award in 2022 from Musicologica Austriaca, the journal of the Austrian Musicological Society. His publications include an entry in Grove Music Online and several articles in peer-reviewed journals. Luiz was the first guitarist to receive the prestigious Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He also holds a Master of Music degree from NEC and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. His guitar mentors were David Leisner, Nicolas Barros, and Antonio Guedes.
Since 2003, Luiz Mantovani has been a faculty member at the State University of Santa Catarina – UDESC, in Florianopolis, southern Brazil. As a founding member of UDESC’s guitar program, he has successfully prepared students for competitions and for furthering their studies abroad, besides actively engaging his class in the local community. In addition to university teaching, Luiz is frequently invited to conduct masterclasses and deliver lectures around the world.