"I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE OF THE GUITAR, AND ITS NAME IS CABALLERO."
Mark Wilson, Rosewood Guitar Magazine,
May 7, 1997
Jorge Caballero is the youngest musician and the only guitarist to win the Naumburg International Competition Award, one of the most prestigious and coveted awards given to performers of any instrument, and comparable to the Pulitzer Prize for musicians. He is also the recipient of top prizes at the Tokyo International Guitar Competition, the Luis Sigall Competition, the Alhambra Guitar Competition and the First Latin American Guitar Competition.
He is known for his dazzling virtuosity, his intense musicality and his spellbinding performances. Widely regarded as one of the finest guitarists of his generation, he has been compared to the likes of Casals, Rostropovich and Segovia. Jon Pareles of the New York Times called him a "masterly guitarist" and praised his "meticulous balance and chameleonic timbres."
Mr. Caballero has performed as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the New York Chamber Symphony, the Naples Philharmonic and the Presidential Symphony of Ankara, Turkey, among others. His recital appearances include performances at New York's Alice Tully Hall, the Library of Congress in Washington (in the historic Great Performers Series), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and other venues in the United States and internationally.
A native of Peru, Mr. Caballero comes from a musical family. His mother is a well-known singer in Peru and as a child he spent many evenings sitting backstage at her concerts. He began his formal guitar studies at the age of ten with Eleodoro Mori at the Lima National Conservatory, although he had already obtained much knowledge of the instrument through observing the lessons taught by his father, a well-known teacher and guitarist. He continued his studies with Oscar Zamora until the age of sixteen. Growing up at a time when terrorists in Peru bombed electrical stations, he became an expert at practicing in the dark.
At age 18, Mr. Caballero relocated to the United States, where he attended the Manhattan School of Music. After being in the United States for one year, he won the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg award, making him the first and only guitarist, as well as the youngest competitor to win first prize in its 92-year history.
Mr. Caballero's repertoire is notable for its breadth and scope, ranging from Renaissance works for the vihuela to modern composers like Elliott Carter, Luciano Berio and Brian Ferneyhough, as well as his unique arrangements of non-guitar music, such as Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol, and Alban Berg's Piano Sonata Op. 1, arguably one of the most important works ever arranged for guitar, and earning him praises as one of the most versatile and gifted classical guitarists of his generation.
Mr. Caballero's most recent album (titled Quadros) featured Kazuhito Yamashita's famous arrangement of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. This recording, along with his earlier recording of Yamashita's arrangement of Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, makes Mr. Caballero only the second guitarist in history to have recorded these iconic transcriptions.