Guido López-Gavilán

Cuba (1944)
Corporate Member

Composer and Conductor. Guido López-Gavilán has received awards in the most important composition competitions held in Cuba, such as the National Composition Competition, the Cuban Union of Writers and Artists Competition, the 26th of July Competition, the 'Edad de Oro,' and the Adolfo Guzman Competition. He is a 1966 graduate of the Choral Conducting program of the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory in Havana and a 1973 graduate of the Orchestral Conducting program of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow.

As a conductor López-Gavilán has achieved extraordinary success and received recognition from international critics for outstanding performances in Europe, including those with the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Franz Liszt Hall in Budapest, and the Lisinsky Theater in Croatia. He has also conducted critically acclaimed concerts in major cities in Germany, Spain, Russia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

In Latin America López-Gavilán has led many major concerts in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico, where he was named most outstanding foreign conductor of the 1991 season by the Carlos Chavez Symphony.

In 2005 received in Chile the Medal UNESCO “Valparaíso, Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad”.

He has conducted all of the Cuban symphonic orchestras and has been invited as composer and conductor to international events such as the 2006 Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festival in Canada, where won the Audience Prize;

Inter-American Composers Seminar organized by the University of Indiana, to which he was invited in the most distinguished category in the event; the 'Sonidos de las Americas' Festival organized by the American Composers Orchestra in New York; the Iberian-American Contemporary Music Festival in Spain; the Latin American and Caribbean Music Forum held in Argentina; the Franco Donatoni Festival in Mexico; and the Caribbean Composers Forum in Venezuela and Guatemala.

His piece 'Conga', specially written for The VI World Symposium of Choral Music, Minneapolis, USA, was premiered in the opening night concert.

López-Gavilán has made an outstanding contribution in the development of the Cuban Youth Orchestra Movement by founding and conducting symphony and chamber orchestras that have performed with resounding success in and outside of Cuba. As the President of the Havana Festival and Chairman of the Orchestral Conducting Department at the Instituto Superior de Arte, he has received several distinctions including the National Culture Award and the Recognition Award granted by the Cuban Union of Writers and Artists for his life’s work.

He is member of Colegio de Compositores Latinoamericanos de Música de Arte.


Happiness, jokes, energy, rhythms from Cuban popular music, multi-harmony, no conventional resources , brilliant elaboration and fine lyricism: those are some of the characteristics in the music of Guido López-Gavilán. They are particularly outstanding in choral pieces like El Guayaboso, La Aporrumbeosis, Qué Rico e’ or Conga.

Something similar happen with his instrumental works Guaguancó, Qué Saxy, Caribe Nostrum, Caleidotropic, or Mensaje de Cálidas Tierras.

On the other hand symphonic works like Tramas, Victoria de la Esperanza (symphonic orchestra , choir, soloists, actors, dancers, film ) are solemn, intense, and dramatic. A wide and expressive universe exists in his music.