In memoriam: professor and Director of Guitar Studies remembered

Professor Enric Madriguera dies after 44-year tenure at UTD

UTD | Courtesy

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Enric Madriguera, UTD’s Director of Guitar Studies and first Russell Cleveland Professor in Guitar Studies died April 14.  

Madriguera was one of the most accomplished guitarists in UTD’s history and a pillar of the Dallas guitar community. His 44-year tenure at the university included international classical guitar study, the founding of the UTD Guitar Series and the co-founding of the Annual Texas Guitar Competition and Festival at UTD. His contributions to critically acclaimed music in Latin America and local music programs caught the eye of Russell Cleveland, an internationally renowned collector of historically significant classical and acoustic guitars, who endowed Madriguera with the professorship in 2009, making him the first recipient of this honor.  

 “I really think that no university or institution is complete without a solid music department,” Madriguera said to The Mercury in a 2017 interview. “I wanted to develop that at UTD.” 

Madriguera was first inspired by music in junior high school when he witnessed the performance of Spanish classical music virtuoso Andrés Segovia, the first Marquis of Salobreña. This fascination with music shaped the young Connecticut man, who went on to obtain scholarships from Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to study the Andrés Segovia Master Classes in Santiago de Compostela, Spain from 1971-72, before going on to graduate from the prestigious Madrid Royal Conservatory. 

After returning to the U.S., he was welcomed to UTD as a Music and Humanities faculty chair in guitar studies in 1980, where he received a touring grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts as a solo performer from 1982 to 1984. 

Upon returning from his first series of tours, Madriguera received a master’s degree in humanities from UTD in 1984 while maintaining his role as faculty chair. Between 1984 and 1987, Madriguera would travel again, spending three years in Columbia with a Fulbright scholarship from the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars to teach classical guitar.  

In 1993, Madriguera received his doctorate degree in humanities from UTD and became the Director of Guitar Studies, quickly earning an international name for himself. In this position, Madriguera was invited to teach and perform in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Vietnam, Australia, Mexico, Greece and Spain, traveling in the latter as a duo act with his wife Sabine Rabe. Most notably among these visits, Madriguera served with the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador in 2007 and was a panel judge at the Darwin International Guitar Festival in Australia in 2002. 

In 2000, Madriguera co-founded and became Artistic Director of the UTD Guitar Series and the Annual Texas Guitar Competition and Festival at UTD, both of which have been cultural staples on campus and attractions for international talents.  

Madriguera’s presence not only impacted UTD but was felt across the DFW community. From 1992 to 1995, he organized a program with the Kraft General Foods Foundation to pour $24,000 into Dallas, Garland and Mesquite public school music programs. Madriguera also became Chair of Education and Culture to the State Executive Board of Partners of the Americas in 2002, co-produced the 2003 Mesquite Guitar Festival and founded and directed the Collegiate Competition and Festival at Eastfield College in 2005 until his passing. 
 
A remembrance of his legacy will be held on campus at the Jonsson Performance Hall May 3, and a memorial mass will be held May 17 at St. Joseph Catholic Church. His funeral was arranged by the Sparkman-Hillcrest Funeral Home. 


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