Composer  and Guitarist




Gaspar began to study violin at age seven under the guidance of Natalia Gudkov of the Julliard School of Music in New York City. Once back in his native city of Puebla, Mexico he took up the classical guitar in the local Conservatory and later continued at the famous Estudio de Arte Guitarristico with Manuel Lopez Ramos, graduating in 1979. He also studied flamenco guitar with Robert Amaya, nephew of Carmen Amaya.
In 1972 he won 2nd place in the National Guitar Competition in Monterrey and in 1978 he made 1st prize in the International Classical Guitar Competition in Paracho, Michoacan. In 1982 he was a finalist in the Manuel M. Ponce International Guitar Competition.
In 1980 he founded the Classical Guitar School in the Casa de Cultura of Puebla. Later, at the University of the Americas, he established the Flamenco workshop and initiated the Fuego Flamenco group. He also taught Spanish guitar at the Escuela de Musica Antigua. He has lectured extensively on Mexican music in universities, Casas de Cultura and at the International Congress of Art and Culture of the University of Puebla (BUAP). He is currently on the faculty of the Conservatory of Puebla where he teaches guitar.
He has been “tutor” of grant recipients of the Puebla State Fund for the Arts and Culture and member of the Technical and Planning committees of this fund. He is also a member of the Seminar of Mexican Culture, a group of experts who council government on questions of art, culture and education in general. In the year 2004 he received a grant from the FOESCAP/CONACULTA in the category of Creadores con Trayectoria to play his compositions on a tour of his native state and to compose a series of pieces allusive to this tour.
As a concert guitarist he has played all over Mexico and in some US cities. Just to mention a few: in 1978 he carried out a tour of 16 cities for the Mexican petroleum company (PEMEX); in 1979 he inaugurated the Friends of the
Texas Boy’s Choir Concert Series. More recent participations have been at the International Palafox Festival, The International Festival of Puebla, The Historic Center Festival, the Cleofas Villegas Guitar Festival of Atlixco, The international Cultural Fair of Huamantla and the Second International Guitar Fest of Zihuatanejo. He has also organized and played at the International Guitarrisima Puebla.
Gaspar has recorded several CD’s. The latest, Festones, is a collection of his recent classical guitar opus. Regina in three movements of this collection is published by VP Music Media of Italy.  

Juan Gaspar’s guitar works

Many of his musical works have suggestive titles, but this does not mean they are programatic; the titles are a means and a link to the listener. As Silvestre Revueltas once exclaimed: “It all depends on the good or bad faith of the listener”.
has roots in the Zarabande but its structure is freer.
Almain, diferencias para Mister Robert Johnson
takes after an Alman by the XVII century English composer where an eight bar theme is followed by several eight bar variations.
Una tarde en el parqne (An Afternoon in the Park)
was inspired while in the gardens of the town square in Mixtla, Puebla. Gaspar was in Mixtla to play for the “Variaciones sobre Bajo los festones” project which is described below. The concert was to be in the local church which is, as is common in Latin America, across the street from the town square or “zocalo”. This park has several fountains and the ancient trees there were gently swaying their branches in the Spring breeze. The afternoon sun’s rays illuminated the front of the church, recently painted white and yellow thus standing out neatly against the transparent blue sky. When Gaspar took out his camera for a picture he was approached by a local citizen who told him that picture taking was now prohibited: Robbers had recently attempted to break into the church to loot some of its colonial period treasures. In the end the spirit of freshness and freedom prevails in the piece.
is conceived much as the well known “Spanish Romanza” in three voice parts with the middle voice in triplets.
Llovizna (Drizzle)
. On a grey rainy day sounds are dampened when suddenly the clouds open and a beam of sunlight makes the raindrops sparkle.
A mi Nena
was composed for his daughter when she was six.
Bajo los festones de la parroquia Suite (Under the Parish Festoons).
Gaspar has travelled extensively all over Mexico and particularly throughout his native state of Puebla playing his guitar. The concerts have on countless occasions been in a church or chapel. These are often festooned with multi-colored banners for religious festivities. The activities carried out under these festoons make for a rich variety of ideas for musical thought.
A Regina
is based on the book of the same name written by Antonio Velasco Piña. She was born on a Spring day (Vino con la primavera, She came with spring-time), she died during the student movements of 1968 (Un angel se la llevo, She was taken away by an angel) and she sleeps eternally somewhere in Iztaccihuatl, the snowy volcano. Her friends take flowers there for her (La flor en la nieve, A flower in the snow).
Toquìdo (Knockìng). O
ne fine afternoon Gaspar was standing outside the Conservatory and upon hearing somebody honk their horn, he imagined a piece based on that rhythmic pattern. The piece was composed thanks to a grant from the National Council for Culture and the Arts (Conaculta) and the Department of Culture of the State of Puebla in 2004.