Biography

Berta Rojas,
Classical Guitarist, Winner of the Latin Grammy®️
Associate Professor of Berklee College of Music

With a renowned international trajectory, praise for Berta includes the Washington Post´s “…guitarist extraordinaire” and Classical Guitar Magazine´s “…ambassador of the classical guitar.”

Her album, Legado (2022), garnered two Latin Grammy awards. One, in the category of Best Classical Album, and another for the work entitled “Anido’s Portrait” written for the album by Sergio Assad, receiving the statuette for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. Berta has been nominated to the Latin Grammy on three other occasions: in the category of Best Tango Album for History of Tango (2015), recorded with the Camerata Bariloche; in the category of Best Classical Album for Salsa Roja (2014); and in the category of Best Instrumental Album for Día y Medio – A Day and a Half, a duo with Paquito D’Rivera (2012).

Berta´s acknowledged warmth and musicality have won her the admiration of audiences at major venues worldwide. Among them are, the 92Y, the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall and the Fredrick P. Rose Hall of Jazz at the Lincoln Center in New York, the South Bank Centre of London, at Shakespeare´s Globe in London as a guest of the grand master, John Williams, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and Flagey Studio 4 in Brussels, where she performed with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra for Belgian National Television.

In 2011, Berta, along with guest star Paquito D’Rivera, initiated the four-year tour “In the Footsteps of Mangoré” following the travels of Paraguay´s Agustín Barrios, pioneer of the classical guitar in the Americas. The duo performed in twenty countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, concluding the journey at the National Theater of the capital of El Salvador, the final resting place of the celebrated composer.

Berta takes her audience on a colorful journey of sound at each concert, embracing new works by composers in diverse genres.

In addition to continually enriching her own artistic career with frequent international tours offering concerts and giving master classes, Berta Rojas is passionately committed to furthering and disseminating the classical guitar. A particular focus is on promoting the music of her country, Paraguay, as well as Latin American music more widely. Providing ongoing support for the careers of young upcoming guitarists is another facet dear to her heart, with projects in different formats such as the Barrios WorldWideWeb Competition, the Ensemble Pu Rory (in the Guaraní language, Festive Sounds), Instrumentoteca and Jeporeka (Search), among others.

After initial studies in Paraguay under masters Felipe Sosa and Violeta de Mestral, Berta continued her studies in Uruguay as a student of Abel Carlevaro, Eduardo Fernández and Mario Payseé. She went on to get a master’s in music at the Peabody Institute under Manuel Barrueco, Ray Chester, and Julian Gray. Berta recently joined the faculty of Berklee College of Music as an Associate Professor, sharing her knowledge and love of music with a select group of young guitarists from various parts of the world.

Berta Rojas has been ranked amongst the most influential women in the Hispanic World by EFE News Agency in 2014 and EsGlobal in 2017. She was named a Fellow of the Americas of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for her artistic excellence, and honored by her country with the title, Illustrious Ambassador of Musical Arts, granted by the Senate. In 2015, the Chamber of Deputies awarded her the National Order of Merit of the Comuneros, and the Cabildo of the capital, Asunción, the title of Master of the Arts. The Autonomous University of Encarnacion granted her an Honorary Doctorate in 2016 as did the Universidad Americana. The Foreign Ministry of Paraguay gave her the National Order of Merit Don José Falcón in 2017 in acknowledgement for her outstanding contribution to culture. The Carlos Colombino Award bestowed by the National Secretariat of Culture followed suit. In 2019, the National University of Asunción also granted her an Honorary Doctorate.

The most recent award is the Golden Guitar: A Life Dedicated to the Guitar, bestowed by the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Milan.

Reviews

…all is performed to perfection by an artist who seemingly takes everything in her stride… One runs out of superlatives when writing about Berta Rojas, it has all been said before, countless times
Steve Marsh
[ Classical Guitar Magazine ]
…a very full audience was treated to an evening full of warmth, sensitivity and magic, beginning the very moment Ms. Rojas stepped onto the stage. The elegance, grace, rhythm, warmth, strength, sadness and humour were stunningly balanced in what would seem a perfect combination of composer and performer. The result? A truly magical performance
Hayley Savage
[ Bristol Guitar Society Newsletter ]
Rojas clearly has Barrios’ music deeply in her blood
Stephen Brookes
[ Washington Post ]
…the unbearable heat and humidity outside Meralco Theater didn’t dampen the spirit of Manila’s music lovers who gave Paraguay guitar icon Berta Rojas a standing ovation after the last section of Agustin Pio Barrios Mangore’s “La Catedral,” which left no doubt about the immense stature of the visiting artist
Pablo A. Tariman
[ Philippine Daily Inquirer ]
The music on ‘Terruño’ proves to be some of the most expressive and idiomatic guitar music in the repertoire.. Terruño contains some of the most exciting pieces recently written for solo guitar, and uses every aspect of the instrument. Rojas executes the fast scales and arpeggios, harmonics, rasgueados, and percussive tapping techniques with incredible precision, tone, and clarity. She performs this music as if she has always known it, with the deepest understanding and passion and her expert musicianship shines through this recording
Brad Conroy
[ Guitar International ]
Rojas is Rojas and that is the highest complement one could bestow upon another
Travis Rogers, Jr
[ The Jazz Times ]
…In the hands of Berta Rojas, the classical guitar truly becomes the world’s instrument--a means of bridging wide cultural divides via the uncommon clarity and inherent loveliness of her music
Mark Holston
[ Latina Magazine ]
…only once in a great while does a classical CD come along which is so impeccable in every aspect of professionalism: heart touching musical artistry, interesting repertoire, and excellent technical production. Paraguayan guitarist Berta Rojas ‘Cielo Abierto’ is one of these
Jim McCutcheon
[ Soundboard ]
As a performer, Rojas ranks among the top players of the day as she is both technically proficient and emotionally expressive on every piece
Dr. Matthew Warnock
[ Modern Guitar Magazine ]
Berta Rojas is a master guitarist who displays outstanding technical and musical capabilities in this recording ‘Intimate Barrios’. Her feeling for the music imbues these interpretations with qualities that reflect what one imagines Barrios originally intended
Zane Turner
[ MusicWeb International ]
I have not watched another guitarist who could draw such warmly golden tones out of a piece of wood! Nor have I encountered a guitar more sonorous or more deeply throated; listening to this one guitar was equivalent to listening to a choir of them!
Julie Yap Daza
[ Tempo Philippines Newspaper Tabloid ]
This concert was an entirely masterful performance
Martin Slater
[ Southampton Guitar Society Newsletter ]
Ninety minutes maintained at the highest level of performance and interpretation
Colin Cooper
[ Classical Guitar Magazine ]
…Berta Rojas, guitarist extraordinaire
Mark Adamo
[ Washington Post ]
…heart-touching musical artistry
Jim McCutcheo
[ Soundboard Magazine ]
…an ambassador of the classical guitar
Tim Panting
[ Classical Guitar Magazine ]