Misael Barraza-Diaz is one of the most outstanding Mexican guitarists of his generation. He graduated “Summa Cum Laude” from the Master Guitarra Alicante, a special program where he studied with world-renowned musicians David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Ignacio Rodes, Paul O’dette, Hopkinson Smith, Fabio Zanon, Roberto Aussell and Shin Ichi Fukuda. As of December 2014, Misael holds both a Masters degree from the Master Guitarra Alicante (Spain) and a second Master’s degree from the University of Arizona (U.S.A.) where he is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Musical Arts and continues to study with Thomas Patterson, David Russell, and Sergio and Odair Assad.
Misael has been awarded first place at numerous international guitar competitions, such as the 12th Culiacán International Competition (2019 – MEX), 20th Annual Guitar Symposium and Competition (2019 – USA), Wilson Center Guitar Competition (2018 – USA), 1st International Guitar Competition of Finland (2018 – FIN), Domaine Forget Guitar Competition (2017 – CAN), Chihuahua International Guitar Competition (2015 – MEX), Indiana International Guitar Competition (2013 – USA) and the Montreal International Guitar Competition (2013 – CAN). At the international competition in Finland, Misael was awarded a special prize that consisted of a CD recording with the European company Alba Records. In addition, at the first Klagenfurt International Competition in Austria (2018) Mr. Barraza received another special prize consisting of a CD recording contract in Los Angeles, to be produced and released by Latin Grammy Award winner guitarist and composer Yalil Guerra. Both of these albums will be recorded in 2019. Moreover, Misael recently he received yet another recording contract prize at the International Competition in Culiacán (2019), thus receiving three separate CD recording contract prizes in a time span of less than a year.
During the year 2018, Misael was also awarded a very special 1st place at the XLIII Concurso Nacional de Intérpretes de Guitarra Clásica, advanced category (2018 – MEX), the most important national competition in Mexico. The artist has been presented as a solo guitarist throughout the USA, Mexico, Canada, and Europe. In Alicante, Spain, he was featured at the “Gala Importantes”, one of the most important journalistic events of the region. He was also invited to perform at the first “Día de la Guitarra Española en Alicante”, a special event in which Manuel Barrueco, Ignacio Rodes, Edmon Colomer and Christian Haimel were also featured. Misael was also recently presented as part of the concert series of the Danish Guitar Society, performing at one of its most important and historical venues, the Rundetaarn Tower. He was also the featured solo guitarist for the World Premiere of Passionately, Piazzolla! the musical, a collaboration between Tucson Desert Song Festival, Ballet Tucson, and the Tucson Guitar Society. Mr. Barraza has been featured three times as a guest artist at the Science Lecture Series that takes place at the University of Arizona every year.
Mr. Barraza has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards for his trajectory in music during his stay at the University of Arizona, including the Creative Achievement Award (2018), Steve Schulman Award (2015, 2016, 2018 & 2019), Northern Trust Distinguished Graduate Student Award (2015), Honors Research Grant (2011), and the Medici Scholars Award (2010, 2011, 2012, 2018). In addition, Misael has been awarded first place at all five in-house competitions a the Bolton Guitar studies program: the Beeston Guitar Competition, the Sholin Guitar Competition, the Schaeffer Guitar Competition, and the Wolfe Award Recital. Mr. Barraza has also twice been the recipient of the prestigious David Russell Bach Prize, a special competition held at the University of Arizona in honor of David Russell and dedicated solely to the music of J.S. Bach.