June 05, 2013 — Coral Gables — After 34 years as a professor of classical guitar at the Frost School of Music, Rene Gonzalez, associate professor and program director is retiring. Gonzalez came to UM as an undergraduate student in 1966 and attained his bachelor of music, master of music and doctorate degree of musical arts. He studied with Juan Mercadal, with whom he formed a guitar duo that performed recitals throughout the Southeastern United States and Puerto Rico.
Gonzalez began his career as an instructor in 1979 when Dean William F. Lee hired him. He fondly recalls the lasting relationships he has built with his students over 34 years especially those with whom he has become close friends. Gonzalez found teaching to be immensely gratifying but he also cherishes the life lessons he learned along the way.
“I’m ready to retire from teaching so I may continue performing—and I have two or three projects in mind for recording. Much of the repertoire I’ve learned over the years I have never recorded. I’m also interested in pursuing my hobbies of playing tennis, golf and oil painting,” says Gonzalez.
He believes his former students and their professional and musical accomplishments create his legacy, such as Douglas Lora, who most recently won the Concert Artist Guild International Competition (NYC 2006) and tours the globe with Brazil Guitar Duo with Joao Luiz. Other notable students include Steve Morse, guitarist for the Dixie Dregs and Pat Metheny.
Gonzalez’s passions include teaching and presenting lectures in the public schools and performing for education and chamber music groups. He founded The Ruck Ensemble, a professional classical guitar ensemble, and has also accompanied classical singer Victoria De Los Angeles.
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