Rafael Martin Padron

Asst. Professor Prof. Practice

(305) 284-2083
Locator Code:


About Me


Students are a source of inspiration for me. I learn from them every day, as I have learned from all my former teachers, through their lessons and by their performances. I am a natural performer. I love the stage and therefore performing is my passion.

I am also a disciplined and perseverant person who can’t spend one day without playing the guitar. Finding a nice tone, playing with good taste, choosing the repertoire they can master, encouraging them to be the best they can, those are some of the things I will always try to transmit to my students.


Cuban-born guitarist, Rafael Padrón, brings an extensive and diverse career as both an artist and educator to his role as Program Director of Classical Guitar at the Frost School of Music. An innovative and passionate performer, he has been featured both solo and with orchestra in numerous cities throughout the world. His credits include work with such stellar ensembles as the Symphony Orchestra of Matanzas, Cuba, the Ayacucho Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, the Chamber Orchestra of Caracas, Venezuela, Camerata Latinoamericana of Costa Rica. The Independence Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, the Panama National Symphony Orchestra and The Panamerican Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C.

Mr. Padrón has also been a featured performer at any number of high profile international music festivals. As an artist who is constantly in demand, he has headlined the International Festival of the Guitar in Havana, Cuba, The International Festival of the Guitar in Panama, The International Music Festival in Costa Rica, The Festival Iberoamericano de Guitarra in Tenerife, Spain, Rust International Guitar Festival and Competition in Rust, Austria, and Brno International Guitar Festival in the Czech Republic. He also premiered composer Leo Brouwer’s “Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra No. 3, Elegíaco” at the International Festival of Music of the Hatillo in Caracas, Venezuela, and introduced Mr. Brouwer’s suite “From Yesterday to Penny Lane” at the International Guitar Festival in Costa Rica.

Mr. Padrón’s wealth of teaching experience is equally diverse. He taught classical guitar at the Jose Antonio and Carmen Calcaño Foundation of Caracas, Venezuela, the National University of Heredia, Costa Rica, Costa Rica University of San Jose, Costa Rica, The Paco de Malaga Guitar Gallery in Washington D.C., The Olenka Music School in Columbia, Maryland, and The Levine School in Washington D.C.

Among his many accolades, Mr. Padrón has received major honors from  numerous national and international competitions, including the Best Interpretation of Latin American Music in Havana, Cuba, The Diploma of Honor at the International Classical Guitar Competition in Chile, and top prizes from the National Guitar Competition in Havana and the Montpelier Cultural Arts Center Recital Series Competitions in the United States.

Mr. Padron began studying the guitar at the age of eleven. He attended the National School of Art in Havana, Cuba, studying under the guidance of the distinguished Argentinean teacher and performer, Victor Pellegrini. In 1986, he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Advanced Institute of Art in Havana, where he graduated with a degree in music in 1991, while also receiving the prestigious “Student of High Achievement” award. In addition, he participated in master classes with such accomplished artists as composer Leo Brouwer and guitarists Maria Luisa Anido, Alvaro Pierri, Costa Cotsiolis and David Russell. He graduated from the Peabody Conservatory at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, where he also completed his Graduate Performance Diploma on a full scholarship, under the tutelage of world-renowned guitarist Manuel Barrueco. Mr. Padron received his Masters Degree Diploma at the University of Miami in December 2005.

Honors & Acknowledgements

Professional Experience

Career Highlights

  • International studies under renowned guitar masters and composers
  • Performances with prestigious orchestras throughout the world
  • Featured headliner at numerous international classical guitar festivals
  • Masters DEgree from the University of Miami

Honors, Awards & Competitions

  • Scholarship for the Advanced Institute of Art in Havana
  • Student of High Achievement” award from the Advanced Institute of Art in Havana
  • Best Interpretation of Latin American Music in Havana, Cuba
  • Diploma of Honor from the International Classical Guitar Competition in Chile
  • Top prizes from the National Guitar Competition in Havana
  • Top honors from the Montpelier Cultural Arts Center Recital Series Competitions


  • “Fandago’ with Aurora Guitar Quartet 2002
  • “Noviembre” Solo 2005
  • “Alhambra” Slolo 2009
  • “Barrios” Solo 2015