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"You are left with the sensation of being touched to the core by exquisitely played pieces" SONGLINES

Described as “a true pioneer” (Classic FM Magazine), award winning London-based Cuban guitarist, Ahmed Dickinson Cardenas, is one of the finest performers of the Cuban classical guitar school. In Spring 2016, he will release his sixth album featuring Grammy nominee and fellow Cuban guitarist - Eduardo Martin - which they will subsequently tour across the UK and Europe.

A sophisticated virtuoso, the Havana-born Dickinson Cardenas has performed at prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Sage Gateshead, Union Chapel, Queen Elizabeth Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, LSO St Luke’s and St James’s Piccadilly. He has given live performances on BBC Radio 3 and BBC London. He has also featured at prominent festivals including London Classical Guitar Festival, Bath International Guitar Festival, Sage Guitar Festival, Kings Place Music Festival, Oxford Lieder Festival, Ards Guitar Festival (Northern Ireland), Dublin Guitar Week, Hispano-American Guitar Festival (Mexico), Identidades International Guitar Festival (Cuba) and Havana International Guitar Festival.

Over the last 10 years, Ahmed has established a successful career in the UK, whilst maintaining a performance profile and strong links with Cuba. More recently, he has been building a reputation for his original compositional style and will be performing his latest works in a series of concerts later this year. 

Dickinson Cardenas is widely recognised as an ambassador both for the music and musicians of his native country. In 2008, Ahmed founded Cubafilin Records – a record label dedicated to the exclusive promotion of Cuban musicians and their original works. For nearly ten years, Dickinson Cardenas enjoyed the great privilege of collaborating with the prolific late guitarist and composer - Jose Antonio (Ñico) Rojas. Ahmed transcribed Rojas' extensive unpublished works during this period, and subsequent performances and recordings earned two prizes at the Cubadisco Awards 2009, Best Instrumental Soloist & Best Instrumental Album. The same album was nominated for Best Artist & Best Newcomer in Songlines World Music Magazine, and Best Album & Best Single at the Latin American Music Awards UK.

Passionate in his collaboration with other artists, Ahmed has released four albums (Latin Perspective, The Havana Suite, Canciones del Alma, Ben Wragg & Ahmed Dickinson Cardenas), and one solo album (Ahmed Dickinson Cardenas plays Ñico Rojas) for which the world music magazine Songlines wrote: "You are left with the sensation of being touched to the core by exquisitely played pieces". 

He has worked with acclaimed soprano Laura Mitchell, flamenco Jazz guitarist Eduardo Niebla, Cuban percussionist Hammadi Rencurrell, violinists Emma Blanco, the Santiago Quartet, and led the Cuban Guitar Orchestra Sonantas Habaneras in Havana for two years. 

Dickinson Cardenas graduated from the Superior Institute of Art (ISA Havana) and was awarded a first-class honours degree on the guitar, completing his qualification a year early. In 2005, he moved to London to study with Carlos Bonell and Chris Stell at the Royal College of Music and was awarded prizes including the Royal College of Music Guitar Competition and the Ivor Mairant Guitar Competition. In 2006, supported by The Kramer-Chappell Scholarship and the Mad Hatters Club, he undertook further studies with Robert Brightmore at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Since his arrival in the UK, Dickinson Cardenas has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Ashley Stewart Arts Sponsorship 2011, Concordia Foundation 2008-2009 and Ivor Mairants International guitar Competition 2006.

Forthcoming performances include a concert at the Sage Gateshead curated by the International Guitar Foundation and the European premiere of Acrílicos en el Destino by Eduardo Martín at Milton Court Concert Hall.