Forces in Music // Masterclass with Marcia Taborda

Classical Guitarist, Researcher & Educator

The guitar as the amplifier of the Brazilian soul.


Born in Rio de Janeiro, Marcia Taborda has a PhD in Social History and a master's degree in guitar both from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ.

Marcia studied guitar under the guidance of Turibio Santos and took interpretation courses of Baroque and Renaissance repertoire with the guitarist Xavier Díaz-Latorre in Barcelona (ESMUC). The only Brazilian to receive The J.F. Kennedy Center Fellowships of the Americas Award, she studied singing and specialized in contemporary repertoire with Joan La Barbara and Christine Schadeberg in New York. Marcia Taborda recorded the guitar works of the acclaimed composer Paulinho da Viola and the CD Musica Humana with works of the contemporary Brazilian repertoire for ABM (Brazilian Music Academy).

As a researcher Marcia has been granted awards from the most important Brazilian institutions: National Library (Resident Researcher Prize, 2016), Casa de Rui Barbosa Foundation and Brazilian Ministry of Culture. One of the winners of the Funarte Award in Music Essays (2010), she published the book "Guitar and National Identity" with Civilização Brasileira. Marcia is coordinator of the guitar studies group and a tenured professor at the School of Music of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro where she works in the undergraduate and graduate programs.

She is currently developing her Postdoctoral research “The Brazilian Guitar in 78 rpm,” at UNSW Sydney, working in collaboration with Dr. Dorottya Fabian, one of the leading specialists in the field of phonographic record analysis.

Marcia will show a documentary she has made called ‘The guitar in the city of Rio de Janeiro.’ She says of this:

'In the 1920s, it used to be said that the guitar was the amplifier of the Brazilian soul. Almost a century later, the expression still holds very true. In this video, we present a very specific vision of the guitar’s trajectory in Brazilian society.

We went back in time to trace the ancestors of our guitars and landed in the 1950s; this historical itinerary took place in a very privileged setting: the city of Rio de Janeiro. The great guitarists are of course, here, as well as the art they produced - songs and the different instrumental genres of our music.'

This masterclass will take the form of a presentation (lecture and/or performance) by our invited guest followed by related performances among the UNSW student cohort. At the end of the presentation there will be time for questions, feedback and discussion. The Forces in Music Masterclasses supports student specialisations, but everyone is welcome from the wider UNSW community and beyond!

Forces in Music convenor, Alister Spence
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