Alfonso Aguirre Dergal is a Mexican born classical guitarist with a successful international career. He has been soloist with orchestras in Mexico, Spain and the United States, and is regularly invited as a guest artist, teacher and jury in prestigious international guitar festivals, universities and institutions of music education in various different countries in America, Europe and Africa.
He received his PhD in Music with highest honors from the Universidade de Aveiro. He also holds a Master of Music degree from Yale University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music – University of Rochester, where he was also awarded the Performer’s Certificate, “granted to students who demonstrate outstanding performing ability”.
Alfonso has been a prizewinner in numerous national and international guitar competitions including the first prize at the Appalachian Guitar Competition (USA), and first prize at the Concurso Nacional de Guitarra in Paracho (Mexico). He has also been a recipient of prestigious awards and scholarships including the Pedro Sarquis Merrewe Award, a full tuition scholarship from Yale University to complete graduate studies, and the FONCA-CONACYT scholarship award to complete PhD studies abroad.
He has been featured as soloist and as member of Duo Ditirambo in Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, United States and Mexico in music festivals and venues such as the IV “Borguitar” Festival, XXXII Festival Internacional de Música “Manuel de Falla”, II Festival Internacional de Guitarra Hospitalet de L’infant, V Festival Internacional de Guitarra “Ciudad de Caravaca”, XXIII Jornadas de Música Contemporánea de Segovia, Yale Guitar “Extravaganza” 2016, UK Internacional Guitar Series (USA), XVII Festival Internacional de Guitarra de Taxco, XXXIX Festival de Guitarra de Paracho, IX Festival Internacional de Guitarra “Ramón Noble”, XI Festival Internacional de Guitarra de Sonora, II Festival Nuntempa de Música Contemporánea, y el XXVIII Festival Cultural de Zacatecas, among others.
Alfonso has been soloist with the American Wind Symphony Orchestra (USA) in numerous times performing the guitar concerti by Blas Galindo and Enrique Santos. He has also been soloist with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Segovia (Spain), performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco (MX), performing M. M. Ponce’s Concierto del Sur, and with the Northwest Louisiana State University Wind Ensemble (USA), performing Ethereal by Mario Gosálvez Blanco.
He recorded Enrique Santos’ guitar concerto in the album Music of the Americas as a soloist of the American Wind Symphony Orchestra. He also recorded the CD Perpetuum Mobile with his Dúo Ditirambo, which has been reviewed by the spanish press as “a great album… bright and elegant, with an evocative and melancholic mood that gives it immense beauty…” (Histéricas Grabaciones, Spain, 2016).
With his duo, he has premiered original works by composers such as Leonardo Coral, Fernando Buide del Real, Mario Gosálvez Blanco, Marisa Manchado, Carlos Alberto Vázquez, Claudia Herrerías, Flores Chaviano, Leticia Armijo and Claudia Herrerías.
His primary teachers include David Mozqueda, Nicholas Goluses, and Benjamin Verdery. While at Eastman he attended Paul O’Dette’s class on baroque performance practices. He has also taken master classes with Leo Brouwer, Manuel Barrueco, Pavel Steidl, Roberto Aussel, Eliot Fisk, Odair Assad, David Tenenbaum, Adam Holzman, Eduardo Fernández, Ivan Rijos, Raphaella Smits, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, among others.
In 2020 he joined the faculty as a guitar professor at the Centro Superior Katarina Gurska (Madrid). Between 2008-2015 he was a tenured professor at the Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas – School of Music (Mexico), and chair of the guitar department of the same institution.
His students have been awarded prizes in solo guitar and chamber music competitions. Alfonso currently lives in Segovia, Spain, with his wife and son.