Meet the teacher

Manuel Cabrera II obtained his Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance from the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music in Manila, Philippines under the guidance of Prof. Ruben Reyes. He later studied with acclaimed Japanese guitarist Norio Sato and received his Master of Music Degree in Guitar under a scholarship at the Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima, Japan.

As a student, Manuel won several major competitions both local and international, including 1st prize at the 31st Nippon Guitar Competition Solo Category, Osaka Japan; 1st prize at the  12th San-in Guitar Competition, Matsue, Japan; 1st prize, 30th Nippon Guitar Competition Duo Category, Osaka, Japan; 2nd prize at the Classical Guitar Competition, Tokyo, Japan; 1st prize at the 1999 National Music Competitions for Young Artists (Manila, Philippines); and 1st prize at the “GITARA” Competition, University of the Philippines, Diliman.

Highlights of his modest performing career include solo concerts and performances in Australia, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines, including a sold-out solo recital at The Esplanade Singapore in 2011 which earned him positive reviews from critics. He had been featured at the prestigious “Filipino Artists Series” at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and at the “New Artists Concert” at Elisabeth University of Music, Hiroshima. He gave masterclasses and was featured as a performer as well at the Guitarra International Guitar Festival in 2010. Manuel is also a champion of new music for guitar, collaborating with contemporary music composers and has done world premiere recordings of Robert Casteels’ My Mother’s Cross (Krus ng Aking Ina) and Danilo Imson’s Has it Changed.

Manuel has also ventured into arranging and writing music for theatre and has lent his talent to acclaimed playwright Asa Gim-Palomera’s Women of Asia and The Curious Lives of Shakespeare and Cervantes, and also as a music director to Dr. Filomar Tariao’s ballet Tres Beses.

Manuel has over 17 years of teaching experience. He was faculty member of the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music from 2000-2007, lecturer at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts School of Music in Singapore from 2011-2015, and he has as well served as an adjudicator for the 2014 and 2015 Singapore Youth Festival Strings and Guitar category. He moved to Australia in 2016 and taught guitar and guitar ensemble at local schools in Adelaide including Mercedes College, St. John’s Grammar School, Willunga Waldorf School and Nazareth Catholic School.

Manuel is now based in Sydney, Australia.