Classical Guitarist, Composer, Arranger, Instructor


"A most romantic artist who can evoke strong emotions from his audience" (Maria Nockin, Fanfare Magazine)
Guido Sanchez Portuguez has earned his reputation as a talented musician and skillful performer. From live performances to master classes to recordings and more, Guido Sanchez Portuguez is considered "a fine and rare artist” (Guitarist and composer Nuccio D'Angelo). Explore the site and check out his artistry below.

Dr. Sanchez Portuguez is the guitar lecturer at the University of Illinois School of Music.

Full Concert Performance

Guido as guest performer at the IV Guitar Festival in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, July 2015. The concert was held at the beautiful "Ermita de la agonía", a colonial church located in the city of Liberia.

Music Anthology


Latest Release

Produced by Guido Sánchez Portuguez Recorded at Airtime Studios in Bloomington, Indiana by Recording Engineer Chip Reardin. Guido Sánchez Portuguez's first release includes music for solo guitar, guitar trio and guitar quartet composed over the last 15 years. All the pieces in the album are Guido's own compositions with the exception of Beauté parfaite, which is a medieval ballade by Anthonello da Caserta adapted by Guido for guitar trio. Pangea, the oldest piece in this selection, was recorded in 2003 at Audio Arte Recording Studios in San José, Costa Rica by the Erio Guitar Trio with Erick Román as the recording engineer.


Trazos was reviewed by Maria Nockin and Colin Clarke in Fanfare Magazine (July/Aug 2015). There is also a feature interview with Guido in the same issue. Click on the PDF to read.


Click the albumn to learn more or to visit a purchase page. 

Behind the Music

Guido began his musical studies at the University of Costa Rica’s School of Music where he graduated with honors in 2001 under the guidance of Mario Solera. In 2004, he began his Master’s at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with the distinguished professor and internationally acclaimed guitarist Ernesto Bitetti.  Guido continued on to the prestigious Doctoral Program at the Jacobs School of Music, graduating in May 2012 as Doctor of Music in Guitar with minors in Music Theory and Composition where he studied with composers Luis Diego Herra, Sven-David Sandstrom, Per Martensson, Gabriela Ortiz, and Don Freund.  


In 1997, 1998 and 1999, he earned the “Student of Honor” scholarship at the University of Costa Rica and traveled to France and Spain to attend the Stage de Guitares D’Alsace and the Festival Internacional de Guitarra de Córdoba.

In 2000, he was a finalist at the Concurso y Festival Internacional de Guitarra de La Habana, Cuba--one of the most prestigious guitar competitions in the world. In 2003, he won First Prize at the National Guitar Competition in San José, Costa Rica.


Guido obtained the Jury’s Mention of Honor at the 2001 First Composition Competition for Guitar for his piece, Rondó de Vidrio (available on Trazos). Additionally, he won first prize the following year for his guitar orchestra piece, Arenal.


In 2008 he won the prize for Best Performance of the Compulsory Work at the Joann Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. 

From 1995 to 2003, Guido was the first guitar of the Guitar Orchestra of Costa Rica, with which he has recorded five CDs and toured around the World.

He is also a co-owner of the "Escuela Superior de Guitarra" in Costa Rica for which he has worked as both teacher and director. 


He has participated in masterclasses with numerous figures including Leo Brouwer, Costas Cotsiolis, Pepe Romero, Eduardo Fernández, Nuccio D’Angelo, Javier Hinojosa, Jorge Luis Zamora, Jorge Cardoso, Mario Ulloa, Juan Falú, Francisco Ortiz, Eduardo Martín, Baltazar Benítez and Jesús Ortega.


In 2012, Guido directed and produced a CD with the Grammy-winner singer Sylvia McNair in which he is also featured as performer and arranger. 

From 2009-2014, Guido was a lecturer at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where he taught courses in Latin American music history and techniques for arranging in Latin styles. Guido was also the Resident Arranger and Musical Director of the Latin American Popular Music Ensemble. With this ensemble, he recently recorded Paisaje Urbano, a CD featuring his ability as a performer and arranger as well as director and producer. 


In 2014 and 2015 he served as the Director of Guitar Studies at Franklin College in Indiana, where he also taught World Music.


Guido has been invited to participate in numerous festivals around the world including the Boardwalk Music Festival in Virginia, the Festival de Guitares D’Alsace in France, the Festival Internacional de Guitarra in San José, Costa Rica, the Festival de Guitarra de Guanacaste in Liberia, Costa Rica, Guitar Days in Buffalo, NY, the Festival Permanente de Música de Suchitoto in El Salvador and the Indiana Guitar Festival. He has also performed and given masterclasses and lecture-recitals at several universities including Marshall University, Universidad de Costa Rica, Tulane University, University of Illinois, Indiana University and Indiana University Purdue in Fort Wayne, IN.


Guido is currently full time faculty at the University of Illinois School of Music in Urbana-Champaign where he directs the guitar studio. He continues to compose and to perform both locally and internationally.

Diverse Artistry and Education


De la raíz a la copa

This lecture-recital focuses in on the origins and development of the Latin American guitar from the early days of colonial life to the urban cosmopolitan cities of the 21st century. This clip features a live performance of Canción del emperador. The full lecture includes two additional performance pieces as well as recordings and videos that illustrated how the guitar became a vehicle for some of the most recognizable musical genres of South, Central and North America, as well as the Caribbean.

The purpose of this recital is to introduce the audience not only to the sounds of the Latin American guitar but to also give them a glimpse of the culture that produced them.

A sampling of recent of live performances, lectures and video clips from a variety of genres for an introductory look into Guido's musical career as a guitarist, lecturer, director and composer. 


Arenal is one of Guido's pieces for Guitar Orchestra. It was written in 2002 and won First Prize at the Second Guitar Composition Competition in San José, Costa Rica that same year. The piece has been performed by the Orquesta de Guitarras de Costa Rica, the Orquesta de Guitarras de la Universidad de Costa Rica-–who also recorded it and it’s featured in their 2008 release “25 años”--the Jugend Gitarren-Orchester from Baden-Württemberg, and the Latin American Popular Music Ensemble from the Jacobs School of Music in Indiana.

This video was taken during the XV International Guitar Festival in San José, Costa Rica, 2008.

Negra Presuntuosa by Andrés Soto

The Latin American Popular Music Ensemble plays Guido's arrangement of the famous landó by Andrés Soto, based on the version by Inti-Illimani. This performance took place as part of a concert held at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Performing Arts Center in Bloomington, Indiana on April 10th, 2014. It was the LAPME's last concert under Guido's direction--after almost a decade of work.

During his tenure with the LAPME, Guido was its resident arranger and composer and was later appointed as its musical director. Under his musical guidance, the ensemble recorded two CDs and provided the music for a radio program about Latin American Christmas.

He chose this particular song because it lends itself perfectly not only to the nature of the group but to the mission that the group always had under his direction: the dissemination of less-known Latin American folkloric music.

Canticum by Leo Brouwer

This performance took place during the closing night of the First Indiana Guitar Festival, for which Guido was one of the primary invited guests. His performance included the Latin American repertoire of 20th and 21st-century composers, including his own music. Leo Brouwer’s “Canticum” has been one of his favorite pieces in terms of its compositional value and also the energy and attention that it commands when played on stage. This piece belongs to Brouwer’s “avant-garde” period of the late 60s and early 70s, when he followed the precepts of great figures of the time like Krysztof Penderecki and Lukas Foss.

Estudio Simple # 6 by Leo Brouwer

A reimagining of Leo Brouwer’s classic etude from his series of simple studies for guitar. This version turns the original solo guitar piece into a duo with a percussionist playing a “cajón peruano” to evoke a quasi-flamenco rhythmic texture. Percussionist Harold Agosto joins Guido for this fun experiment.


Want to learn more about Guido Sanchez Portuguez, book a lesson, or catch a performance? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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