by Mike Telin
The relationship between Hermelindo Ruiz (left) and the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society dates back to 2020, when the guitarist/composer became an Artist in Residence for CCGS through a Creative Fusion grant from the Cleveland Foundation. A year later, Ruiz became a CCGS Composer in Residence, writing works for young guitar players that were premiered by the students.
This week Ruiz makes his third visit to Cleveland — this time joined by Samuel Diz in the Zidur Guitar Duo. On Saturday, February 24 at 7:30 pm, the duo will make its Cleveland debut at the Maltz Performing Arts Center. The program features music from their homelands of Puerto Rico and Spain. Tickets are available online.
Ruiz was in Chicago when I caught up with him by phone and began by asking how he and Diz came to form the duo.
Hermelindo Ruiz: Through friends of mine, Samuel discovered some scores of my work and started to play my music in Europe. I am from Puerto Rico and he’s from Spain, and he started telling people about this Puerto Rican classical music composer. And that opened a lot of doors to me, including getting to go to Spain. We started playing as a duo in 2009 when we were 20 or 21 years old at the time.