Ahmed Dickinson – Music Created from the Heart
Published 1 May 2010
My main reason for deciding to stay in London after finishing my studies was the almost endless opportunities for personal development and the huge concentration of talents I can find here. In the last year alone I was lucky enough to meet many individuals who are all exceptional talents in their fields.
One of them is Ahmed Dickinson Cardenas, a London-based Cuban classical guitarist. I was just amazed the first time I heard him play. He was playing Bartók with one of his violinist fellows somewhere in Soho. As I was not an expert in music I could not judge his technique, although the critics agree that his ability is unquestionably brilliant. But I can talk about the feelings his music provokes in the audience. The first thing I noticed was the humbleness and passion Ahmed Dickinson showed towards his instrument, which in turn was reflected in his music. Trained both in Cuba (Superior Institute of Art, Havana) and the UK (Royal College of Music and Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London), he has both the theoretical and practical knowledge essential to become acclaimed in professional music circles, but all this would not be enough without the passion for music he has within and shares with us with the confidence of a world class musician.
His first album, ‘Ahmed Dickinson Plays Ñico Rojas’, is a homage to the late José Antonio (Ñico) Rojas, with whom he worked together for almost a decade in order to preserve the master’s heritage. Ñico Rojas, originally a hydraulic engineer, was born in the city of Havana. Although he learned how to play the guitar autodidactically, he became a remarkable representative of the so-called ‘Feeling’ trend in Cuban music. Through Ahmed Dickinson, Nico Rojas’ legacy and style has been preserved for future generations to enjoy. As an ambassador of Cuban music and culture, Dickinson contributes to events like the Ken Gill Memorial Concert recently (23rd March, Bolivar Hall – Venezuelan Embassy) in support of the Music Fund for Cuba.
In addition, Ahmed Dickinson regularly gives solo concerts on renowned venues in London and all around the UK, as well as collaborating with other artists like Hammadi Rencurrell Valdes, Emma Blanco, Omar Puente, Lizzie Ball and Ben Wragg among many others. He has been given numerous awards like the Best Instrumental Soloist & Best Instrumental Album at Cubadisco 2009, and the prestigious Cuban Music Record Industry Awards. His album has been nominated for Best Artist & Best Newcomer in Songlines World Music Magazine, and Best Album & Best Single at the Latin American Music Awards UK. Ahmed Dickinson is also a Concordia Foundation and Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now artist.
This gifted Cuban guitarist is currently touring the UK, and attending one of his concerts is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will be both a mesmerising and uplifiting experience. His next concerts in London are:
- 2nd May – Recital with soprano Laura Mitchell (Dysart Arms, Richmond)
- 12th May – Solo Recital (Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London)
- 15th May – Solo and Mestizo performance at the London Classical Guitar Festival (Bolivar Hall, 4 Grafton Way, London)
- 22nd May – Mestizo Duo (Digby Chapel, Roehampton University, London)
Article written by Adrienn Gecse.