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Teachers at the Old Town School

Ruben Portillo



Renowned for his dedication and sincere love for guitar music, Rubén Portillo has been praised as "one of the most gifted guitarists" by three-time Latin Grammy Awards nominee classical guitarist, Berta Rojas.

Rubén Portillo has won many competitions in his native Paraguay, including first prizes in the “Momento Musical Competition”, “Young Talent Competition” and “Takuare’e Competition”. Other top awards include an Honorable Mention by the Festival “Lago Ypacarai” and by the “Takuare’e Cultural Society”.

Rubén is frequently invited to perform for different organizations. Some highlights include his performance of his arrangement of the United States National Anthem and the Paraguayan National Anthem at the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay. His arrangement of the Paraguayan Anthem was the first version for classical guitar in the original key and was recorded for a music video produced by Telefuturo that still airs on national television in Paraguay. In 2019 Rubén attended the Person of The Year Gala and the 20th Latin GRAMMYs Award Ceremony in Las Vegas, NV. as a scholarship ambassador of the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation. He was also invited as a guest performer by the Gabriela Lena Frank Academy of Music in Boonville, CA. where he worked with composers to create and perform new pieces. He performed with the Ensemble "Pu Rory" directed by Berta Rojas in Paraguay, with the Manuel Barrueco Studio Ensemble in Baltimore, MD. and with the Northwestern University Ensemble in Evanston, IL.
Rubén Portillo was born in Paraguay and started playing guitar at the age of 7. In Paraguay, he studied with Agustin Zaracho, Felipe Sosa, Luz Maria Bobadilla and Berta Rojas and in Argentina, with Victor Villadangos. In 2017 he moved to The United States to join the studio of Manuel Barrueco at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Guitar Performance and with a Master of Music degree in Guitar Performance and Pedagogy. Ruben was a recipient of The Tuition Scholarship sponsored by the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation and a recipient of two Honorable Mention from Music For Humanity. In addition, Ruben was awarded by Johns Hopkins University the James Winship Memorial Prize for good academic performance and the Randolph S. Rothschild Award for his contributions in the area of Guitar Performance.

Currently, Ruben is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Northwestern University where he received the Eckstein Fund Award. He has been teaching private lessons since 2019 and has a great passion to share his knowledge and expertise to aspiring musicians. Along with his private studio teaching he also presents masterclasses, private/group lessons, and ensemble coachings. Ruben teaches guitar to all ages, from complete beginners to advanced. He focuses on the fundamentals of performance with proper technique and helps students achieve their musical goals and to have a lifelong appreciation of music.

Started at the Old Town School in May of 2023