B i o g r a p h i e s
"The Royal Family of the Guitar"
A veritable institution in the world of classical music, the
quartet has dazzled countless audiences and won the raves
of reviewers worldwide. Celedonio Romero, founder and
creator of The Romeros guitar dynasty, died on May 8,
1996 in San Diego, California. As the family says, "the spirit
of the quartet is him; all our concerts now will be to pay
homage to him"; his sons and grandsons continue
To some fortunate musicians, it is given to rise to the peak
of a musical art form; to some very few musicians, it is given
to originate an art form. The Romeros have achieved both.
In a lengthy feature article The New York Times said:
"Collectively, they are the only classical guitar quartet of
real stature in the world today; in fact, they virtually
invented the format."
The legendary Celedonio Romero, with his sons Celin, Pepe
and Angel, founded the internationally renowned ensemble
known to millions as "The Royal Family of the Guitar." With
the introduction of Celin's son, Celino, into the quartet in
1990, and Angel's son Lito joining his father in duo recital,
The Romeros encompass three generations of concert
artists. To have so many virtuosi of the same instrument in
one family is unique in the world of musical performance,
and in the realm of the classical guitar, it is absolutely without precedent.
Celedonio Romero was a renowned soloist in Franco's Spain. As each of his sons reached the age of two or three, they began learning the guitar from their father. All of his sons had made their debuts in Spain by the time they were seven years old. In 1957, the family immigrated to the United States where "The Romeros" walked onto the world stage as its first guitar quartet while the boys were still in their teens. Since then, The Romeros have given hundreds of concerts all over the world and have consistently dazzled audiences everywhere and have inspired enthusiastic praise from critics coast to coast. They continue to this day to produce music, which is extraordinary.
The sterling reputation of the Romeros has been continually confirmed by repeated appearances with virtually every major symphony orchestra in the United States including those of Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Detroit and many others. The family has twice been invited to the White House; in 1983 they appeared at the Vatican in a special concert for His Holiness Pope John Paul II, and in 1986 they performed for His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. Regular festival appearances include the Hollywood Bowl, Blossom, Wolf Trap, Saratoga, Flagstaff and Garden State.
For over 40 years three generations of Romeros have inspired composers to enrich the repertoire of guitar quartet with orchestra, which includes works by such distinguished composers as Joaquín Rodrigo, Federico Moreno Torroba, Morton Gould, Francisco de Madina, Lorenzo Palomo and others. Television fans have seen and heard the Romeros many times on television among them, the Tonight and Today shows as well as on PBS specials and PBS's telecast of Evening at the Boston Pops with The Romeros performing Vivaldi and Rodrigo. In the words of Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo, "The Romeros have developed the technique of the guitar by making what is difficult to be easy; They are, without a doubt, the grand masters of the guitar."
The illustriuos career of The Romeros is one of the great success stories of twentieth century music. Celin Romero is one of the founding members of this internationally renowned ensemble, known to millions as “the Royal Family of the Guitar”. Throughout four decades Celin has proven to be a man of noble bearing who is noted for the virtuosity and elegance with which he performs.
Season after season, in countless appearances, he demonstrates his own personal style, as a soloist, with orchestra, in duo recitals with his brother Pepe or son Celino, and as a member of the famous quartet.
Celin Romero was born on November 28, 1936, in Málaga, Spain and is the eldest son of Maestro Celedonio Romero and Angelita Ines Romero. Upon reaching the age of two or three Celin Romero began learning the guitar from his father, the legendary Celedonio Romero. He had made his professional debut in his native Spain by the time he was seven years old at the Radio National de España.
Despite his busy concert schedule Celin Romero currently holds positions as a Professor of Music and Guitar at the University of California, San Diego, and San Diego State University. Many of his students have become successful themselves. Additionally, Celin Romero has also been several times invited as judge for the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) in California.
Celebrated worldwide for his thrilling interpretations and flawless technique, guitarist Pepe Romero is constantly in demand for his solo recitals and performances with orchestra. His contributions to the field of classical guitar have inspired a number of distinguished composers to write works specifically for him, including Joaquín Rodrigo, Federico Moreno Torroba, Rev. Francisco de Madina, Lorenzo Palomo and Celedonio Romero.
Born on March 8, 1944, in Málaga, Spain, Pepe Romero is the second son of The Romeros. His father, the legendary Celedonio Romero, was his only guitar teacher. His first professional appearance was in a shared concert with his father when Pepe was only seven years old.
Pepe Romero is dedicated to passing along his knowledge of the guitar - among his many students and first-prize winners of international guitar competitions. He has been Professor of Guitar at several universities and has taught annual masterclasses in the Salzburg Summer Academy, at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival and the Córdoba Guitar Festival.
In countless appearances season after season, Celino Romero continues to demonstrate his own personal style both as a soloist, and in duo recitals with his cousin Lito. On lengthy tours in major venues around the world, Celino's combination of technical mastery and elegant artistry continues to inspire the highest praise from critics and audiences alike.
He has been the featured soloist with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, in addition to other solo appearances with orchestras in Houston, Seattle, Ottawa, Salt Lake City, and El Paso.
His performances at fine arts series in major cities include the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium in New York, the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, the Teatro Real and Palacio de la Música in Madrid, the Herkulessaal, Gewandhaus, and Musikhalle in Germany, and the Musikverein in Vienna.
Lito Romero is the newest member of the renowned Romeros Quartet, whose illustrious history is unmistakably a milestone of twentieth century music.
With the introduction of Angel’s son Lito, replacing Celedonio upon his death in 1996, and together with his cousin Celino, The Romeros encompass three generations of virtuosity. With an outstanding sense for ensemble playing, Lito has proven in numerous performances to be a worthy successor of his grandfather in the family’s quartet.
Since the age of 19 Lito has performed in concert with his father, Angel Romero, in Tokyo, Madrid, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Seoul, Mexico City, Puerto Rico, and in various music festivals including the Blossom Music Festival. In 1988 he joined his father in recording A Touch of Class for Telarc, and in 1995 they recorded Vivaldi’s guitar concertos with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-fields for the RCA label. His first public appearance as a soloist was performing the “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquin Rodrigo with the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra in 1991 and his first solo recital was during the 1994-95 season.
Matthew Denman is the director of the Oklahoma Youth Guitars, a newly formed ensemble opportunity for talented pre-college guitar students in Oklahoma and the Co-director of the Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute. Matthew has also worked as the Assistant Professor of Guitar at Oklahoma City University, the Director of Education for the Guitar Foundation of America, and the Director of Guitar at Classen School of Advanced Studies. Matthew is a student of the legendary Pepe Romero who has said, “What José Antonio Abreu is to El Sistema, Matt Denman is to the Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute.”
Under the direction of Professor Denman the Oklahoma City University Guitar Studio quickly became a nationally recognized program. The OCU guitar program has won several national awards including first place at GFA Symposiums, the GFA Ensemble Showcase, the UT Brownsville guitar festival and competition, and other national competitions. In just three years, six OCU guitar graduate students secured higher education positions as professors of guitar. In the spring of 2014, the OCU guitar studio performed on stage with Ballet Oklahoma for the world premiere of the reinvented Carmen.
For the Guitar Foundation of America, Matthew helped create a national certification program for school guitar programs, a camp for pre-college guitarists, a guitar magazine for elementary guitarists, and a youth publication for elementary guitarists. A general effort was made to raise the profile of guitar education across the nation. Matthew furthered his efforts by working with ASTA and the NAfME guitar council.
Awards and honors include being 2020 Florida All-state Guitar Conductor and Clinician, the first New Mexico Guitar Festival Artist in Residence (2016), the All Virginia Guitar Conductor and Clinician (2016), and the GFA Augustine Award for excellence in guitar education (2013), Images of Excellence Award (2013, 2012, 2010, 2009), and Teacher of the Year (2010-2011 Classen SAS). In the summer of 2013 Matthew was featured with his students on the cover of Soundboard magazine Vol 39 No. 2.
Matthew is available for concerts featuring his songwriting, classical guitar recitals, chamber music, educational events and lectures