A top prize-winner of major international music competitions, clarinettist Cristo Barrios has been touring extensively throughout Europe and abroad and performed with some of the most distinguished chamber ensembles of today. His recent chamber music partners have included Rolf Hind, Andrew West, Llyr Williams, the Endellion String Quartet, the Brodsky String Quartet and the Arditti String Quartet.
As recitalist and chamber musician, Cristo has performed in Europe and in the United States . Most recent highlights include his appearance at the Palau de la Música , Barcelona , St John’s Smith Square and Wigmore Hall in London and at Carnegie Hall , New York . He has also performed at festivals such as Torroella de Montgrí, Langvad, Llangollen or Sant Pere de Rodes, among others. Cristo’s engagements as soloist have taken him to Poland , the Czech Republic , Switzerland , the Netherlands , France , Latvia , Denmark , Portugal and the United States . Many of his performances have been broadcast on radio and television, including the BBC Radio 3, RNE and S4C.
Cristo Barrios is a musician with a keen interest in contemporary music. This enthusiasm has been expressed in his recent première of Cantus Firmus by Blai Soler at the Wigmore Hall, as well as works by Javier Ruiz ( Trois Minutes for violin, clarinet and piano), Tom Johnson ( Tilework Series for solo clarinet), Juan Manuel Ruiz ( Bentayga , for clarinet and piano), Juan Manuel Marrero (Insolence, for clarinet and piano), Raquel Cristobal (Sonata for clarinet and piano), Gustavo Trujillo ( Lamento del Alba ), Gustavo Díaz Jerez (Three Pieces for clarinet and piano), Manuel Bonino ( Metaimpromptu I ), etc.
His first CD with chamber works by Joaquim Homs was released on Naxos to exceptional reviews. He recently recorded “The Voice of the Clarinet” (Divine Art Records), an innovative disc of songs transcribed for clarinet and piano followed by a CD with works for clarinet and piano by Salonen, Bernstein, Bax, Berg, Brotons and Honneger (Metier Records) and “Composers of the XXI Century in the Canary Islands ” (RALS). In 2009 he will record a new CD with the Grupo Enigma, premièring a new piece by Blai Soler for solo clarinet and ensemble.
In 2000 Cristo won first prize and the gold medal at the Primer Palau Competition, playing the Rossini Introduction, Theme and Variations in the Palau de la Música Hall , Barcelona . In 2003 he won first prize at the CHAIN Concours Moderne in Riga , which led to concert tours in Europe . Other prizes include competitions such as the Young Musicians International Competition, Badajoz; Guadamora International Chamber Music Competition, Córdoba; Haverhill Sinfonia Soloist Competition, London; and Anglo-Czechoslovak London Music Competition.
Born in 1976 in Tenerife , Cristo Barrios took a first class degree in clarinet at the Tenerife Conservatory followed by a postgraduate scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music in 1999. In 2000 he went on to win the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship, held at St John’s Smith Square . His teachers have included Joan Enric Lluna and Richard Stoltzman.
“This is a feast for those addicted to the liquid legato of the clarinet. The hero here is Cristo Barrios and his accomplished partner is Clinton Cormany. Together they put forward a largely delightful collection.” – (Musicweb – 2007)
“There is lots of lovely, even cozy, deliquescent melody around. Cristo Barrios ….There is no shortage of beautiful moments, and even surprises.” – (International Record Review, 2007)
“On the afternoon of his Wigmore Hall debut Helen Pearse caught up with the Spanish clarinettist, Cristos Barrios, and discovered a musician with a distinctive take on the clarinet repertoire.” – (The Clarinet and Saxophone Magazine, 2007)