Dr. Juan Antonio PeÑa
Dr. Juan Antonio Peña
DMA, University of Miami; MM, Florida Atlantic University
Areas of Expertise:
Office Phone: 561.297.3820
Office: AH 115
Born in Havana, Cuba, Dr. Peña earned a Cum Laude Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music Degree at Florida Atlantic University, both in classical guitar performance, under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Keaton. In addition, he earned a Doctoral degree in Classical Guitar Performance with a Doctoral Cognate in Musicology from the University of Miami with Professor Rafael Padron.
Unique among guitar teachers, he went back to school after 25 years of a professional career and redid it entirely, updating all subjects within the music field. This update includes new music technology and pedagogical research. Being a performer and teacher for many years, he has developed a vast knowledge of the repertoire and an approach to teaching music that considers the students' physical, psychological, and cultural backgrounds, making methods and programs suitable to their needs. His teaching makes learning enjoyable and successful, fulfilling and exceeding expectations. Some of his students have received first prices in classical guitar competitions, such as the FCSAA Student Artist Competition.
Recognized early in his life for his musical talent, Dr. Peña was chosen to start his guitar studies at the Cuban National School of Music and later at the Superior Institute of Art, which are internationally recognized as a premier music school responsible for producing all the finest musicians out of Cuba in both the classical and jazz worlds. In 1989, upon graduating from the Cuban National School of Music, he was immediately offered the position of teaching classes in Music Theory and History of Music at the Escuela Nacional de Música. Simultaneous with his teaching, Dr. Pena began his graduate studies at the Instituto Superior de Arte under the tutelage of Victor Pelligrini. He also took Master Classes with Leo Brouwer, David Russell, and Eli Kassner. He won several national competitions, was a member of the Guitar Ensemble of Havana, and was a solo concert guitarist with the Concert Association "Antonio Maria Romeu" of Cuba until 1996 when he arrived in the United States.
Along with his performance career, which includes performances with FAU Symphony Orchestra, he has performed several concerts in collaboration with the soprano Suzanne Galer and guitar and harpsichord duets with Irena Kofman. Presently, he is the director of the Classical guitar studies at Florida Atlantic University and Palm Beach State College, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. In addition, for the last six years, he has been actively involved with the Treasure Coast Classical Guitar Society in Stuart, Florida. He has been conducting performances, technique workshops, and coaching some of the members and their classical guitar ensemble.