GENTIL MONTANA (1942 - 2011)
Gentíl Montaña, born in Ibagué, southern Colombia, into a musical family, took up the guitar at an early age, performing with his father who played folk-music professionally. In the 1960s, after several years of composing his own songs, Montaña began studying the classical guitar and in 1975 was awarded third prize in the Alirio Díaz Competition in Caracas. From 1976 he visited Europe and lived for a few years in Madrid, but also travelling to Greece. In 1981 he returned to Colombia where he opened a music school under the name of Fundación Gentíl Montaña. His aim, following the years of violence and disorder in his country, was to ‘exchange arms of destruction for musical instruments and develop a true tradition of the guitar in Colombia’.