José Manuel Alcántara is an accomplished guitarist and a member of Liminar, Mexico’s foremost ensemble for contemporary music. Alcántara studied at the National Conservatory of Music of Mexico and the Conservatory of Amsterdam, with mention of virtuosity.
His repertoire includes works by canonical classical composers such as Bach and Jorge Ritter and the 19th-century Italian guitar virtuoso Mauro Giuliani, but he also performs more experimental works by early Mexican electroacoustic composers as part of the 20-piece ensemble Liminar. Founded in 2011 by vocalist Carmina Escobar and violist Alexander Bruck, Liminar is dedicated to investigating the boundaries and liminal territories between music, performance, sound installation and improvisation. In a review of the ensemble’s reimagining of works by Julián Carrillo, the LA Times observed that Alcántara’s expert playing “disconcertingly deconstructs Baroque forms.”
A former member of the Contemporary Music Ensemble of the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, Alcántara has performed as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Fine Arts Chamber Orchestra, the Chihuahua Philharmonic, the National Polytechnic Institute, the Chamber Orchestra of Mexico City and the San Ángel Chamber Orchestra, among many others. He also plays contemporary Mexican music as a duet with flautist Willy Tarrazas.