Merce Font is a classical guitarist from Barcelona, Spain.
She began her studies at the Escola de Música Sant Gervasi in Barcelona, where she completed all four elementary courses and the six professional courses in just four years. Already active as a solo and chamber recitalist she continued her training with Bosnian concert guitarist Alen Garagic.
In 2012 she commenced study with the renowned Italian artist Professor Carlo Marchione in Maastricht. As an undergraduate, she attended masterclasses with many leading peformers including Ricardo Gallén, Marco Socías, Margarita Escarpa, Adriano del Sal, Andrea de Vitis, Jerome Ducharme, Lorenzo Micheli, Duo Montenegrin, Paul Galbraith and Zoran Dukic.
Under the tutelage of Goran Krivokapić, she completed her master’s degree in Classical Guitar performance at Luca School of Arts in Leuven, Belgium.
Merce has performed many solo and chamber music recitals across Europe. In 2020 the Irish composer Andrew Shiels dedicated his suite in three movements entitled Quarantine to Merce, premiered the 3rd of July 2020.
Besides from her activity as a performer, she runs the MFA Online Guitar Academy giving private classical guitar tuition all across the globe. She also publishes new works for classical guitar every month through MarchioneMusic Editions, creates content for other musicians in form of vlogs and tutorials on her YouTube channel as well as running her own recording studio.
Read more about my pogram and concert booking:
As some of you might know, I currently play a Daniele Chiesa (www.danielechiesa.com). What you might not know is the particularities of this beautiful instrument.
My love and admiration for the work of Maestro Chiesa dates back to 2010. Back then I just started studying with the guitarist Alen Garagic and one day he decided to bring me to visit Casa Luther, a specialized shop in Barcelona where you can find a large collection of concert guitars from Luthiers from all over the world. We spent the entire day playing all the guitars they had there from the 'starter budget' concert guitars, to the higher priced ones. Honestly, I didn't know the price list until the end, and after playing so many guitars I just couldn't help it but love the way the Chiesa felt in my hands. It seemed so perfect for me: a balanced tone, rich in colors, good projection and very good playability. What I liked the most of this guitar was not only the fact that Daniele makes his guitars in a way that are very easy to play, but the feeling that the spruce had so much room to develop!
Unfortunately for me, I couldn't get that guitar because my budget wasn't quite ready for it, but I told myself, that if in a year or two I managed to reach the level to audition for the Bachelor studies in a conservatory, I'd certainly go for a Chiesa guitars. Well, for my luck, about two years' time, when I was finally preparing my entrance exams, I got told by the Casa Luthier that Daniele was sending in a new guitar, and this case was a 640mm scale. I couldn't believe it! He was shipping a guitar just in the perfect moment for me! Straightaway, I told them to please hold it because as soon as this guitar would touch Barcelona's land I'd be there to buy it. And so it happened.
This guitar allowed me to go through all my Bachelor studies at Maastricht Conservatorium, some concerts and competitions here and there. Everybody that heard my playing praised the sound of my guitar, which told me that I might have taken the right choice but eventually, when I was in full immersion to prepare my final Bachelor recital I realized that the size of my guitar, despite being already a bit smaller than the traditional 650mm guitars, was holding my musicality back because some finger extensions, that commonly appear through the entire guitar repertoire, was making my shifts, jumps and movements cut the music due to the extension.
At this point in my life, I was not going to grow any further, childhood was a long time gone, so I started to seriously consider getting a guitar yet smaller than 640mm. I went to several music stores in Germany and I tried all the guitar sizes I could find, going from 640mm to 635mm, 632mm, 62mm, 612mm until 580mm. Of course, all those guitars were 'cheap' study guitar or 'toy guitars' intended for children, but, if you see german teenagers, I'm pretty much the same heigh so, why not considering these as well!
Eventually, after many hours of trying guitars, evaluation pros and cons while taking into account the natural build of each maker (more or less thickness on the fretboard, action high, string tension, etc...) I found myself suited the best at 600mm. As crazy as it sounded, but yes, that size was feeling the best. It was a very daring choice, I'm aware of that. So much I was hesitant it that I bought one of these guitars just so that I could bring it home and play for a much longer time, and check how it felt in 'stretch-challenging' pieces and normal practice sessions. Eventually, despite the ugly sound of that guitar, I just felt extremely comfortable in this size and finally, my music started to sound a lot nicer, a lot more connected and expressive. Of course, I could finally play without breaking my tendons in an attempt to phrase nicely!
At this point, I reached out to Daniele, and I proposed him the project of building a guitar 4cm shorter than the usual. and at this point, I knew he could perfectly not accept. Building a guitar is an extremely complicated art and it takes years to perfect and be able to build beautiful guitars of a concrete size. I was aware that I was not only asking him to recalculate all the dimensions but figure out how to make the acoustic work in all these new parameters, as well as having to remake all his templates to this new size. It was a really big project.
Of course, dear readers, if I was commissioning a guitar to be fitting my crazy ideas and needs, I also wanted to take the chance to make it a really personal build. So I asked Daniele to add some personal touches, like engraving some personal things on the guitar as well as a very peculiar rosette. But you can read more about it on his website where he made some nice blog posts explaining from his side the process of my mad requests.... :D
To my surprise, he accepted and well, the rest is history. After less than a year, I met him in Spain and he had build 2 guitars (wasn't it enough of a challenge for him to make one? That's a true master at work...) very differently build, with very different top thicknesses. Being that it was such an unusual construction he made two guitars and purposely build very differently to see how they would develop the sound. The moment I tried the first one.... oh god... my mind was blown! After playing that toy guitar I bought I had serious concerns about how a builder could make a smaller guitar sound as good as the concert guitars. But, seriously, that guitar, brand new and basically unplayed, sounded already as much as my Chiesa guitar! It was insane how good this guitar felt and how beautiful it looked to me. As you can tell, I do love the work of Daniele, he is a true artist!
Well, so that was how I met my current guitar. As of today, Carlo Marchione plays my 640mm Chiesa because he also fell in love with how nice it feels to play this instrument and I chose one of the two guitars that Daniele made for me after a trial period.
After this long text, I can only tell to all these guitarist who feel like 650mm or 640mm is still not fitting their hands to explore the same way I did, because I believe that an instrument, being so personal and so difficult to master, doesn't have a 'one size fits all' despite the traditions. Nowadays we can be so easily in contact with the guitar makers, no matter where they live, and work hand in hand with them. So, feel free to reach out to your guitar maker or anyone you like and find the guitar of your dreams!
MarchioneMusic is one of the biggest projects I've ever decided to take on. During my studies in Maastricht Conservatorium with Maestro C.Marchione, I came to know the incredible amount of transcriptions Carlo had in manuscript version. I gave a look at the content he had and there were far too many jewels for the guitar repertoire for not doing anything about it. So, together, we decided to start to re-write in digital his manuscripts. In the beginning, it was just a way to preserve them and avoid that one day, all this work could go lost someday but, eventually, people started knowing about it and asking us to share his transcriptions. We soon realized that there were far too many requests than we could cope with, so we decided to find a way to put them all out there available for people at any time. This was how, back then in 2014, the MarchioneMusic Shop was born.
Now, we have already almost 30 transcriptions published, and we are very proud of it because it does really take a lot of time to digitalize a score, perfect the transcription, make sure there are no mistakes and pack it all together in a beautiful and appealing layout. If you are interested to know which pieces we have, just click please on the button below and you'll be redirected to Carlo Marchione Online Store.
We publish a new score every month and one of our goals is to bring up to the attention of other musicians and audiences pieces and composers that are either very little known or completely unknown. Our dream is to contribute, in this way, to enlarge and enrich the repertoire of our beautiful instrument and make the transcription-making process a very dynamic thing within the transcriber, in our case, Maestro Marchione.
Honestly, I always enjoyed producing music, editing videos and all these creative processes that allow you to create a final artistic musical product, but I never considered making my own videos before as I always felt the common feeling of 'I'm not ready yet'. Ironies of life, quite early on in my studies, I started to need to learn how edit videos and how to record properly the music that was needed for the MarchioneMusic website and its publications, so I developed an affinity on working in the recording studio as well as to the benefits that doing this work was giving me.
Eventually, recording myself has become a very resourceful tool to improve in my daily practice and thanks to that, I got rid of the 'fear' of making a definitive recording of a piece. On the contrary, when I set myself a piece that I want to record for Youtube, I go through a very intensive and deep study of it: practicing, recording, listening, analyzing, improving and repeat. It sounds simple, but once you get started with it, it can really take time to get the hang of it.
As you can see from my Youtube Channel, my videos also improved from a technical point of view, like with the color, the use of the camera, the placement, the audio, etc... Now, I feel about this like 'learn by doing' and it really works. Therefore, I decided last year to bring a lot more content to my Channel and maybe do some 'non-music' videos that can help you with the same difficulties I experienced in the beginning.
One of my most exciting projects in this direction is my VLOG series. The idea behind it is to share my experiences as a musician, connect with people and help and learn from each other in this growing classical guitar community. If you are curious, you can visit my channel using the button below and feel free please to drop me some feedback if you wish to do so, I'm always happy to read what people have to say as long as it is in a constructive manner :)
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
ADRIANO DEL SAL
"Very hard working and disciplined she managed to achieve high results and became an extremely good guitarist. Moreover, she can analyze and solve fast and intelligently many stylistic and interpretational problems and shows deep knowledge about the guitar repertoire."
In 2016 I had the chance to coach her guitar duo, demonstrating great skills and fast understanding, with a remarkable musical control throughout the masterclass. Later on, in her final recital as a member of the exam-commission I noticed that, within some months, she had done an outstanding improvement in her playing and especially her musical depth and maturity.
Her innate sense of musicianship and phrasing in her playing is well beyond her age.
ANDREA DE VITIS
Her skills combine a great musical sensitivity, a technical mastery of her instrument with a distinguished touch for the colors of the guitar and an artistic sense for the interpretation of the composer’s intentions.