Poster Plinio Fernandes
Afro-Brazilian guitarist Plínio Fernandes recently released his debut album, ‘Saudade.'
Rhapsody in Black

Afro-Brazilian guitarist Plinio Fernandes uses unique style to inspire and teach new generations

Rhapsody in Black - Plínio Fernandes

Afro-Brazilian guitarist Plínio Fernandes was 27 when he signed with the Decca Gold label in 2022. He grew up in São Paulo, Brazil, and after graduating from the Royal Academy of Music, he now calls London home.

His style is a unique alchemy of the Brazilian folk and popular songs he grew up with, Latin classical traditions and the Western canon. His debut release is the aptly titled Saudade, which means something along the lines of “longing, yearning or nostalgia,” and the pleasant ache those feelings create.

Saudade is exactly what he’s feeling right now, happy in London where he lives, and at the same time, longing for home. After a few years of living there, he began feeling like he had lost his identity, his connection, to Brazil. That identity included so much; his family, his community, the connection to the legacy of musicians that came before him. Since his identity is so closely tied to music, he chose songs that he grew up listening to for the album.

For people of color, it’s important for them to see musicians that look like them playing classical music. Otherwise, they might not see it as something for them. For Plínio, that was definitely the case.

That’s why he’s already following his true passion: music education. He was invited to become an ambassador at the London Music Masters, a privately funded charity that provides music education for primary school children from socio-economically challenged areas.

As an ambassador, Plínio will be involved with performing, teaching and guiding young musicians in schools. As a young artist at the beginning of his international career, Plínio also wants to serve as an inspiration to the students.


Host: Vernon Neal

Producer: Dan Nass

Writers: Andrea Blain and Scott Blankenship

Executive Producer: Julie Amacher

Love the music?

Donate by phone

Show your support by making a gift to YourClassical.

Each day, we’re here for you with thoughtful streams that set the tone for your day – not to mention the stories and programs that inspire you to new discovery and help you explore the music you love.

YourClassical is available for free, because we are listener-supported public media. Take a moment to make your gift today.

More Ways to Give

Your Donation


Latest Rhapsody in Black Episodes


Latest Rhapsody in Black Episodes


About Rhapsody in Black

Where we turn up the voices of Black artists in the world of classical music, with host Vernon Neal.

Subscribe to the podcast:  Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon MusicTuneInRSS Feed

About Rhapsody in Black