This is from the page of the Chatanooga Symphony Orchestra:
Born in Havana, Cuba, Mario Abril spent his early years in the small town of Sagua la Grande. Guided by his mother during childhood, he studied music theory, music literature and piano. Subsequently, Abril received formal instruction in violin, guitar and composition. He was a disciple of the distinguished Cuban guitarist Hector García and later studied under the English master Julian Bream. Still a teenager, Abril took part in the ill-fated Cuban Bay of Pigs invasion and was imprisoned for twenty-two months. His academic accreditation includes a degree in guitar performance from The University of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a Ph.D. degree in music theory from The Florida State University, School of Music.
Abril has performed in North America and abroad. He has been featured on radio, television and recordings; his editions and arrangements have been published by Hansen House, Columbia Pictures Publications and Belwin Mills, Inc., and circulated worldwide. Abril's contributions alongside his twenty-year career as a performer include a number of compositions for chamber and symphonic ensembles. His work has been well received by critics and audiences alike; his settings for solo guitar and for harp/guitar ensemble have been performed and recorded by leading artists, and his ballet Amethyst was the subject of a one-hour, nationally broadcast, award-winning public television documentary. His composition Migrations was featured by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and broadcast on National Public Radio. In addition, Abril is the recipient of the 2002-03 Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship. At the present time, Dr. Abril is Professor of guitar and music theory on the faculty of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He also holds the Composer-in-Residence post with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, Robert Bernhardt, Artistic Director.