EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VIOLINIST
Amalia Zeitlin has been playing violin since the age of seven, continuing a tradition of at least four generations in her family. In December 2020, Amalia received her Master of Music degree from New Mexico State University, where she received the Outstanding Graduate Student award for the College of Arts and Sciences. Previously, Amalia studied at Boston University and the Jerusalem Academy of Music. Amalia made her solo debut in 2019, playing Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra. Amalia is the principal 2nd violinist of the El Paso Symphony, and a section first violinist in the Las Cruces Symphony. In 2017, Amalia co-founded Camerata del Sol, serves as executive director of the organization, and plays violin in most of their concerts and gigs.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING MANAGER,
Ceara Marie Caisido is a Filipino-American cellist who began her studies at ten years old. In 2011, she was invited to a two-week tour of Europe serving as principal cellist with the New Mexico Youth Orchestra. She is received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Cello Performance at NMSU under the guidance of Jorge Espinoza. Caisido has also had the privilege of studying and performing chamber music with Latin Grammy-Winning La Catrina String Quartet. She served as principal cellist for the New Mexico State University Philharmonic under the direction of Swiss-Venezuelan Violinist, Símon Gollo. She has also performed with the New Mexico State University Masterworks Choirs, Doña Aña Lyric Opera, and is a substitute cellist for the Juaréz Symphony and Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra. Caisido has participated in master classes with esteemed cellists Mark Kosower and Marcia Carneiro and has taken lessons with Nina Lee (Brentano String Quartet), Keith Robinson (Miami String Quartet), Jesus Morales (Dalí String Quartet), Jeffrey Solow (Temple University), and Cheung Chau (Utah Valley University). Her most recent accomplishment was performing the Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto in G minor with Lily Eckman, under the baton of Ovidiu Marinescu, accompanied by the Vidin Sinfonietta.
Simon Gollo is a gifted and committed pedagogue who keeps a very busy teaching schedule. This includes invitations to teach masterclasses around the world. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Nuevo Mundo Festival & Academy (2000-2016), and the Aruba Symphony Festival, 2017. Faculty member at the Summit Music Festival in New York and he is regularly invited by Professor Naoko Tanaka to the Juilliard School of Music. From 2006 to 2012 he was a violin professor at “El Sistema” and Mozarteum in Caracas.
Currently, Simon Gollo is Assistant Professor in the Department of Music at New Mexico State University (NMSU), Conductor of the NMSU Philharmonic and a member of La Catrina String Quartet. He is associate concertmaster at the Chamber Orchestra and Education Director of Classical Music Institute (CMI) in San Antonio, Texas.
Roberto Jurado has performed extensively in important venues throughout Mexico, such as Palacio de Bellas Artes, Sala Nezahualcóyotl, Auditorio Nacional, Teatro Degollado, and Teatro Juárez, among others. He has studied with such outstanding teachers as Ileana Vasileva, Odin Rathnam, Martin Valdeschak, Jorge Deleze, and Ana Bela Chaves. He has performed with renowned directors such as Paul Wakabayachi, Eugene Kohn, J. David Jackson, Enrique Barrios, Alondra de la Parra, Alfredo Ibarra, and has toured with the Symphony Orchestra of the Americas (YOA), the Chihuahua Philharmonic, The El Paso Opera Orchestra, and the Valencia Conservatory Symphony Orchestra.
In September 2012 he was a guest performer with the La Catrina Quartet at New Mexico State University (NMSU). He participated in the International String Festival in Lagos, Portugal, the Chihuahua International Festival, the Silkeborg Denmark Festival and "La Festa Antiqua" in Xalapa, Veracruz.
Dr. Laura Spitzer is Associate Professor of Piano at NMSU. A Steinway artist, she has performed under contract with Columbia Artist’s Community Concert Association and Canada’s Festival Concert Society, and was the recipient of four touring grants from the Nevada State Council on the Arts and the Nevada Humanities Committee. Spitzer traveled with her Steinway grand packed into her truck from 1984 to 2003, bringing classical music to hundreds of rural communities and schools throughout the U.S. and western Canada. In recognition of this contribution, she was honored with the Nevada Governor's Arts Award. She has been featured on major television networks and in such publications as People, Time, the New York Times and Clavier. Laura Spitzer attended Oberlin Conservatory, and completed her undergraduate studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where she was awarded the Bösendorfer Stipend and graduated with distinction. She performed frequently as a member of the Austrian Ensemble for New Music, and recorded numerous programs for Austrian Radio. After taking first prize at the Kurt Leimer Competition, she earned her MM at the Peabody Institute and her DMA from the University of Southern California. Her principal teachers have been Walton Ball, Hans Leygraf, Leon Fleisher, and John Perry. As an adjunct instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she recorded, performed, and toured with the Las Vegas Chamber Players. She teaches each year at the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program in California.
Born and raised in Las Cruces, NM, Julio Campos began his dedicated musical studies at age 17. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Music – Performance from New Mexico State University. Julio plays with various ensembles in the surrounding areas, and before COVID was performing with the Classical Music Institute in San Antonio, TX. In the Fall 2020 semester, Julio taught viola as an adjunct faculty at New Mexico State University. Additionally, Julio works for the Tocando Music Project, an organization in El Paso that provides instruments and free music education to underserved children. In 2019, Julio made his solo debut, playing Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra. Julio is the principal violist of Camerata del Sol and participates in nearly all their engagements.
As a soloist he has performed with the UACJ Symphony Orchestra, the INFAO Chamber Orchestra, the Xalapa Filarmonía in Veracruz, the UACJ Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Lagos Festival Chamber Orchestra, Portugal.
In November of 2013, he made his debut as artistic director with the Ciudad Juárez Camerata "Taámi," conducting his first opera, "Dido and Aeneas" by Henry Purcell.
In 2013 he was invited to act as concertmaster for a gala concert with Plácido Domingo and the Esperanza Azteca National Orchestra. In the summer of 2015 he was invited to Denmark to study violin with Odin Rathnam, and conducting with Christian Horbøv.
He was violin instructor for Esperanza Azteca from 2013-2015. Currently, Mr. Jurado is a FONCA fellow and performer for the 2016-2017 Scenic Creators program and is a disciple of Daniel Vega-Albela, with whom he has been studying since 2011. He is assistant concertmaster of the OSUACJ and an active soloist in the region.
Elisabeth Greene is an active violist in the Southwest. She has been principal violist for a number of orchestras and is a regular member of the Las Cruces Symphony. She holds a Bachelors of
Music Degree from New Mexico State University and is pursuing a masters at the University of Texas in Austin. In addition to her solo recitals, she has performed as a chamber musician with members of the La Catrina Quartet, NMSU String Quartet, C4 Ensemble, Vox Vallis Women’s Ensemble, and the
Classical Music Institute Chamber Orchestra to mention but a few. Ms. Greene has coached sectionals for high school orchestras in Texas and New Mexico for the
last two years, as well as worked with after-school programs for children such as Kindermusik in 2015 in Las Cruces, NM.
Ms. Greene has also performed with the Classical Music Institute’s Summer Education Program, Nuevo Mundo Festival and Academy Ensembles in Oranjestad, Aruba. Most recently, she recorded the soundtrack for the short film Bois Mort directed by Hannah Saunders.
Dr. Hyerim J. Mapp is an energetic orchestral musician as well as recital soloist, chamber music player, and teacher. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in cello performance from the University of Kansas. Prior to her study at KU, she studied and taught music in her native Korea at Sejong University, where she was a concerto competition winner.
Currently, she is a lecturer of music at New Mexico State University. She has served as principal cellist of the Kansas City Civic, Kinnor Philharmonic, Sioux City Symphony, Southeast Kansas Orchestras, and the Neue Eutiner Festspiele in Eutin, Germany. She has also played with the Topeka Symphony, Saint Joseph Symphony, Des Moines Symphony, Springfield Symphony, Lawrence Community Orchestra, Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, and frequently played with the Kansas City Symphony, Omaha Symphony orchestras, and also performed with the Kansas City Cello Quartet.
As a soloist, she has performed with the Southeast Kansas Orchestra, Kansas City Medical Arts Symphony, the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, and was one of three local cellists selected to perform for the world-renowned cellist, Yo-Yo Ma at the Kauffman Center in Kansas City. As a member of Piano Trio, Con Spirito, she has performed at Ball State University, Washburn University, the Lawrence Arts Center, and Pittsburg Chamber Music Festival.
Before joining the faculty at New Mexico State University she has served as a lecturer of cello and bass at Pittsburg State University and as adjunct professor of cello at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Sejong University and a Master of Music in Cello Performance from the University of Kansas.
She currently resides in Las Cruces, New Mexico with her husband, Dr. Michael W. Mapp and their little dog, Karma.
Mara I. Arredondo is a fifth grade orchestra teacher in the Ysleta Independent School district of El Paso, Texas, where she implements the string pedagogy methods of renowned pedagogue, Mimi Zweig. Additionally, Mara is part of the Junior Faculty at the Classical Music Institute Summer Festival in San Antonio, Texas. Furthermore, she is a supremely dedicated performer and is a member of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio, and the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra.
Mara I. Arredondo is a recent honors graduate from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where she studied with world-renowned violist/violinist and composer, Atar Arad. Supplementary studies were dedicated to chamber music and pedagogy with some of the nation's most elite professors including: Pacifica Quartet’s, Masumi Per Rostad; Bass Professor, Kurt Muroki; and as mentioned earlier, string pedagogue Mimi Zweig.
In August of 2010, as an incoming freshman at Texas Tech University, Mara was awarded a full contract with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, of which she was a participant of for the duration of her undergraduate degree. In June of 2011, she was nominated for and awarded a private scholarship by the Clara Freshour Foundation. She was a student of extraordinary violists Renee Skerik and Dr. Kimberly Sparr, and was also heavily influenced by the teachings of well-established violinist Annie Chalex-Boyle, and cellist Jefferey Lastrapes.
Prior to joining the cello section of the Houston Symphony in 1978, Kevin Dvorak studied with cellist and mentor, Lev Aronson and appeared as soloist with the Dallas, Fort Worth, Midland-Odessa and Houston Symphony Orchestras. An ardent chamber music lover, he has performed in Houston chamber series and frequently presented benefit concerts in his home with other symphony musicians. More recent musical activities include score reconstruction, orchestration and arranging for his Musicaneo site. He has now lives in Silver City, New Mexico.
ANA MARIA QUINTERO
Born in Bogota in 1993. Bachelor of Music from Fundación Universitaria Juan N. Corpas School of Music with Major in Violin Performance with Maestro Fabio Santana (Cuba) and Minor on Chamber Music. Laureated Summa Cum Laude. Started her violin studies at 6 years old with her mother, Clara Muñoz. Conferred with the Order – Merit to Democracy graded ‘Knight’, as an example of dedication and discipline to future generations by the Second Commission of the National Congress of Colombia (2009). Ana María was a member (2013- 2017) and first chair at the Philharmonic Youth Chamber Orchestra of Bogotá and is currently a graduate student of Maestro Simon Gollo at NMSU. Has been a guest performer for La Catrina String Quartet and the Dallas Chamber Symphony. Ana Maria is currently a Teaching Assistant for the NMSU Philharmonic Orchestra and part of Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra. Member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
Ian Narlock is a double bassist from El Paso, Texas. As a student of Paul Sharpe, he received a B.A. degree from Texas Tech University and a M.M. degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Currently, he is the Principal Double Bass of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and the Assistant Principal of the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra. In the past, he has played for many regional orchestras in Texas, New Mexico, and North Carolina. As an educator, he has served as faculty at the Chamber Music on the Hill Festival (NC), the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras, staff at the Bad Boyz of Bass Camp (IN), as well as maintaining a private studio.
Ray Arreola is a section violist with the El Paso Symphony and Las Cruces Symphony. He has also performed regularly with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Ciudad Juárez, Roswell Symphony, Doña Ana Lyric Opera, and NMSU Masterworks Chorus, and he worked as the orchestra librarian for two years with the Las Cruces Symphony. Ray received his Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance degree from New Mexico State University where he served as Principal Viola in the University Orchestra for three years.
Ray was a Grand-Prizewinner in the Kutztown Summer Chamber Music Festival Chamber Music Competition in 2014, Prizewinner in the Kutztown Summer Chamber Music Festival’s Concerto Competition in 2013, and a semi-finalist in the Young Artist Concerto Competition at Conservatory Music in the Mountains Festival in 2011. Ray was a full scholarship recipient at the International Lyric Academy in Vicenza, Italy in 2019. He has also been the recipient of the Isabella Rutter Scholarship, La Concha String Scholarship, Dean’s Honors List, Crimson Scholar Program, and Youth Optimist Award.
Ray Arreola performed in a chamber music setting coached by the Latin Grammy award-winning, La Catrina String Quartet, Jorge Martinez-Rios, Daniel Vega-Albela, Kurt Nikkanen, Richard Young, Junah Chung, Adriana Linares, Maria Asteriadou, Susanna Loewy, Rita Porfiris, and Misha Galaganov.
As an educator, Ray maintained a private teaching studio for violin and viola in Las Cruces, and he served as the Viola Sectionals coach for the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras for two seasons. Ray was the Music Director at the J. Paul Taylor Academy, and he founded the orchestra program at Alma D’Arte Charter High School in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Ray Arreola served on the String Faculty at the 2017 Youth International Chamber Music Festival in Greece. Ray was the Orchestra Director at Franklin High School in El Paso, Texas. Currently, he is the Conductor and Viola teacher for the Las Cruces Youth Orchestras.
Dr. Stephen Nordstrom is currently Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he teaches violin, viola, and classes in musicianship and graduate string pedagogy. He has been on the summer faculties of the renowned Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan and Camp Encore/Coda in Maine, teaching violin and chamber music to young students from across the United States and the world. Dr. Nordstrom has presented clinics for the American String Teachers Association and the Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas Music Educators Associations, and is a frequent performer of new music for the College Music Society. With co-author Kevin Nordstrom, he has contributed numerous pedagogical articles on upper-string playing to the American String Teacher journal. Dr. Nordstrom has recently given masterclasses at Texas Lutheran University, Wright State University, Earlham College, and at the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua and has performed solo and chamber music recitals in Mexico, Belgium, and the United States. An active performer on both violin and viola, he has recorded an album of new works for viola and piano with composer Dominic Dousa, titled A Musical Portrait of the American Southwest. This critically acclaimed album was given a Critic's Choice Award from American Record Guide in 2017 and featured in Gramophone UK's "Sounds of America". Dr. Nordstrom received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Texas and Master of Music, Artist Diploma, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Award-winning Swiss-Venezuelan violinist and conductor, Simon Gollo, has a recognized career as a chamber music player or as a soloist in prestigious scenarios such as the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society (Philadelphia, USA), 92Y- Kaufmann Concert Hall (NY, USA), Chamber Music Society of Detroit, National Gallery of Art (Washington DC, USA), Bolivar Hall (London, UK), Teatro Teresa Carreño (Caracas, Venezuela), Auditorio Blas Galindo, (Mexico City, Mexico), Teatro Mayor, (Bogota, Colombia). Performing with international figures such as Alessio Bax, Ricardo Morales, Dmitri Berlinsky, Richard Young, (Vermeer Quartet), Miguel Dasilva, (Ysaye Quartet), John Novacek, Mihai Marica, Yura Lee, Jacob Koranyi...
He appeared as a soloist in Switzerland, United States of America, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela collaborating with international conductors such as Conrad Van Alphen, Theodore Kuchar, Carlos Izcaray. (Orquesta Sinfonica Venezuela, Orquesta Municipal de Caracas, Orquesta Filarmonica de Bogota. Orquesta Sinfonica de Salta. Argentina. Central Ohio Symphony, USA. Among others).
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CONCERTMASTER
Praised for his unusually pure and attractive sound, Daniel Vega-Albela won silver medal at the first National Violin Competition in Mexico City at the age of fourteen. Soon after he moved to New York, where he received a degree in performance from the Mannes College of Music. In 1997, he joined the Conservatorio de las Rosas in Morelia, Mexico, to teach violin performance and to become part of the Ensamble de las Rosas, the conservatory’s flagship new music group. From 2001 to 2003, he was violin Instructor at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. One of the founding members of the La Catrina String Quartet, Mr. Vega-Albela has concertized extensively throughout the US and Mexico, offering more than 500 performances from 2007 to the present. In 2012, along with his quartet colleagues, he was honored with a Latin-Grammy award for best classical recording in his collaboration with Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Currently, Mr. Vega-Albela is Associate Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at New Mexico State University, and section leader with the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio.