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AMALIA ZEITLIN

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. Amalia is featured on "Sparks," an album by Larry Lesser that was nominated four times for the New Mexico Music Awards, and received one award. 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.

ALINA VAZQUEZ

CELLIST

Alina A. Vázquez is Assistant Professor of Music at El Paso Community College, where she teaches cello lessons, music courses, and conducts the string orchestra.  She served as principal cellist of the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra during the 2018-2019 season and has been a substitute cellist for the Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra in Davenport, Iowa. She has also performed with the Abilene Symphony Orchestra and San Angelo Symphony Orchestra in Texas, and the Hot Springs Festival Symphony in Arkansas. Alina has been a member of the NOVA New Music Ensemble, the Rote Hund Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and the Opera Theatre Orchestra in Georgia. Aside from her orchestral performances she is an active chamber musician who regularly performs with her husband pianist Joseph Lecher. 

Alina completed a doctorate in cello performance at the University of Georgia, a master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a bachelor’s at the University of North Texas. She has taught at the University of Georgia, the Greater Milwaukee El Sistema non-profit youth orchestra program, and the Waukesha County Conservatory of Music.  

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ANA MARIA QUINTERO

VIOLINIST

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.

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JOSEPH LECHER

PIANIST / HARPSICHORDIST

Pianist Joseph Lecher is a freelance musician currently living in southwest Texas. He holds degrees in performance from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Carroll University, and the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris. As a recitalist, Joseph has performed in the United States, France, and Belgium. As a soloist, he has toured and performed with the Carroll University Wind Ensemble and the Lake Country Chamber Orchestra. Also a collaborative pianist, he regularly organizes concerts and performs chamber music with his wife, cellist Dr. Alina Vázquez as well as collegiate faculty from the Texas and New Mexico area. A recent 2019 concert production in Wisconsin focused on the 200th anniversary of pianist and composer Clara Wieck-Schumann. Joseph was twice the winner of the Milwaukee Music Teachers Association’s Artist and Debut Series and a Silver Medal awardee of the Concours National de Chatou, France. He has more than 20 years of experience as an independent studio owner teaching piano and is currently adjunct professor of music at El Paso Community College. In 2021 he enrolled as a graduate student for his second master’s degree in music theory at the University of Texas at El Paso.

JAMES CARNEY

CELLIST

An accomplished orchestral musician and solo cellist, James Carney has performed with the orchestras of Youngstown, Wheeling, Warren, Greenville, Mansfield, Opera Western Reserve, Opera Circle Cleveland, and internationally with the Orquesta Sinfonica de la UACJ. He is currently principal cellist of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and assistant principal of the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra. For six years, he served as acting assistant principal cellist of the Youngstown Symphony and as principal cellist of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Carney has most recently been featured soloist with the U.S./Mexico Youth Philharmonic orchestra, as well as the Dana Symphony Orchestra, Dana Chamber Orchestra, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, and University of Texas at El Paso Symphony Orchestra. He has performed under the baton of Jaap van Zweden, JoAnn Falletta, Gerhardt Zimmermann, Robert Franz, Carl Topilow, and Svilen Simeonov. Mr. Carney has also toured internationally with Barry Manilow, and has appeared with Earth, Wind & Fire, Disney legend Jodi Benson, members of the Contours, The Miracles, and The Temptations, and as cellist for Pope Francis’s visit to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. 

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As a chamber musician, Mr. Carney has been featured in performances for the Chagrin Valley Chamber Music Concert Series, the ENCORE Recital Series, the International Festival for Strings recital series, Music at Noon at the Butler Museum of American Art, YSU Concert Series, and at Reinberger Chamber Hall at Severance Hall. His chamber music coaches include the Cavani Quartet, Ying Quartet, Miami Quartet, and Allison Wells. As a music educator, Mr. Carney has found success teaching students of a wide range of backgrounds and ability levels, in public school settings, his private studio, and as a chamber music coach. He has acted as a judge for solo and ensemble competitions, all-state orchestra auditions, and as a youth orchestra sectional coach in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

MARA ARRENDONDO

VIOLIST

Mara I. Arredondo is part of the Junior Faculty at the Classical Music Institute Summer Festival in San Antonio, Texas. 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 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.

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ELISABETH GREENE

VIOLIST

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. 

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HYERIM MAPP

CELLIST

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.

 

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IAN NARLOCK

BASSIST

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.

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.

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LAURA SPITZER

PIANO, HARPSICHORD

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

KEVIN DVORAK

CELLIST

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.

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BRIGID MCCARTHY

VIOLINIST

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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.

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ROBERTO JURADO

VIOLINIST

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.

 

JULIO CAMPOS

VIOLIST

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. 

DANIEL VEGA-ALBELA

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.

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