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Dr. Alvaro Gomez made his first public appearance at the age of nine with the Chilean Symphony. He received his music degrees from the University of Chile-Santiago, and completed his post graduate studies at the P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow under the tutelage of Galina A. Barinova, Victor Pikaisen, and David Oistrach. He is the first prizewinner of the “Jeunesse Musical” competition of Latin America, and won the “Japan Foundation Prize” in 1982. He was also the recipient of the Fullbright Foundation Award in 1987. Today, Dr. Gomez is recognized as one of the most brilliant violinists that has emerged from the prestigious P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He has performed as a violin and viola soloist with orchestras and in chamber groups around the world.
Dr. Gomez made his conducting debut in 1975 with the Chilean Philharmonic Orchestra, and was later appointed as Assistant Conductor and Concertmaster of the Chilean National Symphony Orchestra. With his success as a conductor, Dr. Gomez has been a guest conductor with orchestras in China, Europe, North and South America. He has conducted the All-State Orchestra for the Florida Music Educators
Association in Tampa, Florida, the Sienna Chamber Orchestra Tour of Italy and Switzerland, Florida International Festival, and the Daytona Beach Civic Orchestra. He has conducted orchestras at the Fairbanks Summer Fine Arts Camp and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in Fairbanks Alaska. Dr Gomez is the Music Director and Conductor of the Winter Park Chamber Music Academy, Orlando, and teaches conducting and viola at the Orfeo International Music Festival held in the Italian Alps.
Today Dr. Gomez is recognized as one of the most brilliant violinists that has emerged from the prestigious P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory.
Dr. Gomez’s 35 years of music experiences also include teaching. He currently maintains an active teaching studio in Orlando. He teaches master classes to students all over the world. He has taught at the University of Florida, Rollins College, Daytona Beach College, Stetson University, and Colleges and Universities in Arkansas, Tennessee, and his home country of Chile.
Dr. Mauricio Cespedes Rivero was born in Cochabamba-Bolivia, starting the violin, and later the viola, with his father Fredy Cespedes (concertmaster of the Bolivian Symphony Orchestra) and his mother Maria Eugenia Rivero (principal cellist of the Bolivian Symphony Orchestra). An active performer, Dr. Cespedes serves as principal viola of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, a position that he won in 2008. He has acted as principal viola of the Bolivian National Symphony Orchestra, New World School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra, Miami Symphony Orchestra, Florida State University Orchestra, Lansing Symphony, and the Ash Lawn Opera Festival Orchestra in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was assistant violist of the Sinfonicum Europae Orchestra in the Millennium Concert at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center. In 2011, he won the YouTube Symphony Orchestra competition and performed at the Sydney Opera House with Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas.
As a chamber musician, Dr. Cespedes has performed in Europe, Asia, Australia, South and North America. He has been featured at the Aspen, Mimir, and Sewanee music festivals, and at the Michigan Chamber Music Society. Dr. Cespedes has collaborated with notable artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Charles Pikler, Glenn Dicterow, Cynthia Phelps, Suren Bagratuni, Randolph Kelly, Jonathan Crow, Robert DeMaine, Seunghee Lee, Susana Perry Gilmore, Anton Neil, Roger Benedict, Colin Jacobsen, Stefan Jackiw, Zoya Leybin, and Richard Tognetti.
Dr. Cespedes was the winner of the 2002 New World School of the Arts Concerto Competition, Ibero American Symphony Competition, and Aspen Music Festival fellowship, and a finalist at the 2005 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, sponsored by the Japan Chamber Music Foundation.
As a viola soloist, he has appeared with the New World School of the Arts Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Bolivian National Symphony Orchestra, The La Paz Symphony Orchestra, COFES International Festival Orchestra in Bolivia, The Festival del Sol Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Concertante of Cochabamba, the National Conservatory of Bolivia Symphony Orchestra and the El Alto Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Cespedes is the conductor of the Chamber Orchestra at a Gift for Music, and has conducted the El Alto Symphony Orchestra in Bolivia. As a viola teacher and sectional conductor, he has served as faculty of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan for six years and led master classes at Sam Houston State University, Wyoming State University, and New World School of the Arts.
He holds degrees from New World School of the Arts, Michigan State University, and Florida State University, where he obtained his Doctorate degree.
Besides music, Mauricio holds a degree in Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in Management of Protected Areas in Bolivia. Mauricio has two younger sisters, Adriana who plays Bass, and Wara, who plays violin. He is very recently and happily married to his wife, Emily, who plays violin and accompanies him on piano.