Guillermo Figueroa, conductor
Guillermo Figueroa is Artistic Director of The Figueroa Project, an innovative organization that combines music with various other art forms. He is also Music Director of the Music in the Mountains Festival in Durango, Colorado and is the former Music Director of both the New Mexico Symphony and the Puerto Rico Symphony. With this last orchestra he performed to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall in 2003, the Kennedy Center in 2004 and Spain in 2005.
His international appearances as a Guest Conductor include the Toronto Symphony, Iceland Symphony, the Baltic Philharmonic in Poland, Orquesta del Teatro Argentino in La Plata (Buenos Aires), Xalapa (Mexico), the Orquesta de Cordoba in Spain and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile.
In the US he has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, New Jersey, Memphis, Phoenix, Colorado, Berkeley, Tucson, Santa Fe, Toledo, Fairfax, San Jose, Juilliard Orchestra and the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center.
Mr. Figueroa has collaborated with many of the leading artists of our time, including Itzhak Perlman, YoYo Ma, Hilary Hahn, Placido Domingo, Joshua Bell, Olga Kern, Janos Starker, James Galway, Midori, Horacio Gutierrez, the Emerson and Fine Arts String Quartets, Ben Hepner, Rachel Barton Pine, Pepe and Angel Romero, Elmar Oliveira, Vadim Gluzman and Arnaldo Cohen.
A Berlioz specialist, he created the most comprehensive Berlioz Festival in the US in 2003 for the composer’s Bicentennial. Mr. Figueroa has conducted the premieres of works by important composers, such as Roberto Sierra, Ernesto Cordero and Miguel del Águila. An advocate for new music, Mr. Figueroa and the NMSO won an Award for Adventurous Programming from the League of American Orchestras in 2007.
A renowned violinist as well, Figueroa was Concertmaster of the New York City Ballet, and a Founding Member and Concertmaster of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, making over fifty recordings for Deutsche Grammophon.
Figueroa has given the world premieres of four violin concertos written for him: in 1995 the Concertino by Mario Davidovsky, at Carnegie Hall with Orpheus; in 2007 the Double Concerto by Harold Farberman, with the American Symphony at Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center; in 2008 the Violin Concerto by Miguel del Aguila, commissioned by Figueroa and the NMSO and in 2009 Insula, Suite Concertante, by Ernesto Cordero with the Solisti di Zagreb in Zagreb.
He is a regular performer at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music in the Vineyards in California, and Music from Angel Fire.
Mr. Figueroa has recorded the Three Violin Sonatas by Bartok for the Eroica Classical label, with pianist Robert Koenig, and an album of virtuoso violin music by for the NMSO label, with pianist Ivonne Figueroa.
Mr. Figueroa studied with his father and uncle at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. At the Juilliard School his teachers were Oscar Shumsky and Felix Galimir. His conducting studies were with Harold Farberman in New York.