Player Spotlight ~ Daniel Vega-Albela ~ violinist with La Catrina Quartet

Opus 345, “Rosenblith” 1713 Grand Pattern Stradivarius violin

“A colleague of mine recently had the good fortune of borrowing a 1785 Januarius Gagliano for an important audition. Of course, I did not want to pass up the opportunity to try it out myself, which I did in front of my quartet colleagues and one of the principal clarinetists of the Kansas City Symphony. It was their unanimous view that my Cox played circles around the Gagliano. How fortunate I am to have found this fantastic violin! It is my most valued possession.”

Daniel Vega-AlbelaBorn in Mexico City, Daniel Vega-Albela started studying violin with Yuriko Kuronuma. At fifteen, he won silver medal in the first National Violin Competition in Mexico City. At sixteen, he traveled to New York City, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the Mannes College of Music, under the guidance of Sally Thomas. He has played with many ensembles in the United States, such as the St. Cecilia Chamber Orchestra and the Western New York Chamber Players. He has toured Japan and Mexico, and has had many appearances as soloist with different orchestras throughout Mexico. He has also worked with several chamber and symphony orchestras in Mexico, such as the Orquesta de Cámara de Morelos, the Camerata de Torreón, and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería.

From 1994 to 1997, he was instructor of violin at the Academia Yuriko Kuronuma in Mexico City, and in 1997, he joined the Conservatorio de las Rosas to teach violin performance and to play with their new music ensemble, the Ensamble de las Rosas. From 2001 to 2003, he was violin Instructor at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. His devotion to teaching has already yielded some important results: he is featured in the 2004 and 2005 edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Mr. Vega-Albela holds a Master of violin performance degree from Western Michigan University, and a Master of chamber music degree from Kent State University, where he studied with Renata Artman Knific and Ivan Chan, respectively.

La Catrina Quartet

La Catrina QuartetCurrently in Residence at New Mexico State University, the La Catrina Quartet tours regularly throughout the US and Mexico, and has received important awards and recognitions, such as Western Michigan University’s All University Research and Creative Scholar Award and the North Carolina Arts Council cARTwheels 2009 and 2010 touring program.

Some of the quartet highlights include their participation in the highly competitive Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ Young Performers Career Advancement program in New York City, which concluded with a showcase performance of “next generation’s classical music star performers” in Carnegie Hall. For two years, they were in Residence with the Western Piedmont Symphony in North Carolina and at the Chamber Music Festival of San Miguel de Allende, México, where they collaborated with the Brentano Quartet, the Poulenc Trio and The Miami Quartet.

Last summer the La Catrina Quartet commissioned a new work from Puerto Rican composer Roberto Sierra. Funded by Symphony Space in New York City, the Cuarteto No. 2 was premiered in May of 2011.

They will be featured in the University of Washington's “World Series” International Chamber Music Series on October 20, 2012. For more information, click here.

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