Player Spotlight ~ Jorge Martínez Rios ~ violist with La Catrina Quartet

Viola Opus 500, 16-1/2” del Gesù style

“After our quartet concerts the comment that I always get is 'what a deep and warm sound that viola has'.”

Jorge Martínez Rios Born in Torreón, México, Jorge Martínez Rios studied viola at the Conservatorio de las Rosas, where he graduated with honors under the tutelage of professor Gela Dubrova.

Mr. Martínez has performed across the US and Mexico in some of the most prestigious concert venues, such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Meany Hall's World Series in Seattle, Chicago Center for the Arts, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, just to mention a few.

He has been principal and assistant principal viola for different orchestras in Mexico and the US, like the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, the Camerata de Coahuila, the Orquesta de Cámara de Michoacán, the Western Piedmont Symphony and the Las Cruces Symphony.

Most recently, Mr. Martínez was invited by CONACULTA (the National Council for Culture and Art in Mexico) to record chamber works of José Pablo Moncayo, including a string trio and the sonata for viola and piano with acclaimed Mexican pianist Guadalupe Parrondo. This recording was made to celebrate the composer's 100th anniversary. He has also recorded music by Mexican composer Germán Romero under the Quindecim recording label; Angelwings, a CD of music by contemporary composers from Ohio; and the Francisco Mignone Seresta for double quartet in collaboration with the Cuarteto Latinoamericano for the Sono Luminus label.

Currently, Mr. Martinez is Assistant Professor of Viola at New Mexico State University and keeps a busy schedule touring and teaching. He is blessed to live eight months in the US and four months in México with his wife Verónica, his two beautiful children, Valeria and David, and Clay, a black and white rescue cat.

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.

The quartet is currently embarking on a project to record and release 4 CDs of Mexican, Latin-American and European string quartet music as well as a collaborative recording with tuba player James Shearer.

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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