Player Spotlight ~ Rubén Rengel ~ Violin

Opus 563, "Nightingale" Stradivarius, on loan from Jaime Laredo

“It is a pleasure to play on such a special violin. I truly enjoy its singing quality and sweet, rich tone. I find it has a remarkable inherent power, and a very effective balance. It's been a great journey developing my voice with the violin, and seeing it evolve as well.”

Gizem Yücel

Venezuelan violinist Rubén Rengel, 22, was the Winner of the 2018 Annual Sphinx Competition. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree at the Shepherd School of Music, at Rice University, under the remarkable guidance of Paul Kantor. He earned his Bachelor’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of world-renowned violinist Jaime Laredo. Rubén’s early education was centered at the Emil Friedman Conservatory and School in Caracas, where he studied with Maestro Iván Pérez Núñez for eleven years. Rubén was the winner of the CIM Concerto Competition in 2014, recipient of the Anna Y. Tringas Award for excellence in violin performance at CIM in 2013, and was the winner of the Juan Bautista Plaza National Violin Competition of Venezuela in 2011.

As a soloist, he has appeared with the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra, the Firelands Symphony Orchestra, the CIM Orchestra, Virtuosi de Caracas, Filarmonía Caracas, and Arcos Juveniles de Caracas, working with conductors such as Theodore Kuchar, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Carl Topilow, Andrew Grams, and Ulyses Ascanio.

Rubén has had the opportunity to perform at the Teatro Teresa Carreño in Caracas as a soloist, at the Kennedy Center as a representative of CIM, and at Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra Seminar as well as on tour with the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra. Rubén has been Concertmaster of the New York Orchestra Seminar, the Shepherd Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, the Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra, and Assistant Concertmaster of the Aspen Festival Orchestra.

Rubén has received numerous fellowships to attend music festivals, including the Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Meadowmount School of Music, the New York String Orchestra Seminar. Rubén is an avid chamber musician, member of the Autana Trio, Bronze medal winners at the 2015 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Some of his chamber music coaches include Sharon Robinson, Merry Peckham, Joel Smirnoff, Norman Fischer, James Dunham, Donald Weilerstein, Peter Salaff, Itzhak Perlman, and Joseph Silverstein. In master classes, he has worked with the Brentano Quartet, Quatuor Ébène, Sylvia Rosenberg, Leon Fleisher, Peter Wiley, and the Miró Quartet.

Rubén began his violin studies at the age of three at the National System of Youth Orchestras of Venezuela, “El Sistema,” where he was until the age of six. In addition to classical music, Rubén has extensive experience performing Venezuelan folk music and Jazz. This has allowed him to develop important abilities in the area of improvisation, and he has recorded and toured with distinguished Venezuelan ensembles. Rubén also has a strong interest in the art of conducting.

Photo by Natalie Gaynor
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