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Gwendolyn Matias-Ryan

Artistic Director


Gwendolyn is a Mexican-American violist who obtained her Undergraduate and Graduate degrees in viola performance from Baylor University and more recently obtained a post-graduate viola performance degree at the University of Michigan. She acted as principal violist in the Oaxacan Symphony in 2015-2016 and has participated in prestigious chamber music festivals including Bowdin International Music Festival and Center Stage Strings. She was also the concerto competition winner in the Mid-Texas Symphony Concerto Competition 2013. She was invited to take part in the Brancaleoni International Music Festival in Piobbico, Italy, summer of 2018 and was invited as a guest artist on the Rutenberg Chamber Music Series in Tampa, Florida. In addition to her performance experience, she is a certified Suzuki violin/viola teacher and has taught in both Mexico and the U.S. In 2021, she won a prestigious Mexican cultural grant, (FONCA) for SA'OAXACA which was recently awarded the PROFEST Federal Grant for the festival's fifth iteration. She was awarded the prestigious CH Foundation Graduate Fellowship to study a Doctoral in Musical Arts degree at the University of Texas Tech under the tutelage of Philippe Chao, which she will conclude in May of 2024.


Lázaro Jascha González Muñoz


Originally from Oaxaca and a graduate from the Facultad de Música de la Universidad Veracruzana, Jascha has performed as a soloist with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, Orquesta Juvenil del Estado de Veracruz, Orquesta Universitaria de Música Popular, Orquesta de Cámara de la Escuela de Bellas Artes de Oaxaca, and the Orquesta de Cámara de Xalapa. He has also given recitals in Salem (U.S.) Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Sarajevo (Bosnia), and throughout Mexico. In 2003 Jascha placed first in the Mexican National “Hermilo Novelo” Violin Competition. He also participated in the International Violin Competition “Henryk Szeryng” in Toluca in 2008. For the past 14 years he has been a member of the Orquesta Sinfónica of Xalapa where he also occasionally acts as guest concertmaster. Jascha is currently studying his Doctoral in Musical Arts Degree at the University of Texas Tech under the tutelage of Dr. John Gilbert.

Julián Martínez Vázquez

Maestro - violín

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A Purépecha musician, Julian began his musical studies as a child in his family's group Los Purépechas de Charapan and is currently concertmaster of the Michoacán Symphony Orchestra. His work is eclectic, equally committed to traditional music and the avant-garde. He has been a member of the Ensemble Moderne Akademie in Frankfurt and studied contemporary music with Melisse Mellinger of the Ensemble Recherche Akademie. He has premiered the piece ‘Corale’ by Luciano Berio, as well as giving the world premiere of ‘Stain’ by the Iranian composer Arash Yazdani. He is part of the Liminar ensemble with whom he has performed countless concerts and artistic residencies at Stanford University as well as at the most important contemporary music festivals in New York (MATA) and Berlin (Radialsystem). He also carries out important work in the creation of new repertoire for solo violin collaborating with living composers. In January of this year the German label Naxos published his recording “Estudio de contrapunto I” by composer Samuel Cedillo.

In 2017 he founded the Purépecha Conservatory and since 2022 he has been a professor at the Fine Arts School of the Michoacan University.

Nathaniel Hoyt

Nathaniel Hoyt began his cello studies at the age of seven. He has extensive experience as an orchestral musician, having performed internationally in Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, as well as having held principal cello positions in orchestras such as the Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra, Catholic University of America Symphony Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he is a prize-winner at several competitions, including 1st place at the Misbin Chamber Music Competition, and 2nd place in the senior division of the WDAV Young Chamber Musicians Competition. Additionally, he is a faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music Academy preparatory school. He holds a BM in cello performance from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music in Washington D.C., where he won the 2018 Concerto Competition, and an MM in cello performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Jotaro Nakano

Chamber Orchestra Director

Japanese-American conductor Jotaro Nakano is a Southern California native who recently returned to his hometown after completing his graduate degree at the University of Michigan under Kenneth Keisler. Previously, Nakano served as Music Director of the Ann Arbor Camerata, Cover Conductor for the Baltimore Symphony, and Conducting Fellow of the Long Beach Symphony. He was most recently interim conductor of The Chapman Orchestra in Orange, CA. Nakano is currently completing his doctorate degree under the instruction of Marin Alsop at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Nakano received his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan, studying with Kenneth Kiesler. He conducted in festivals, including the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Eastern Music Festival, and Prague Summer Nights Festival. He has participated in masterclasses led by Maestros Sir Simon Rattle of the Berlin Philharmonic, Gerard Schwarz of the Seattle Symphony, and Ovidiu Balan of the Mihail Jora Philharmonic. Jotaro has conducted orchestras in the Czech Republic, Romania, Maine, California, Michigan, and North Carolina. In the summer of 2023, Jotaro won the position as the Longwood Symphony Orchestra Director in Boston, MA.

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