Guillermo Figueroa, Principal Conductor
One of the most versatile and respected musical artists of his generation—renowned as conductor, violinist, violist and concertmaster—Guillermo Figueroa is the Principal Conductor of The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus. He also serves as the Music Director of the Music in the Mountains Festival in Colorado and Music Director of the Lynn Philharmonia in Florida, and he is the founder of the highly acclaimed Figueroa Music and Arts Project in Albuquerque. He was the Music Director of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and the Puerto Rico Symphony. With the Puerto Rico orchestra, he performed to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall in 2003, the Kennedy Center in 2004, and in Spain in 2005.
Guillermo Figueroa has collaborated with many of the leading artists of our time, including Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo 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 Philippe Quint.
International appearances include the Toronto Symphony, Iceland Symphony, the Baltic Philharmonic in Poland, Orquesta del Teatro Argentino in La Plata, Xalapa (Mexico), the Orquesta de Cordoba in Spain and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile. In the U.S. he has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, New Jersey, Memphis, Phoenix, Colorado, Tucson, Fairfax, San Jose, Juilliard, and the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center.
A renowned violinist as well, Figueroa’s recording of Ernesto Cordero’s violin concertos for the Naxos label received a Latin GRAMMY® nomination in 2012. He was Concertmaster of the New York City Ballet, and a Founding Member and Concertmaster of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, making over 50 recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, a German classical record label and the oldest surviving established record company. Also accomplished on the viola, Guillermo Figueroa performs frequently as guest of the Fine Arts, American, Amernet and Orion string quartets.
Maestro Figueroa has given the world premieres of four violin concertos written for him: the Concertino by Mario Davidovsky at Carnegie Hall in 1995; the Double Concerto by Harold Farberman with the American Symphony at Lincoln Center in 2007; the Violin Concerto by Miguel del Águila, commissioned by Figueroa and the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in 2008; and ĺnsula, Suite Concertante by Ernesto Cordero with the Solisti di Zagreb in Zagreb in 2009.
He has appeared at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music in the Vineyards in California, Festival Groba in Spain, and Music from Angel Fire. Figueroa has recorded the Three Violin Sonatas by Bartók for the Eroica Classical label with pianist Robert Koenig, and an album of virtuoso violin music for the NMSO label with pianist Ivonne Figueroa.
He has conducted the premieres of works by important composers, such as Roberto Sierra, Ernesto Cordero and Miguel del Águila. As an advocate for new music, Figueroa and the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra won an Award for Adventurous Programming from the League of American Orchestras in 2007.
Guillermo 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.