Jesús Castro-Balbi, D.M.A.

2023-1 4-3

Cellist Jesús Castro-Balbi has developed a distinguished record of artistic and educational leadership nationally and internationally. He has performed extensively across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, including at Carnegie Hall, Mexico City’s Sala Nezahualcóyotl, Seoul Arts Center, Shanghai’s Oriental Arts Center, and at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, and is featured in 13 albums.

As a soloist, he has collaborated with the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Leipzig MDR Radio Orchestra (Germany), Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra (Peru), and with conductors Arild Remmereit, Emmanuel Plasson, Fernando Valcárcel, Gregory Vajda, Linus Lerner, Philippe Bender, Ramón Tebar, and Yang Yang. Of note are performances of the Lutoslawski cello concerto with Carlos Miguel Prieto leading the UNAM Philharmonic Orchestra (Mexico); Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with Germán Gutiérrez and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Osvaldo Golijov’s Azul with Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Michael Ward-Bergeman, Jamey Haddad, Cyro Baptista, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra; and Brahms’ Double Concerto with Henning Kraggerud and the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra (Denmark) led by Giancarlo Andretta.

A passionate champion of music of our time, he is the dedicatee of 20 compositions and has presented 54 premiere performances and the world premiere recording of 19 works, including the first recording of Samuel Zyman’s Suite for Two Cellos with Carlos Prieto. With pianist Gloria Lin, he recorded the complete music for cello and piano by Robert Rodriguez and Rapsodia Latina, an album featuring seven world premiere recordings, including Esteban Benzecry’s Rapsodia Andina and Gabriela Lena Frank’s Manhattan Serenades. Additionally, he gave the premiere of Lera Auerbach’s Postscriptum, with Arkady Fomin and David Korevaar, in the Clavier Trio; and the New York premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Cello Concerto, Kai, with the New Juilliard Ensemble led by Joel Sachs. With Germán Gutiérrez and the Texas Christian University Symphony Orchestra, he premiered Edgar Valcárcel’s Concierto Indio and Jimmy López’ Cello Concerto, Lord of the Air, subsequently recording the latter with Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra for Harmonia Mundi to international critical acclaim. 

In 2023-24, he leads Communities of Tango, a collaboration with legendary tango figure Daniel Binelli, award-winning filmmaker Sangsun Choi, and organizations nationwide to engage communities through a new collection of concert tango music for cello and bandoneon. He also presents a program of music for flute, cello and piano with Orlando Cela and Carmen Peralta; unveils a new cello concerto by Ludsen Martinus; and tours South Korea with Sejong Soloists.

A renowned educator, he developed an internationally sought-after cello program at Texas Christian University, where he taught for 18 years. At TCU, he founded and served as artistic director of the TCU Cello Ensemble, the TCU Cellofest, and of the Faculty & Friends Chamber Music Series. His students are now performers, college professors, professional orchestra members, K-12 teachers, conductors, composers, arts administrators, entrepreneurs, and altogether productive and engaged citizens in the U.S. and abroad. 

He has given masterclasses at Beijing’s Central Conservatory, Paris Conservatoire, the Leipzig and Stuttgart Hochschule, the Yale School of Music, and for the Japan Cello Society, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, and the Colombia Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.  Additionally, he has adjudicated at the Lynn Harrell Competition (Dallas), the Sphinx Competition (Michigan), and at the Aiqin Bei (China), Lutoslawski (Poland) and Carlos Prieto (Mexico) international cello competitions.

As an American Council on Education Fellow, he developed perspective on higher education with leaders at the University of Miami and at campuses across the nation. Additionally, he completed the Management Development Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has served in a variety of administrative leadership roles in and outside of academia ranging from faculty senate chair and school director to associate dean and alumni club president. These experiences strengthened his appreciation for the transformational impact of communities of learners.

Of Peruvian heritage and raised in France, Dr. Castro-Balbi graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur at Lyon (France), Indiana University Bloomington, and the Yale School of Music, and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School. He had the privilege to learn from Aldo Parisot, Janos Starker, Iseut Chuat, Marc Coppey, Jean Deplace, and members of the Amadeus, Borodine, Juilliard, Ravel and Tokyo String Quartets. 

Dr. Castro-Balbi is a professor of music at Kennesaw State University, a large public research university in metro Atlanta. Please visit www.jcbcello.com.

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