Jesús Castro-Balbi, D.M.A.
Over the last 20 years, cellist Jesús Castro-Balbi has developed a distinguished record of artistic and educational leadership nationally and internationally. As a soloist, he has collaborated with, among other fine ensembles, the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra (Peru), and the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra (Mexico), and with such distinguished conductors as Arild Remmereit, Emmanuel Plasson, Fernando Valcárcel, Giancarlo Andretta, 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 Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the UNAM (Mexico); Brahms’ Double Concerto with Henning Kraggerud and the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra (Denmark) led by Giancarlo Andretta; Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with Germán Gutiérrez and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; and Osvaldo Golijov’s Mariel with Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the Leipzig MDR Radio Orchestra (Germany).
A passionate artistic partner and champion of music of our time, he is the dedicatee of 19 compositions and has presented 53 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 commissioned and 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. Castro-Balbi has been featured at Alice Tully Hall, Bass Hall, Carnegie Hall, Meyerson Hall, at Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Mexico City’s Sala Nezahualcóyotl, Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, and at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.
In 2023-25, he leads and performs in Communities of Tango, a collaboration with legendary tango figure Daniel Binelli, award-winning filmmaker Sangsun Choi, and organizations across the U.S. to celebrate, foster, and connect communities united by a passion for the genre through a new collection of concert tango music for cello and bandoneon. Meanwhile, he presents Latin American music for flute, cello and piano with Orlando Cela and Carmen Peralta; champions a new cello concerto written by up-and-coming Colombian composer 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 Cellofest and of the Faculty & Friends Chamber Music Series. He has given masterclasses at Beijing’s Central Conservatory, Paris Conservatoire, the Leipzig and Stuttgart Hochschule, for the Japan Cello Society, at the Yale School of Music, and for 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.
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.
As an American Council on Education Fellow, he developed higher education leadership capacity with a nationwide network of seasoned leaders, including the senior executive 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.
Dr. Castro-Balbi is presently a professor of music at Kennesaw State University, a large public research university in metro Atlanta. Please visit www.jcbcello.com.