Rodolfo Barráez November 18th
A natural communicator with infectious charisma, Berlin-based Venezuelan conductor, Rodolfo Barráez, brings remarkable vivacity, sensitivity, and zeal to his artistry. The 2023-2024 season sees him join the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra as Assistant Conductor, as well as begin his second season as Associate Conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. He also joins the Opéra de Paris this season as Conductor-in-Residence.
Awarded first prize at the 2023 Hong Kong International Conducting Competition, previous competition successes include first prize at the 2018 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México International Conducting Competition (OFUNAM), and second prize at the 2020 Siemens-Hallé International Conductor Competition in Manchester.
The 22-23 season saw Rodolfo give debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, conducting Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, the Münchener Kammerorchester on their tour of South America, the Gävle Symfoniorkester, among others. Some of his most recent guest conductor performances were with Appassionato Orchestre at the Verbier Festival 2022, Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias, The Hallé Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Orquesta Sinfónica de la RTVE, Sinfónica Simón Bolívar, Filarmónica de Bogotá, Orquesta Sinfónica de Yucatán, Orquesta Sinfónica de Querétaro, Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM, Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, among others.
Future highlights include performances with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Orquesta Sinfónica y Coro Radio Televisión Española and the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar on tour in Asia.
Having completed a Bachelor degree in conducting at the Universidad Nacional Experimental de las Artes de Venezuela, Barráez also studied a Bachelor and Master degree in conducting at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin. Strongly influenced by his own remarkable education as part of El Sistema under the guidance of José Antonio Abreu and Teresa Hernández, Rodolfo is committed to contributing to music education. In 2019, Rodolfo founded the Falcón Conducting Workshop; an organisation which nurtures and supports the development of emerging conductors through masterclass and workshop series in his hometown as well as worldwide at high renowned institutions such as the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas. In addition, as part of El Sistema Greece and supported by the Hilti Foundation, Rodolfo provided performance training to young musicians from deprived communities in Greece, furthering his passion for bringing young people together through music performance and education.
Rodolfo formed the intrinsic roots of his conducting career as an eminent violinist. Previously a member of the Orquesta Sinfónica Teresa Carreño de Venezuela, Rodolfo has performed under Sir Simon Rattle, Claudio Abbado, and Gustavo Dudamel at venues such as Teatro Alla Scala Milan, London’s Royal Festival Hall, Salzburg Festival, and Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space.
Christian Vásquez November 19th
Christian Vásquez is one of the most prolific musical talents to emerge from Venezuela in later years. Renowned for his charismatic stage presence, powerful interpretations, and compelling musical integrity, Vásquez continues to attract international attention as one of the most outstanding conductors working today. Christian Vásquez became Chief Conductor of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra at the beginning of the 2013/14 season, inaugurating the start of an initial four-year term. His contract was extended for two more years until 2019, after a successful relationship with the Orchestra. He began his tenure with a performance of Mahler Symphony No. 2 in the Orchestra’s new hall in August 2013. He led the Orchestra in several tours for Scandinavia, Russia, Germany, and Netherlands, with ambitious programs, receiving favorable reviews.
In the 2015/16 season Christian became the Principal Guest Conductor of the Het Gelders Orkest, starting his tenure with a tour of the Netherlands featuring an all-Latin programme. In spring 2015, he had another huge success when he led at the Norwegian Opera four performances of Bizet's Carmen.
Vásquez was Music Director of the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela from 2010 to 2017. He took the orchestra on several international tours with performances in London, Berlin, Lisbon, Hamburg, Milan, Toulouse, Vienna, Amsterdam, Salzburg, Munich, Stockholm, Istanbul, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai.
Following his debut with the Gävle Symfoniorkester in 2009, one of his first appearances in Europe, Christian was appointed Principal Guest Conductor from 2010 to 2013.
In addition to his many responsibilities with Gävle Symfoniorkester, Christian Vásquez lead the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Vienna Radio Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Russian State Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic and Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
In 2010, Vásquez made his debut with the Israel Philharmonic invited by Music Director Zubin Mehta. During 2010/2011 season he also conducted the Vienna Radio Symphony, the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra and Belgian National Orchestra.
In North America, Vásquez has conducted the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), New Jersey Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic.
In the 2012/13 season, conducts, amongst others, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester. During this time, he also conducted the Salzburg Camerata throughout international tours including performances at Grosses Festspielhaus, Wiener Konzerthaus, Alte Oper de Frankfurt and Berliner Philharmonie.
Christian’s 2013/14 season included projects with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Galicia Symphony, Berlin Konzerthausorchester, Prague Radio Symphony, Warsaw Beethoven Festival and Turku Philharmonic. In 2014/15 Christian returns to the Arnhem Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, and Turku Philharmonic.
Highlights of the 2015/16 season included projects with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, the Prague Radio Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico and Poznan Philharmonic.
In addition to his regular commitments in Stavanger and Arnhem in 2017/18, Christian returned to the Danish National Opera for New Year’s concerts with the Royal Danish Orchestra. He will also made his debut with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. Further orchestral highlights include collaborations with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and a European tour with the Het Gelders Orkest.
During 2017/18 season Christian made his debut with Rotterdam Philharmonic and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra with Pinchas Zukerman as soloist. He also reunited with the Turku Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic and collaborated with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Seoul Philharmonic.
The summer 2018 Christian made his debut with the InterHarmony International Festival’s Youth Orchestra giving masterclasses and performing with Sergey Khachatryan. In addition to his regular commitments in Stavanger and Arnhem, 2018/19 Christian returned to the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra for Beethoven 9th Symphony as part of the orchestra’s long-standing December tradition. He will also make his debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and soloist Stefan Dohr.
In 2021, Vásquez conducted the opening concert of the Tongyeong International Music Festival in Korea. In this season he also was assistant conductor to Gustavo Dudamel in the new production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro at the Paris Opera.
In 2023, was assistant conductor to Gustavo Dudamel in the production of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde at the Paris Opera and made his debut with the Paris Opera Orchestra and the Opera Ballet School conducting four performances at the Garnier Opera.
Vásquez has worked closely with such world-class musicians as Simon Rattle, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Truls Mork, Sol Gabetta, Sergio Tiempo, Ray Chen, Kolja Blacher, Veronika Eberle, James Ehnes, Elina Vähälä, Sergey Khachatryan, Liza Ferschtman, Arabella Steinbacher, Benjamin Schmid, Alexandra Soumm, Antoine Tamestit, Natalie Clein, Julian Steckel, Claudio Bohorquez, Narek Hakhnazaryan, Amanda Forsyth, Jamie Walton, Pei-Jee Ng, WANG Jian.
He has also worked with internationally renowned soloists as Edicson Ruiz, Martin Grubinger, Pacho Flores, Kari Kriikku, Hakan Hardenberger, Tine Thing Helseth, Juan Ferrer, Reinhold Friedrich, Colin Currie, Simon Trpceski, Jonathan Biss, Kyrill Gerstein, Makoto Ozone, Håvard Gimse, Ingolf Wunder, Nicholas Hodges, Joseph Moog, Kristhyan Benitez, Kristiina Rokashevich, Bertrand Chamayou, Marianna Shirinyan, Lucas Jussen, Ole Kristian Dahl, Rolan Pontinen, Igor Levit, and Stefan Schulz.
Christian was born in Caracas. He began his music studies as a violinist and member of the renowned Venezuelan musical education programme El Sistema. He began conducting studies under the tutelage of José Antonio Abreu in 2006.