Jesus Alfonzo, Viola
Jesus Alfonzo is Associate Professor of Viola, Chamber Music, and Music History at Stetson University, where he also conducts the Viola Consort and leads the Viola Clinic. He is also member of the Bach Festival Orchestra in Winter Park, Florida and has been a member of the Rios Reyna String Quartet since 1987. He received a Diploma and Post-Graduate Diploma from the Juilliard School of Music and Master of Music and Doctorate in Musical Arts from the Michigan State University. His viola and chamber music teachers include Margaret Pardee, Robert Dan, Jose Fco. Del Castillo, Bronislaw Gimpel, Joseph Gingold, Rony Rogoff, The Juilliard, and the Amadeus String Quartets. He has made appearances with orchestras in the United States and South America, and has given recitals and chamber music concerts in Europe, South America, and the United States.
Dr. Alfonzo was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He is a founding member of the EL SISTEMA, The Venezuelan National System of Youth Orchestras, in which he had the opportunity to develop both his teaching and playing skills. In 1980 and 1981, he was principal violist of the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra. Later, he became principal violist of Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for sixteen years. In his vast orchestral experience he has worked with distinguished conductors and soloists such as Claudio Abbado, Gustavo Dudamel, Leonard Bernstein, Jose Antonio Abreu, Maxim Schostakovitch, Kristoff Penderecki, Zubin Mehta, Serge Baudo, Carlos Chavez, Jerzy Semkov, Eduardo Mata, Claudio Arrau, Joseph Silverstein, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pinchas Zukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, Monserrat Caballe, Jean Pierre Rampal, Yehudi Menuhin, and Henry Szeryng, among others celebrities. He has taught in Venezuela at the Conservatorio de Musica Simon Bolivar, the Institute of Musical Studies, and the Colegio Emil Friedman.
Dr. Alfonzo maintains a large private studio of distinguished students from several counties in Florida. Since 1998, Dr. Alfonzo has given an annual series of Viola and String Pedagogy Master Classes at EL SISTEMA in almost every state of Venezuela. In 2008, he wrote the First Catalogue for Latin American Viola Music.
Jesus Alfonzo and his wife Naguapi, have two children.