Willy Sucre on viola, will be joined by Ivonne Figueroa on piano, Guillermo Figueroa on violin, and James Holland on cello to perform "Piano Quartet Op. 47 in E flat major" by Schumann, "Piano Trio No 2 in B minor Op.76" by Turina, and "Sonata for Violin and Piano Op. 12 No. 3 in E flat major" by Beethoven.
Pianist Ivonne Figueroa began her musical studies at the age of five with her father Guillermo, her aunts Carmelina and Angelina and her uncle Narciso Figueroa, members of Puerto Rico’s most distinguished musical family. Later a pupil of Pablo Casals, Rudolf Serkin, Claude Franck and Felix Galimir. In 1966 Ms. Figueroa was awarded the Pablo Casals Scholarship by the maestro himself, to study at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. She was the first artist from the Western Hemisphere to win the coveted Robert Schumann International Piano Competition in East Germany, where she competed against 98 pianist from around the world She has performed in Europe, Central America and the Caribbean. In the United States she has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, Weill recital Hall, Merkin Hall and the Festival Casals in Puerto Rico. She has been a soloist with orchestras in New York,Germany (DDR), Michigan, Puerto Rico and New Mexico. Together with brother violinist Guillermo Figueroa, she has toured throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America, as a member of the Figueroa Duo. They were finalist in the International Violin and Piano Duo in Munich,Germany. They also toured Spain in 1982 . Together with her brother Guillermo and cousins, Narciso and Rafael, they have appeared with the El Salvador Symphony, the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestras and the Festival Casals in Puerto Rico. Under the direction of her brother, conductor and violinist Guillermo Figueroa, she toured the Dominican Republic with the PR Symphony last April. She performed, with the Figueroa Quartet at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Casals Festival in February. At present Dr. Figueroa works at the education department of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus.
Conductor and violinist Guillermo Figueroa is one of the most renowned and versatile musicians of his generation. A member of Puerto Rico's most distinguished musical family, he was named Music Director of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra in 2000, after serving as that orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor for several seasons. In 2001 he was also named the tenth Music Director of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, becoming the first Puerto Rican-born conductor to lead an important orchestra in the United States. With this orchestra he made his debut as a conductor on CD, a highly acclaimed performance of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, and works by Berlioz and Ravel. Figueroa is a Founding Member of the world-renowned conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2003. With this group he has been concertmaster and soloist in acclaimed performances through the US, Europe and Asia. Orpheus made over fifty recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, many led by Figueroa. Figueroa has recorded the Three Violon Sonatas by Béla Bartók on the Eroira Classical label, and an album of virtuoso violin music by Wieniawski, Sarasate and others, with pianist Ivonne Figueroa. Committed to the music of his native Puerto Rico, Figueroa has given the world premieres of works by important composers such as Ernesto Cordero, Raymond Torres, Carlos Vazquez and Mariano Morales. One composer that has merited special attention from Figueroa is Roberto Sierra, the Composer-in Residence of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Albany Records has released the premiere recording of the oratorio Bayo‡n, by Sierra, with the Bronx Arts Ensemble Orchestra and Chorus, led by Figueroa. Mr. Figueroa began violin studies with his father Guillermo, and later with his uncle José at the Conservatory of Music ofPuerto Rico, where he also worked with Pablo Casals. He attended the Juilliard School where his teachers were Oscar Shumsky and Felix Galimir. His conducting studies were with Harold Farberman in New York. Guillermo Figueroa, his wife Valerie Turner and their three children live in Albuquerque.
Cellist James Holland began cello studies at the age of nine in his hometown of Pensacola, Florida. He earned a Bachelor of Music Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Alabama and a Master of Music Degree from the Eastman School of Music. In 1996, he successfully auditioned to become Principal Cellist for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and cellist for the Charleston Symphony String Quartet, a position he held until 2007.
Violist Willy Sucre is a member of the New Mexico Philharmonic and is the driving force behind the "Willy Sucre & Friends" concerts. Born in La Paz, Bolivia, Sucre studied at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in La Paz, Colby College Chamber Music Institute in Waterville, Maine, Mannes School of Music in New York, and the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore,Maryland. He has been conductor and music director of the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra, assistant conductor and principal violist of the Canada Symphony Orchestra inMontreal, assistant conductor and assistant principal violist of the former New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, principal violist and guest conductor of the National Symphony of Bolivia, the Chamber Orchestra of La Paz, and the Albuquerque Chamber Orchestra. As a chamber musician,Sucre was the founder of the Cuarteto Boliviano, guest violist with various chamber music ensembles, and for ten years the violist of the Helios String Quartet. His experience includes extensive chamber music concerts, lectures and school demonstrations, CD recordings, and television performances throughout South, Central, and North America. Sucre spends most of his summers in South America looking for new works of chamber music by modern composers and encouraging composers to write new pieces, especially piano quartets. He enjoys performing with ensembles of diverse instrumentation.