Since its founding in 2007, La Catrina String Quartet is recognized as the new vanguard for contemporary Latin American string quartet repertoire. Their mission is three-fold: a deep commitment to the cultivation of new works by living U.S. composers and throughout the Americas; the programming of existing Latin American works rarely performed in the U.S. and abroad; bringing fresh interpretations to classical, romantic and twentieth century masterpieces. Hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as "wonderful ambassadors for Latin American music," LCSQ members are from Mexico, Venezuela, and Chile. Their rich cultural origins convey an unparalleled stylistic authenticity and artistic vision in their performances, collaborations and recordings. It is this unique balance of core Latin American repertoire with American and European classical traditions that characterizes both the diversity of their concert programs and appeal to multi-cultural audiences.
Born in Mexico City, Daniel Vega-Albela started studying violin with Yuriko Kuronuma. At fifteen, he won silver medal in the first National Violin Competition in Mexico City. At sixteen, he traveled to New York City, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the Mannes College of Music. He has played with many ensembles in the United States, such as the St. Cecilia Chamber Orchestra and the Western New York Chamber Players. He has toured Japan and has had many appearances as soloist with different orchestras throughout Mexico. He has also worked with several chamber and symphony orchestras in Mexico, such as the Orquesta de Cámara de Morelos. From 1994 to 1997, he was instructor of violin at the Academia Yuriko Kuronuma in Mexico City, and in 1997, he joined the Conservatorio de las Rosas to teach violin performance. From 2001 to 2003, he was violin Instructor at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. His devotion to teaching has already yielded some important results: he is featured in the 2004 and 2005 edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.
Award-winning Swiss-Venezuelan violinist, Simón Gollo is a gifted and committed pedagogue who keeps a very busy teaching schedule. This includes invitations to teach masterclasses around the world. He has earned degrees from the Conservatoire de Musique de Geneve, Switzerland and the Conservatoire Superieur et Academie de Musique Tibor Varga in Sion, Switzerland. Since 2012, Simón has been a member of the Dali String Quartet, and he is regularly invited by several other chamber music ensembles for tours and concerts given at venues such as Carnegie Hall in NYC and Cadogan Hall in London. In 2015 Simón Gollo joined La Catrina String Quartet.
Born in Torreón, Mexico, Jorge Martínez Ríos studied viola at the Conservatorio de las Rosas, where he graduated with honors. Mr. Martínez has performed across the US and Mexico in some of the most prestigious concert venues, such as Carnegie Hall in New York. He has been principal and assistant principal viola for different orchestras in Mexico and the US, like the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería and the Las Cruces Symphony. Most recently, Mr. Martínez was invited by CONACULTA (the National Council for Culture and Art in Mexico) to record chamber works of José Pablo Moncayo. Currently, Mr. Martinez is Assistant Professor of Viola at New Mexico State University and keeps a busy schedule touring and teaching.
Jorge Espinoza received his Master's Degree in Music Performance from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Mr. Espinoza's orchestral experience has included performances at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony and chamber ensembles in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Symphony Hall. He has been a featured soloist and chamber musician, performing concertos, solo and chamber music recitals in his native land, Chile, and around the world. An avid chamber musician, his interest in researching, performing and arranging folk music from Latin America for string quartet and chamber ensembles has brought him to different cities in South America to pursue studies. His passion for teaching cello and coaching chamber music groups has brought him to present masterclasses and workshops in the United States and abroad.
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 in Montreal, 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.