Guillermo Figueroa: Founder, Musical Director, Conductor,  Violinist
Guillermo Figueroa: Artistic Director

The creative genius behind The Figueroa Music and Arts Project, Guillermo Figueroa is also the new Music Director and Conductor of the Lynn Philharmonia, aas well as Music Director of the Music in the Mountains Festival in Durango, Colorado. Additionally, he was the former Music Director of both the New Mexico Symphony and the Puerto Rico Symphony. With this last orchestra he performed to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall in 2003, the Kennedy Center in 2004 and Spain in 2005.


His international appearances as a Guest Conductor include the Toronto Symphony, Iceland Symphony, the Baltic Philharmonic in Poland, Orquesta del Teatro Argentino in La Plata (Buenos Aires), Xalapa (Mexico), the Orquesta de Cordoba in Spain and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile. In the US he has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, New Jersey, Memphis, Phoenix, Colorado, Berkeley, Tucson, Santa Fe, Toledo, Fairfax, San Jose, Juilliard Orchestra and the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center.

 

Mr. Figueroa has collaborated with many of the leading artists of our time, including Itzhak Perlman, YoYo Ma, Hilary Hahn, Placido Domingo, Joshua Bell, Olga Kern, Janos Starker, James Galway, Midori, Horacio Gutierrez, the Emerson and Fine Arts String Quartets, Ben Hepner, Rachel Barton Pine, Pepe and Angel Romero, Elmar Oliveira, Vadim Gluzman and Arnaldo Cohen.

 

A Berlioz specialist, he created the most comprehensive Berlioz Festival in the US in 2003 for the composer’s Bicentennial. Mr. Figueroa has conducted the premieres of works by important composers, such as Roberto Sierra, Ernesto Cordero and Miguel del Águila. An advocate for new music, Mr. Figueroa and the NMSO won an Award for Adventurous Programming from the League of American Orchestras in 2007.

 

A renowned violinist as well, his recording of Ernesto Cordero’s violin concertos for the Naxos label received a Latin Grammy nomination in 2012. Figueroa was Concertmaster of the New York City Ballet, and a Founding Member and Concertmaster of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, making over fifty recordings for Deutsche Grammophon. Also accomplished on the viola, Figueroa performs frequently as guest of the Fine Arts, American, Amernet and Orion string quartets.

 

Figueroa has given the world premieres of four violin concertos written for him: in 1995 the Concertino by Mario Davidovsky, at Carnegie Hall with Orpheus; in 2007 the Double Concerto by Harold Farberman, with the American Symphony at Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center; in 2008 the Violin Concerto by Miguel del Aguila, commissioned by Figueroa and the NMSO and in 2009 Insula, Suite Concertante, by Ernesto Cordero with the Solisti di Zagreb in Zagreb.

 

He is a regular performer at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music in the Vineyards in California, and Music from Angel Fire. Figueroa has recorded the Three Violin Sonatas by Bartok for the Eroica Classical label, with pianist Robert Koenig, and an album of virtuoso violin music by for the NMSO label, with pianist Ivonne Figueroa.


Mr. Figueroa studied with his father and uncle at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. At the Juilliard School his teachers were Oscar Shumsky and Felix Galimir. His conducting studies were with

Harold Farberman in New York.

 

figviolin@gmail.com / www.figueroaproject.org / www.guillermofigueroa.com

John Calvin, Chairman of the Board of Directors

Since 1990, John Calvin has dedicated himself to making New Mexico's best red wines. As owner of Casa Rondeña Winery in Albuquerque’s North Valley, he has become a pioneer of premium wine making in New Mexico, increasing the popularity and knowledge of high desert wines, turning heads and winning medals at competitions from California to Florida.

A native of the Rio Grande Valley, Mr. Calvin's passion for world music led him to study the classical music of India and the Flamenco of Southern Spain. It was there that he began to form the philosophy that wine, in addition to music and architecture, is another way to experience the beauty around us and to coax the diverse elements of nature and earth into a graceful fabric.

With this philosophy in mind, Mr. Calvin tends the vines and his wine making with the same degree of respect and passion as his practices of music and architecture.  A lifelong student of these disciplines, it is Mr. Calvin's fondest hope that Casa Rondeña Winery will continue to be a center of gravity for culture in New Mexico that will include music, art, architecture, wine and philanthropy.

An active supporter of the arts in the community, he has donated his time and thousands of dollars in wine to a number of community organizations, including the annual Montezuma Ball, which since 1902 has been raising significant funds for a number of deserving organizations. He has for many years been a major supporter of Popejoy Hall and the former New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, as well as the UNM Center for Development and Disability, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Lavender in the Village (Los Ranchos), and dozens of other organizations.

Jose "Pepe" Figueroa, Board of Directors
Jose “Pepe” Figueroa was born in New York City but spent much of his life growing up in Puerto Rico. His father was the distinguished violinist, Pepito Figueroa, concertmaster of the Puerto Rico Symphony for thirty two years. Pepe studied at American University in Washington, DC and later at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. Pepe helped start a transportation business in the early 70’s and later, with his business partner, Ervin Walter, started Priority One Services, Inc. Priority is one of the largest providers of pre-clinical medical research services in the United States. Pepe has also served on several Boards of Directors including The Hispanic Business Youth Foundation, The Children’s Inn at the NIH, and the Fairfax Symphony of which he was the President in 2009. In 2007 along with several other prominent Washington, DC Hispanic businessmen Pepe helped start the highly successful bank, John Marshall in Northern Virginia and Maryland. Pepe has served as President of Priority One since it’s inception in 1986. Needless to say, Pepe has the Figueroa passion for music and anything to do with the violin.
Patricia Dickinson, Board of Directors

Currently Artistic Director of Festival Ballet Albuquerque, Patricia Dickinson began her training with at the Southern Ballet of Atlanta and was a scholarship recipient at the North Carolina School for the Arts, studied at the Graham Conservatory in New York, and received a BFA degree with honors from Southern Methodist University.

 

During these years, she studied with Madame Valentina Belova, and Nikita Talin of Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Ms. Dickinson danced with Dallas Opera and the Dallas Ballet where she worked with such choreographers and teachers as George Skibine, Marjorie Tallchief, and James Clouser. She was a founding member and co-Artistic Director of Dancers Unlimited in Dallas for ten years where she performed the works of Judith Jamison, Moses Pendleton, Bill Evans, Bill T. Jones, Matthew Diamond, Peter Pucci and others.

 

Her diverse training has allowed her to move comfortably in roles from the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker to more contemporary ballets. She teaches master ballet classes throughout the country, and has served as a guest instructor at the University of New Mexico. Ms. Dickinson's continuing teaching and choreographic career spans the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe.

 

She founded Southwest Civic Ballet in 1994 as a forum for young New Mexico dancers to come together and learn performance skills. In 1997, she disbanded Southwest Civic Ballet and became Artistic Director for the New Mexico Ballet Company, serving in this capacity until 2009. Most recently, Patricia has choreographed for New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and Opera Southwest.

 

An active community supporter, she has received numerous awards locally and nationally for her work. She raised $14,000 for the UNM Burn Center through a benefit at the Rio Grande Zoo that involved 150 performers, over 100 volunteers and 1200+ audience members.


William C. Hume, Board of Directors
Bill Hume was born in Albuquerque, raised in Socorro. He is a UNM graduate (journalism and economics) and a veteran of the U.S. Army (pre-Vietnam). He worked 36 years for the Albuquerque Journal, his last 16 as editor of the editorial page. He served as director of policy and issues for Gov. Bill Richardson from 2003 to 2009, with primary responsibilities in the areas of water policy, Mexican affairs and Native American affairs. Now retired from gainful employment. He is married to Elizabeth G. Hume (a violinist and pianist); the family includes two adult children. Bill first gained his appreciation of classical music as a child growing up, an appreciation that has continued through his adult life and expanded to encompass virtually all other styles of music. Bill's instrument is (very amateur) guitar.


Steve Paternoster, Board of Directors

Dr. Salim Walji, MD, Board of Directors

Dr. Jorge Wernly, MD, Board of Directors
Michael Stordahl, General Manager

Formerly General Manager for the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Michael Stordahl has become a valuable member of The Figueroa Project team. He previously served as Orchestra Personnel Manager for NMSO.


His business acumen and organizational skills are critical elements that will provide excellent management on the business side of the equation. He is adept in the utilization of management technologies that will allow for tracking all funds, and is responsible for budgeting for both administrative and performance requirements.


His business side is matched by his musical skills: He was Principal Clarinetist of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra from 1994 through May of 2007, and played with both the Santa Fe Symphony and the Santa Fe Opera.


Michael Stordahl holds a Master of Music Performance from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Northern Colorado.


Contact Michael at michaelstordahl@gmail.com or 382-3650



Additional Staff Members:


Denise Wernly, Development 

Valerie Turner, Public Relations

Joanne Burnett, Secretary, Assistant to Mr. Figueroa


Musician Advisors
David Felberg, Violinist

Violinist David Felberg is a familiar name to area audiences. Currently the concertmaster of the Santa Fe Symphony, he was associate concertmaster of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. A native of Albuquerque, he performs regularly throughout the Southwest as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. His numerous appearances as a soloist include performances with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra, Rowan Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Balcones (Austin, TX) Symphony, and the Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra. In June of 2005, he made his New York City recital debut in Merkin Hall. David also performs regularly with the Albuquerque Chamber Soloists, Church of Beethoven, Taos Chamber Music Group, and Santa Fe New Music.


Also active as a conductor, David has conducted the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in its annual performances of The Nutcracker. He is currently the musical director of the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra, and is the founder and conductor of Chatter, a chamber ensemble dedicated to performing 20th- and 21st-century music.

David received a BA from the University of Arizona and a Master of Music in Conducting from the University of New Mexico. He has also taken advanced string quartet studies at the University of Colorado. Mr. Felberg plays on a J.B. Vuillaume violin from 1829.

Joel Becktell, Cellist
Cellist Joel Becktell has performed, taught, and lectured throughout North America and Europe. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees with honors, and was awarded the Rubenstein prize for cello performance. Joel has been a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nichols Quartet, the Harrington String Quartet, the New Mexico Symphony, and the Moveable Feast chamber ensemble.

He has collaborated in concert with Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Gaisford, Charles Castleman, Marion Verbrugen, and many others. From 1995 - 2002 he served as Principal Cellist of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and has also been Principal Cellist with the Santa Fe Pro Musica. Joel appears frequently on Baroque and modern cello, and violoncello piccolo as soloist and with ensembles throughout North America. His principal cello teachers were Anne Cole, Alan Harris, and Stephen Geber.

With pianist Carla McElhaney he is co-founder of REVEL, an ensemble performing a wide range of repertoire for cello and piano and larger ensembles in a casual, welcoming atmosphere. Joel is currently a member of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, Ohio, and the Santa Fe Symphony. Joel has recorded for the Marquis Classics, Revel, and Blue Griffin labels.

Joel has written about cello pedagogy and musical instrument history and construction for numerous publications, including Strings and Strad Magazine.

 


Dana Winograd, Cellist

Originally from Los Angeles, cellist Dana Winograd received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in performance from the Juilliard School in New York where she studied members of the Juilliard String Quartet for chamber music. She has performed at Carnegie Hall with the American Composer's Orchestra and the American Symphony, Broadway appearances (both in the pit and on stage) with Phantom of The Opera, Cats, Beauty and the Beast, and Once Upon a Mattress, as well as playing backup for Rod Stewart, Luther Vandross, Lyle Lovett, Manhattan Transfer, and Harry Connick Jr.


A resident of Santa Fe, Winograd is principal cellist of the Santa Fe Symphony. She has appeared as soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque, the Plainfield Symphony in New Jersey and the Julius Grossman Orchestra in New York. As a chamber musician Winograd plays frequently with the Serenata of Santa Fe, Albuquerque Chamber Soloists and Chatter. She is also the cello teacher of many budding musicians in the Santa Fe area.

Mission Statement

• An organization dedicated to artistic excellence and to “Redefining the musical experience for our times.”
• A fully-formed non-profit corporation.
• A group of select talented, successful and passionate individuals who comprise the leadership.
• Committed to collaborative projects centered on music but including an array of arts—dance, film, vocal, spoken word and more. 
• Integrating traditional music with new music and chamber music with the large orchestra repertoire
• Committed to being a fiscally responsible organization by fully funding performances prior to presentation


The long-held vision of the very talented and creative Guillermo Figueroa led to the forming of The Figueroa Project in 2011. The Project presented a schedule of eight concerts during the inaugural 2011-2012 season. These ranged from intimate ensemble chamber music presentations, to full chamber orchestra programs, to the multimedia Stravinsky work, “The Soldier’s Tale,” with narrator, musical ensemble and dancers.

 

The inaugural concert at the KiMo Theatre featured The Figueroa Project Chamber Orchestra in period dress performing Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” The second half of the program saw the chamber orchestra members garbed in tango dance outfits playing Piazzolla’s “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.” It was a unique visual and musical experience enthusiastically received by the audience.

A subsequent concert featured The Essential Masters, with thought-provoking commentary by Maestro Figueroa on Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. The Figueroa Project Chamber Orchestra’s presentation of Beethoven’s Symphony Nr. 2 in D Major in that concert was breathtaking in its precision and interpretation.

 

The Project skipped forward to the early 20th century with Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale,” a music-dance combination on the age-old Mephistopheles against man conflict. The Project won this go-round.

Concerts at San Felipe de Neri Church early in the season and at the end in the Robertson Violin Shop Recital Hall enthralled the audience with the intimate precision of small-ensemble music from the old masters to modern electronic music with solo violin.

 

“With just a handful of concerts under its belt, The Figueroa Project has established itself as the most innovative concert series in town,” said Albuquerque Journal music critic D.S. Crafts.

Preliminary plans for the 2012-13 season envision a minimum of nine concerts, ranging from intimate chamber presentations at Robertson to at least one full symphony orchestra concert at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Because of The Project’s strict policy of money in hand before concerts are contracted, final details of the upcoming season will depend significantly upon fundraising success in the interim.  

 

Unlike the economic structure of a traditional symphony, The Figueroa Project remains versatile and flexible, with the ability to bring to a performance the best musicians available, without weighty contractual traditions that limit the ability to tailor the personnel to meet the specific requirements of each endeavor. The Figueroa Project will continue to present a variety of music in creative and unexpected ways by partnering with other artistic organizations in the state. Planned events will range from intimate chamber ensembles to full symphonic concerts, with a fabulous variety of local virtuoso musicians and international artists. The Figueroa Project made a big splash in the Albuquerque music scene in its inaugural scene and is looking to be back bigger, better and more engaging than ever in the upcoming season. It is here to stay in the cultural fabric of Albuquerque and New Mexico.

Readers are encouraged to visit The Gallery elsewhere on this web page and view samples of the concerts referenced above.