World-renowned Cellist Jesús Castro-Balbi to Play with KSU Symphony Orchestra

KENNESAW, Ga. | Oct 12, 2021

Jesús Castro-Balbi, Director of Bailey School of Music, to join KSU music students on stage

castro balbi with cello
Dr. Jesús Castro-Balbi, Director of the School of Music, will join the KSU Symphony Orchestra on October 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Internationally renowned cellist Jesús Castro-Balbi will join the KSU Symphony Orchestra on stage on October 21 at 7:30 p.m. Named the Director of the Bailey School of Music on July 1, 2021, Castro-Balbi was first invited to perform at KSU in 2012 as a guest artist. This year, he worked closely with Dr. Nathaniel F. Parker, conductor of the KSU Symphony Orchestra, and Harrison Long, Interim Dean of the College of the Arts, to take the stage once more. 

Long said, “ArtsKSU is proud to present in concert Dr. Jesús Castro-Balbi, our new outstanding Director of the Bailey School of Music. A graduate of both Yale University and the Juilliard School, Jesús is an internationally renowned musician. He’s also an inspiring leader, deeply committed to artistic excellence, scholarly achievement and, most of all, student success. Our music students simply couldn’t have a better role model.” 

“This collaboration presents a great opportunity not only for our students—but also for our colleagues and patrons in the arts community—to get to know Dr. Castro-Balbi as a performer,” added Parker. The cellist will perform with the students in a program specifically tailored to engage with the community. 

Repertoire for the performance includes Brahms/Schmeling—Two Hungarian Dances, Saint-Saëns—Cello Concerto No. 1, Dvorak—Symphony No. 8, and a world premiere performance of Soledad by Nico Gutiérrez

With deep roots in Peru and known for his expertise in music by Latin American composers, Castro-Balbi helped arrange the first performance of Soledad by young Colombian-American composer Nico Gutiérrez. Castro-Balbi is thrilled to bring Gutiérrez’ work to KSU, along with the Saint-Saëns cello concerto. He said, “The Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 is not only a staple of the repertoire, but it is also a piece that I learned as a child growing up in France.” 

Castro-Balbi has performed all over the world, from New York’s Alice Tully Hall and over a dozen times at Carnegie Hall, to the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center and at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. 

His repertoire stretches from Osvaldo Golijov’s Azul and Arlington Jones’ Soul Unity Suite to Lutoslawski’s Cello Concerto. To date, he has presented 53 premiere performances, the world premiere recording of 19 works, and is the dedicatee of 19 compositions. 

Dr. Castro-Balbi graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur at Lyon, Indiana University Bloomington, and the Yale School of Music, and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School.

Tickets for this event are $5-$10. To learn more or buy tickets, please visit

--Kathie Beckett

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