Colombian-American Javier Otalora is an enthusiastic orchestral, chamber, and contemporary music player. He has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Ann Arbor Symphony, the Lansing Symphony, the Aspen Conducting Orchestra, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and University of Michigan’s Contemporary Directions Ensemble. He is also a substitute violist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Otalora has spent summers at the Aspen Music Festival, Meadowmount School, Red Rocks Music Festival, the Dali Quartet International Music Festival, and Spoleto Festival (USA).
Otalora is a passionate music educator with violin and viola studios in Oberlin, Ann Arbor, and Cincinnati. As a recipient of the Martin L. King Career Grant, Otalora was able to travel to Panama and lead a chamber program at the University of Panama for two summers.
Otalora began his music studies when he was six years old playing the violin. He received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he studied violin with Gregory Fulkerson and Sibbi Bernhardsson, and viola with Kirsten Docter and Peter Slowik. He received his master’s degree from University of Michigan where he studied viola with Caroline Coade on full scholarship.
When Otalora is not practicing his quarter notes, he is eating pizza with friends or eating pizza with beer.Otalora is very grateful to be playing on a viola by David Carón and bow by Paul Siefried, on generous loan from the Virtu Foundation.
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