Robert Alvarado Switala began his musical studies at age 6 on violin and began playing viola at 14. In 2006, he appeared on the NPR radio show “From the Top”, as well as the PBS television show, “From the Top: Live at Carnegie Hall”. Robert was awarded 1st prize at the 2007 National SPHINX Competition and has soloed with the SMU, TCU, Florida, New World, Hartford, Colorado, Nashville and Fort Worth Symphony orchestras. He is a recipient of the 2008 Texas Young Masters Grant and the 2009 Bayard H. Friedman Scholarship.
He has studied with Itzhak Perlman, Paul Kantor, and Jan Sloman and has had master classes with Ani Kavafian, Stephanie Chase, Elmar Oliveira, Rudolf Koelman, Shlomo Mintz, Donald Weilerstein, Michael Tree, Patinka Kopec, Pinkas Zukerman, James Dunham, Joel Krosnick, Ronald Copes, Robert Macdonald, Robert Vernon, Barbara Westphal and Midori Goto. As an active chamber musician, he has attended numerous chamber festivals, including Perlman, Chautauqua, Keshet Eilon, Mimir, Sarasota and Kneisel Hall music festivals at which he has worked with numerous members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Cavani, Cleveland, and Takacs string quartets.
Formerly first violin of the El Paso and Las Cruces symphony orchestras, Robert is now co-principal Viola of the SPHINX Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Concertmaster for the Thompson Street Opera Company, and faculty at the Des Plaines School of Music. He studied under Almita and Roland Vamos at Roosevelt University.
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