Claudio Gonzales is director of the Andrews University Orchestra, a position he has held since 2004. An assistant professor of music at AU, he also teaches orchestral conducting and history.
Gonzalez began his music studies in his native Venezuela. In 1974 he attended the World Orchestra of the International Federation of Young Musicians as a delegate from Venezuela and had the opportunity of playing under Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson-Thomas, and Seiji Ozawa. In 1975, under the guidance of Dr. José Antonio Abreu, he formed part of the group that founded the National Youth Symphony of Venezuela.
Between 1978 and1981, he studied violin at the Royal College of Music in London, where completed a degree in violin performance. While at the RCML he was a member of its Chamber Orchestra where he had the opportunity of playing under Lorin Maazel and George Solti. In 1992, under the auspices of the Fulbright Foundation of the government of the United States and the Ayacucho Foundation of Venezuela, he studied violin at Michigan State University, where he completed a master's degree in performance in 1994. He completed a doctoral degree at MSU in orchestral conducting in 2003.
Gonzales has taught in major music schools and conservatories in Venezuela. He was very active as a chamber musician with the Cuarteto Rios Reyna of Caracas and has guest conducted important orchestras in Venezuela. From 1995 to 1999 he served as assistant conductor of the Chacao Youth Symphony in Caracas and music director of the Chamber Orchestra of Universidad de Carabobo in Valencia, Venezuela.
Sources: Andrews University Department of Music website and printed program biographies.