BIO

Saúl Bitrán

Saul Bitran, first violinist with the award-winning Cuarteto Latinoamericano, was born in Mexico City, to Chilean parents. He is a recipient of the highest artistic awards given by Mexico and Chile, namely the Bellas Artes Medal (in 2000) and the Order of Merit Pablo Neruda (in 2014), respectively.

 

The Cuarteto Latinoamericano, winner of the Latin Grammy in 2012 and the Diapason d’or in 2007, was established in 1982, and is known worldwide as the main exponent of the string quartet literature by Latin American composers.

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Since 2008, the Cuarteto heads the Latin American Academy for String Quartets, in Caracas, Venezuela, under the auspices of the Sistema. This academy serves as a training ground for eight select young string quartets from that country’s Youth Orchestras System.

 

Cuarteto Latinoamericano has recorded most of the string quartet repertoire by Latin American composers, in over 70 CDs for various international labels. These albums have become, according to many music critics, the reference recordings for this repertoire. The sixth and last volume of the Heitor Villa-Lobos Quartets cycle, recorded for Dorian, was nominated for two Grammys in 2002.

 

In addition to the quartet, Bitran serves as Artist-in-Residence at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, where he teaches violin and chamber music. Also, he is the violinist with the Boston based Trio Tremonti.

 

Between 1987 and 2008, Saul was Associate Professor and Artist in Residence at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

 

Besides his regular teaching activities, Bitran has taught in numerous music festivals around the world, such as Dartington International Summer School (1994 and 2004), Centre d'Arts Orford, Chamber Music Institute at Holy Cross, Grenoble Festival, Festival de Música de Cámara de San Miguel de Allende, and many others.

 

As first violinist of the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Bitran has been soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa among many other orchestras, under conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gerard Schwarz, Eduardo Mata, Keith Lockhart and others.

 

Bitran graduated from the Rubin Academy of Tel Aviv, Israel, where he studied with Prof. Yair Kless, During his stay in Israel, Saul played in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and was concertmaster and frequent soloist of several orchestras in that country. As first violinist of the Rubin Academy String Quartet, Saul performed throughout Israel and Europe.

 

Saul Bitran divides his time between Mexico City and Boston.

 

"Bitran's staggering virtuosity in the live violin part was jaw-dropping" - Florida Sun-Sentinel

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