The Andrews University Symphony Orchestra is the core ensemble of the orchestral program at Andrews. Advanced students of the music program are required to be part of this ensemble and have the opportunity of getting acquainted with works of the great masters of nearly every period of music history.
Admission in the Orchestra is by audition or by invitation of the director. Performance scholarship is awarded to the students by their merits. Every year, the “Young Artist Competition” allows talented soloist to show their skills at the Howard Performance Arts Center. However, community musicians have found in the Andrews orchestra a place to engage in serious music performance environment to connect with the community in Michiana area.
In addition to their current series at the Howard Performance Arts Center, the AU Symphony Orchestra travels within the Great Lakes region as well as internationally. Since 2006 the orchestra has performed in Italy, Austria, Germany, France, Philippines and Costa Rica.
North Shore SDA Church, March/2012
Title: Associate Professor of Music; Conductor, University Orchestra and Sinfonietta
Office Location: Hamel Hall 206
Phone: (269) 471-3556
Education: D.M.A., Michigan State University
Claudio Gonzalez began his studies in his native Venezuela. Between 1978 and 1981, he continued violin studies at the Royal College of Music in London, receiving a degree in violin performance. In 1992, under the auspices of the Fulbright Foundation of the government of the United States and the Ayacucho Foundation of Venezuela, he studied at the post-graduate level in violin and orchestral conducting at Michigan State University, where he received a Masters degree in Violin Performance in 1994 and a doctoral degree in Orchestral Conducting in 2003.
Claudio Gonzalez participated in many activities that influenced and developed his training. In 1974, he attended the World Orchestra of the International Federation of Young Musicians as a delegate from Venezuela where he had the opportunity of playing under Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson-Thomas and Seiji Ozawa. In 1975, under the guidance of Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu, he formed part of the group that founded the National Youth Symphony of Venezuela. At the Royal College of Music, he was part of the Chamber Orchestra of that institution where he had the opportunity of playing under Lorin Maazel and George Solti.
As a professor, he taught in important music schools in Venezuela. Dr. Gonzalez was very active as a chamber musician with the Cuarteto Rios Reyna of Caracas as well as guest conductor of important orchestras in Venezuela. From 1995 to 1999, he was assistant conductor of the Chacao Youth Symphony in Caracas and music director of the Chamber Orchestra of Universidad de Carabobo in Valencia, Venezuela.