Background, professional training and performance history
Born in Mexico City, Alejandro Alvarez Mendiola began to study guitar at 13. In high school, he formed a musical group with his friends. Together, they composed their own songs for guitar, cello and diverse Latin American string instruments (charango and cuatro venezolano) and also played regional folkloric music. Beginning in 1978, Alejandro studied classical guitar and cello at the famous National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA). Between 1981 and 1985 he attended the Escuela de Perfeccionamiento “Vida y Movimiento”. During this period Alejandro began playing in youth, chamber and symphonic orchestras. He was also an award-winning participant at the International Festival of Chamber Music, held each year in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. There he was coached by Wolfgang Laufer, member of New York’s Fine Arts Quartet. Alejandro’s most important teachers were Laszlo Frater, principal cellist in one of Mexico’s best symphonies, and Alvaro Bitrán, one of the founders of Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Both Frater and Bitrán were taught by world-renowned cellist Janos Starker.
1985 marked the beginning of Alejandro’s fulltime career as a professional cellist. Over the course of 28 years, he played in three of the top national symphonies in Mexico: Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México, Orquesta Filarmónica del Bajío de Guanajuato, and Orquesta Filarmónica de Querétaro.
Alejandro has been a resident of Eugene since December of 2013.
Artist statement and teaching philosophy
“I am convinced that any person is capable of learn an instrument. I teach the different classical techniques for guitar and cello being relaxed and with humor. Playing an instrument is a joy thing, like a game. I used to teach people of any age."
Instruments & classes taught
Alejandro teaches cello, classical guitar, cuatro venezolano, and charagno.