Dr. Horacio Contreras

Cello Faculty
Academy Cello
Program Area: 
Private Instruction
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

University of Michigan, MM, DMA; Escola de Musica de Barcelona, Post-Graduate Diploma; Conservatoire de Perpignan, Gold Medal and Excellence Prize; El Sistema, Venezuela.

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Richard Aaron, Lluís Claret, Anthony Elliott, Philippe Muller

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

I believe we all have a different set of qualities that make us unique and special. Therefore I work hard to find teaching strategies that will fit every individual to nurture a healthy and fulfilling relationship with cello and music.

Awards and achievements: 

As a performer, Horacio has soloed with major Latin-American orchestras and has played chamber music with members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, principal members of top orchestras in the United States and Europe, and faculty members of world-class music schools. He was a prize winner at the "Carlos Preto" cello competition and is considered one of the most outstanding cellists of his home country Venezuela. As a teacher, Horacio has presented masterclasses at institutions including Juilliard, Oberlin, Michigan, and top institutions from Latin-America. His students have continued studies at major music schools and hold positions at top orchestras in Latin-America. Horacio spends his summers teaching at Center Stage Strings at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Professional affiliations & activities: 

Assistant Professor of Cello at Lawrence University, Cello Faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago and the String Preparatory Academy of the University of Michigan. Chamber musician and concert cellist.

Interests outside of music: 

Family, literature, philosophy, movies, sports (watching), playing ping pong!

Favorite quote: 

I'll stop teaching when I stop learning

Favorite practice tip: 

If it gets hard, go even slower. If it is still hard, practice short sections.

Favorite composer or piece to play: 

I love performing works that will be heard for the first time by at least most of the audience.

Favorite musical moment: 

The next recital of master class where I can learn and enjoy by listening to my own or my colleague's students