Jorge Espinoza is an Associate Professor of Violoncello at New Mexico State University and cellist of La Catrina String Quartet. Jorge was awarded the Gregor Piatigorsky Full Scholarship to study and teach at the Peabody Conservatory of Music the undergraduate and graduate cello studio as an assistant teacher of Stephen Kates. He holds a Graduate Performance Diploma in Violoncello and a Graduate Performance Diploma in Chamber Music from Peabody Conservatory of Music, studying with Stephen Kates, David Hardy, and Andrés Díaz.

He graduated with honors from Universidad Católica de Chile and received his Master's Degree in Music Performance on full scholarship from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, studying with David Premo and Anne Martindale Williams. Previous teachers include Jorge Román, Laszlo Varga, Dennis Parker, Marcio Carneiro.

His passion for teaching cello and coaching chamber music groups has brought him to present masterclasses and workshops in the United States including North Carolina, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Mexico and overseas, including Aruba, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Jorge's orchestral experience has included performances at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony and orchestras and chamber ensembles in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Symphony Hall (Boston). He has been a featured soloist and chamber musician, performing concertos, solo and chamber music recitals in his native land, Chile, and throughout South America, the United States, Europe and Mexico.

Jorge is a prizewinner of international and national competitions and awards including the Maryland State Arts Council Solo Instrumental Performance Award and Peabody Career Development Grants.

An avid chamber musician, his interest in researching, performing and arranging folk music from Latin America for string quartet and chamber ensembles has brought him to different cities in South America including Buenos Aires to pursue studies with great tango masters including Maestros Osvaldo Berlingieri, Mauricio Marcelli, Osvaldo Requena and Julián Plaza.

Early Musical Influences

Jorge comes from a musical family. He was surrounded by classical music from an early age. His father is a professional musician, former principal bassoonist from the Orquesta Filarmónica in Santiago, Chile. He is still an active performer and teacher of chamber music and bassoon at the Chilean University in Santiago. Jorge's grandfather was also a musician, playing clarinet and alto saxophone. Jorge's love for the instrument began at the age of five. While living in Argentina, his father brought him to attend a cello recital in a concert hall. During the performance, Jorge suddenly walked up onstage by himself and stood directly in front of the soloist, captivated by the sounds produced by this beautiful instrument. The recital paused briefly while Jorge was taken to the audience by his father.

Jorge began studying cello at the age of 8 with Jorge Román, principal cello of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Santiago, his only cello teacher in Chile, at the Universidad Católica de Chile. A special chair was cut down just for him, as he was one of the youngest students accepted to study in Jorge Román′s studio. Jorge′s father attended every cello lesson for the first several years, carefully taking notes to work with Jorge at home. He recently discovered that his early practice sessions were recorded, which are well hidden! These early studies at the University included classes in theory and solfege, harmony, counterpoint, analysis, music history, and piano. Professor Román became a mentor and a great inspiration. It became a ritual to spend afternoons studying the latest CD recordings from Europe and the U.S. and "translating" the Strad and Strings Magazines at his home.

Jorge was awarded a full scholarship to attend Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He then moved to Maryland to pursue studies at Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins with his longtime musical inspiration, Stephen Kates.