Dr. Ivan Valbuena is one of the most skilled and talented Latin American clarinetists of his generation. He is the winner of the Matthew Ruggiero International Clarinet Competition 2017, a rigorous competition with dozens of applicants around the world, worldwide acclaimed judges, and a $10,000 prize. Ivan is also the winner of the Harold Wright Clarinet Award organized by the Boston Woodwind Society in 2014, second prize of the National Performance Competition “Ciudad de Bogota” in 2011, winner of the Concerto Competition and the Honors Competition at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA 2013, first prize at the Bogota Chamber Music Competition in 2010, Young Performers Series of Luis Angel Arango Library in 2009, winner of the Bogota Philharmonic Soloists Competition in 2010, first prize in the Graduate Clarinetists Festival Competition in 2008, first prize at the Collegium Musicum Orchestra Soloist competition in 2002 and second prize in the ClariBogota Clarinet Festival Competition in 2010, among others.
Ivan has been featured as a soloist with the Symphony Pro Musica Orchestra of Boston in concerts in Hudson and Westborough, MA, starring the premier of Montilla’s Fantasia Concertante for two clarinets and Orchestra, a virtuosic piece dedicated to him and commissioned by the Symphony Pro Musica in 2015. He also performed as a guest soloist with the Lab Symphony Orchestra at the Bates Recital Hall in Austin, TX, and the Longy Chamber Orchestra, performing the Copland Concerto at Pickman Hall Auditorium in Cambridge, MA. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Collegium Musicum Orchestra in the Colon Theater in Bogota and the Cundinamarca Symphony Band as a guest soloist in the First International Clarinet Festival ClariBogota 2010. Ivan has performed soloist recitals in several venues, including an honoring solo recital at the Pierce Hall at New England Conservatory, as the winner of the Matthew Ruggiero International Clarinet Competition in 2018. He has performed solo recitals at the Bates Hall, Jessen Auditorium, Pickman Hall, First Church of Cambridge, Hall of the Americas and the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington D.C., Central University Theater, Oriol Rangel Auditorium, Teresa Cuervo Auditorium, Olav Roots Auditorium and the prestigious Luis Angel Arango Concert Hall at Bogota, among others.
Dr. Valbuena is also an active orchestra player. He is currently the Assistant Principal and E-flat clarinet of the San Antonio Philharmonic Orchestra, and he has appeared with the Mid-Texas Symphony, Austin Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, Boston Civic Orchestra, Central Texas Philharmonic, Simon Bolivar Orchestra conducted by the worldwide acclaimed Gustavo Dudamel, the Grammy winners Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Americas, Bogota Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Pro Musica and St Mark’s Symphony Orchestra among others. He has also performed as a guest artist in renowned ensembles such as Density512 Collective, Pale Blue Ensemble, Subito Ensemble, Cadenza clarinet quartet, and A Dos Music Project Ensemble. Ivan has also recorded music sessions for KUTX 89.9 Eklektikos Radio Show hosted by John Aielli.
As a member of the Orchestra of the Americas, Dr. Valbuena has performed in several venues in Europe, North and South America, including the Krzysztof Penderecki European Center for Music in Poland, the Fine Arts Palace in Mexico and Teatro Municipal de las Condes in Santiago de Chile. He has served as principal clarinetist for six consecutive years and has performed starring roles, including his performance of the challenging Variaciones Concertantes by Ginastera in the Nordic-Baltic tour in 2016. Ivan was also selected among hundreds of applicants from the American continent to be one of the eight leaders and pioneers of the Global Leaders Program to develop musical missions in Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Panamá, and the United States.
Dr. Valbuena is the co-founder of the “A Dos Music Project”, a Latin American music clarinet duo that has been expanding the horizons of Latin sound by performing traditional music with non-conventional instrumentation and demanding arrangements. The ensemble reaches a broad audience by pursuing an improvisatory and innovative manner of performance, as well as its passion about educational development and promotion of music as a means of social transformation. Sponsored by the Presser Foundation and the Bolivar-Davivienda Foundation, Dr. Valbuena toured over 12 different Colombian cities and provided free concerts and lessons to hundreds of music students in the most isolated regions of Colombia, including population from indigenous communities of Brazil, Peru, and Colombia as well as refugee camps in Sweden and Germany.
Ivan graduated with his Bachelor’s degree at the Conservatory of Music of the National University of Colombia, and he also got his Master of Music in Clarinet Performance from Longy School of Music of Bard College in Boston, MA, with Professor Jorge Montilla. He graduated from his Doctor of Musical Arts program in clarinet performance with Professor Jonathan Gunn at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was appointed as the Clarinet Assistant Instructor for three years, teaching college students, conducting master classes, and serving as collaborate faculty. He currently serves as Woodwind Teaching Artist at Austin Sound Waves, performs regularly with the most outstanding ensembles in the area, and leads a successful private studio in the great Austin area, where he lives with his wife, clarinetist Dr. Luz Sarmiento and his two young daughters, Maya and Luna.
A DOS MUSIC PROJECT
The A Dos Music Project is a Latin American music clarinet duet founded by professional clarinetists Ivan Valbuena and Luz Sarmiento, a Colombian couple who have been expanding the horizons of Latin music by performing traditional music with non-conventional instrumentation and demanding arrangements. By combining the technical and artistic possibilities of the clarinet with the fresh and unique sound of Latin rhythms, A Dos Music Project displays a virtuosic, improvisatory, and innovative manner of performance that reaches all kinds of audiences.
The ensemble’s mission is educational development and the promotion of music and art as a means of social transformation. They have performed in important venues in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Westborough, Washington D.C., and Austin in the United States, as well as in Syrian refugee camps in Kassel, Germany, and Nås, Sweden. They have also offered free concerts and workshops in many different cities in Colombia, Peru, and Brazil, including Indigenous communities in the Amazon region and underserved communities.
A Dos Music Project is the winner of the Presser Foundation Music Award 2017 and the AAUW (American Association of University Women) International Project Award 2020. The founders of the ensemble, Dr. Luz Sarmiento and Dr. Ivan Valbuena, are accomplished musicians who perform with prominent institutions such as the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra and Houston Symphony Orchestra. They both collaborate with community music programs such as the El Sistema-inspired program Austin SoundWaves and Anthropos Arts Organization, providing coaching and private lessons to outstanding students from Hispanic communities in the Austin metropolitan area.