A lilttle more about Armando... a full Bio
At the age of ten, Armando Torres Chibrás told his parents that he wanted to become an orchestra conductor. At twelve he was writing his first compositions and at fourteen he got his first opportunity in conducting during a school festival. His music teacher, a young 23 years old composer called Arturo Márquez, gave this unwavering boy the first chance to conduct a small instrumental ensemble of the school. Today, Márquez is an internationallly celebrated Mexican composer, and Chibrás is a versatile conductor on a dynamic career path that combines music performance and cultural leadership.
Armando Torres Chibrás is currently providing essential consulting that lead and direct the efforts to create the South Lower California Philharmonic Orchestra in Baja California Sur, Mexico. On March 21, 2015, under the baton of Music and Artistic Director Armando Torres Chibrás, the South Lower California Philharmonic debuted to glowing reviews.
As orchestra conductor, Armando Torres Chibrás has appeared with mayor orchestras of his country, including the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, Querétaro Philharmonic, UNAM Philharmonic Orchestra, IPN Symphony Orchestra, State of Michoacán Symphony, Symphony Orchestra of the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo, State of Puebla Symphony Orchestra, Toluca Philharmonic, Camerata of Querétaro Philharmonic, Toluca Chamber Orchestra, or the Fine Arts Chamber Orchestra.
Most recently, Chibrás was featured with the State of Puebla Symphony Orchestra, the Toluca Philharmonic, returned with the IPN Symphony Orchestra and the University of Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra and the celebrated Carlos Chávez Youth Symphony Orchestra from the El Sistema of México.
On May 2012 Armando Torres Chibrás made his debut conducting the Carlos Chávez Youth Symphony Orchestra (CCYSO), the flagship orchestra of El Sistema Mexico (Sistema Nacional de Fomento Musical) with a full house theater at the Blas Galindo Hall of the National Arts Center of Mexico. Later on July he went on a successful tour with this orchestra to Baja California Sur, conducting acclaimed performances and standing ovations in Los Cabos and La Paz. In September he made another successful debut again with a full house at the Modelo Museum of Science and Industry conducting this time the Toluca Philharmonic Orchestra at the State of Mexico.
Afterward in November we find Torres Chibrás conducting an applauded production called Magical Movements, collaboration between DanceWorks Chicago and the CCYSO at the end of a three week residency in Mexico City with support from the MacArthur Foundation's International Connections Fund. This production featured originally DWC and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Towards of end of November 2012 he conducted again the CCYSO at the re-inauguration of the National Film Conservatory (Cineteca Nacional) by the Mexican President Calderon at the world premiere of "Devotion," an orchestral piece written specially for the CCYSO by multi-award British composer Michael Nyman to accompany a silent film made of a collage from well-known Mexican films from the Twentieth Century by Emilio Maillé. In December 2012, he made a successful debut with the State of Puebla Symphony Orchestra.
In 2013 Chibrás returned to conduct full house performances with the Carlos Chávez Symphony Orchestra at the National Center for the Arts of Mexico, had a reappearance to conduct the Toluca Philharmonic and also was coming back twice with the IPN Symphony, being featured by CANAL ONCE TV MÉXICO, the national educational broadcast television network owned by Instituto Politecnico Nacional.
Armando Torres Chibrás is intensely passionate about sharing the joy of music; furthermore, he is a dynamic musician who can move with ease from the conductor’s podium to backstage organizing activities, to the conference hall, to the broadcasting studio, to the classroom, to a library for research or into a non-profit boardroom. As a devout admirer of Dr. José Antonio Abreu and being himself an international advocate for Abreu’s El Sistema, Chibrás believes that the arts can play an essential role in creating a more just and tolerant society. Among the arts, music provides a universal language, a common ground that transcends differences among individuals and has a unique capacity to build bridges of understanding among all peoples. Chibrás observes that youth and children who practice music collectively in orchestras obtain qualities like self-esteem, self-confidence, discipline, patience, and commitment; and recognize individual contributions to achieving collective goals. This experience helps them as individuals to gain invaluable intellectual, social and emotional benefits such as the acquisition of principles and skills that favor team work and a constructive leadership.Chibrás considers that the collective practice of music instills focus and discipline, respect for others, a spirit of collaboration, nurtures affluence of the intellect and many other positive values that make individuals better citizens of the world.
Second to his conducting career, Chibrás personal mission is help to expand the opportunity to experience music for as many children and communities as possible in the world.
During a visit to Mexico for a guest conducting in 2011, Chibrás was invited to return to collaborate with El Sistema in México (Sistema Nacional de Fomento Musical) and was given the responsibility of heading the National Coordination of Youth Wind Bands during 2011-2012, where he supported community musical activities and projects in several towns such as National Meetings of Community and Youth Wind Bands at San Pedro Tultepec, State of Mexico; Fresnillo, Zacatecas; Tonalá, Jalisco; Merida, Yucatán; Ejido Nuevo, Guerrero, and was responsible for the organizing of summer camps and national tours of the Mexico’s Youth Concert Band and the Mexico’s Children Concert Band, and a National Band Conductor’s Workshop. These activities impacted positively hundreds of children from rural and underserved urban communities who attended for the first time these free tuition activities and returned home empowered by this experience.
Months later, Chibrás was requested to take charge of the direction of El Sistema Mexico’s Orchestral Academy Program, the most important bachelor’s degree program for the training of orchestral musicians in Mexico. As a result of a Civil Service examination process he won a national competition for the position as head of the Coordination for Artistic Development at El Sistema Mexico (SNFM).
As dean of the Orchestral Academy Program in 2012, Chibrás is known as an energetic, visionary, and well-respected academic leader with an exemplary record of effectiveness directing higher education programs in the quest for superlative learning, creative and performance opportunities. At OAP he coordinated, guided and supported the artistic and intellectual growth of over 146 full-time elite students, 40 faculty and over 5 professional staff members.
As a higher education leader, Chibrás empowered his fellow professors and students to achieve new heights of academic and artistic excellence. The first generation of this program graduated during fall 2012. Two alumni were admitted to follow postgraduate studies in Europe. During Chibrás tenure OAP students’ benefitted master classes from international visiting artists such as the Germany based Bolivar Soloists, the Grammy Latino 2012 winners Latin-American String Quartet, the Spanish rising star conductor Nacho de Paz, the laureate Greek clarinet virtuoso Dionysis Grammenos and British conductor Richard Markson, professor at Trinity Laban Conservatory in London. His OAP students also attended Master classes given by Ricardo Muti at the Palace of Fine Arts, and of Yoyo Ma at the National Arts Center of Mexico. Sixty-five students were awarded travel grants to attend summer master classes to Graz, Austria; Roma, Italy; París y Rodéz, France; Warsaw, Poland; Geneva, Switzerland; Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona y Seville, Spain; Brussels, Belgium and in the United States, Los Ángeles, California; Manchester, New Hampshire; Portland, Oregon; Dallas, Texas; and Chicago, Illinois. Another ensemble from El Sistema Mexico, the Mexico’s Chamber Youth Choir toured in Mexico and in the United States, and the orchestra conducting grantees conducted the CCYSO and in exchange programs with professional orchestras such as the Aguascalientes Symphony. As mentor of the conducting grantees, Chibrás accompanied them to the CCYSO tour to Yucatan as well as a part of the international celebrations Mayan World 2012. Chibrás commitment to mentoring the OAP students also included empowering them in their initiatives as artists and entrepreneurs, some of them have resulted for example in the creation of a new chamber music festival in the city of Queretaro, or the promotion of chamber music ensembles.
Most recently, with the new administration of President Peña Nieto in 2013 and a new organization of El Sistema Mexico to expand activities and create new nucleos at the most underprivileged municipalities of the nation, Chibrás is part nowadays of a new unit or task force for the creation and attention of community youth orchestras, choirs and wind bands where he will contribute the endeavor to change the world with the power of music. He continues to rehearse and conduct the CCYSO. As result from his close collaboration with the CCYSO, OAP fellows requested Chibrás to teach them analysis and music history as well. Chibrás loves empowering and inspiring his students from the CCYO while continuing his professional engagements in conducting. Chibrás is also in demand as conducting instructor for El Sistema activities, being the coach of the conductor's workshop at the Regional Encounter of Children and Youth Orchestras of the North-West at La Paz, Baja California Sur in October 2013.
Beyond his activities as a creative artist, an innovator in education, and a cultural leader, his intensive lifestyle includes also research and the lecture hall. In June 2012, in Guadalajara, Mexico he offered a Master Lecture, “Passion for Mexico: José Pablo Moncayo” and participated in a round table with renowned musicologists from the National Music Research Center (CENIDIM) closing the Moncayo’s Chair organized by the Secretariat of Culture’s Music Department of the State of Jalisco to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Mexican Composer and Conductor. Earlier on, in Puebla, Mexico, Chibrás addressed the Master Lecture, “José Pablo Moncayo: Beyond the Huapango” organized by the Council for the Arts of the State of Puebla to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of the Mexican Composer and Conductor. He participated also as researcher within the multidisciplinary team who developed the application “Moncayo 100 años” for iphone and android by the National Council for the Arts of México to honor the 100th birth anniversary of Moncayo. His research for this app included video interviews with individuals who knew J.P. Moncayo.
Chibrás has held previous leadership positions in key cultural institutions of his birth country, among them, National Coordinator of Orchestras of the El Sistema Mexico and Deputy Director of the National Department of Music and Opera of the National Institute of Fine Arts. He also participated in the transition team of the elected President of Mexico Vicente Fox in 2000.
Chibrás is as well the author of “José Pablo Moncayo: Mexico´s Musical Crest,” a biography of the Mexican conductor and composer of the celebrated orchestral fantasy “Huapango” for orchestra printed in Germany by Lambert Academic Publishing in 2009. The intellectual curiosity of Chibrás has brought him to present papers in international conferences and colloquia as well as written several program notes for his concerts.
Armando Torres Chibrás is a Fulbright and a Rotary Foundation alumnus. He received a DMA degree in Orchestra Conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he studied with Dr. Robert Olson. During his studies at the UMKC Chibrás was assistant conductor of the State Ballet of Missouri and manager of the UMKC Conservatory orchestras. He holds previous degrees from the prestigious HEC Montreal in Canada and the Maastricht Music Academy - University Zuyd in Holland. In Maastricht he studied with the late Anton Kersjes, music director of the Amsterdam Philharmonic, now Netherlands Philharmonic. Chibrás has attended different international conducting courses with recognized conductors such as Sergiu Celibidache with the Munich Philharmonic; with conductor Michel Tabachnik at the Netherlands Broadcasting Foundation and later with Geneve Chamber Orchestra; Petre Sbârcea with the Brasov Philharmonic; Gustav Meier and David Loebel at the American Symphony Orchestra League Conducting Workshop in Detroit, (MI); and finally with Jorma Panula & Pinchas Zuckerman at the Conductors Program - Summer Music Institute of the National Arts Centre of Canada.
Armando Torres Chibrás with composer Arturo Marquez at the International Encounter of El Sistema-Mexico. December 11, 2013.
Armando Torres Chibrás aged fourteen conducting the school ensemble of Secundaria N° 75 at the class of Arturo Marquez.
1) The young composer Arturo Marquez and the choir of the Secondary School N° 75 in Mexico City.
2) Armando Torres Chibrás aged fourteen.
Conducting a mostly Mozart program with Toluca Philharmonic in 2012.