Mariesther Alvarez, Sistema Side by Side

Violinist Mariesther Alvarez holds a Master of Music Degree and a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Boston Conservatory, where she was a student of Professor Rictor Noren. Previous violin instructors include Sophie Vilker, Francisco Diaz, and Jose Francisco Del Castillo. A native of Venezuela, Mariesther received her basic music training at El Sistema, the National System of Youth and Children Orchestras. At El Sistema, she was a member of the Lara Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. She also performed as a soloist and chamber musician at several festivals organized by the Latin American Violin Academy.

Mariesther has attended a number of international festivals, including the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, and the Liminka International Music Course in Finland; Prelude Music Academy in Wisconsin and Argentina; and the summer violin seminars provided by the Latin American Violin Academy in Venezuela. She has had the privilege of working with numerous internationally acclaimed artists, such as Gustavo Dudamel, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Pamela Frank, Joseph Silverstein, Mela Tenenbaum, and the Berlin Philharmonic String Quartet.

Mariesther applies a unique pedagogical approach, combining different methods and techniques from her own training at El Sistema in Venezuela, studies with Rictor Noren at the Boston Conservatory, and the period of study with Mimi Zweig at the String Academy of Indiana University. She leads the Boston String Academy, an El Sistema inspired program that hosts an outstanding children's string orchestra curriculum aimed at allowing public school elementary age students to experience the passion and joy of music making.

Ms. Alvarez is a faculty member in the teacher education department at Longy School of Music of Bard College and is actively involved in its new Sistema Side by Side Series. She collaborates regularly with El Sistema in Venezuela, teaching at the different nucleos and Summer Festivals. She also has collaborated with El Sistema inspired programs in Mexico and the U.S. such as YOLA, Play on Philly!, Atlanta Music Project, and Kids 4 Harmony in Pittsfield, MA, where she has been mentoring teachers and students intensively since Fall 2013. As a strong advocate for Latin-American music, she also co-founded the Boston-based string ensemble "Camerata Latinoamericana".