Recognized as a versatile musician, Cuban-born violist Yunior Lopez enjoys a unique career as a chamber player, conductor, and entrepreneur. A recipient of many awards and prizes, Mr. Lopez appears regularly throughout North America collaborating with esteemed artists as both conductor and violist.

A natural born leader with a dynamic stage presence, Yunior Lopez made his conducting debut at age 15. By the age of 20 and upon the recommendation of Maestros Uri Mayer and Mario Bernardi, Mr. Lopez was appointed conductor of the Academy Symphony Orchestra at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada. His strong command on the podium and innovative programming quickly became evident with thrilling performances of works ranging from Mozart to Mahler, Schoenberg to Rota, and new music by Wojciech Kilar and Sofia Gubaidulina. Aside from his duties with the Academy Orchestra Mr. Lopez conducted various Conservatory ensembles and touring productions in Koerner and Mazzolni Hall’s. In 2013, he was invited back to Koerner Hall to conduct at the 2013 Royal Occasion with soloists 2Cellos- Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser. Other soloists that have played under Yunior Lopez include Barry Shiffman, Stanislav Pronin, Andres Diaz, Miriam Khalil, and Stephen Moccio, to name a few. Most Recent engagements include pop concerts with members of the Toronto Symphony and Canadian Opera Orchestra, the Georgian Bay Symphony, and the Las Vegas Honors Orchestra. In 2014, Mr. Lopez was invited back to Cuba and join Havana’s Virtuoso Orchestra as their Principal Guest Conductor and will be returning during the 2015/16 season to record a symphonic album of forgotten and suppressed works by Cuban composers.

A devoted chamber musician, Mr. Lopez founded The Annex Quartet in September 2008. Under his leadership the group has appeared in over one hundred concerts, including acclaimed performances at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel and Weill Recital Halls, the Stratford Summer Music Festival, and Luminato to name a few. Moreover, he serves as Artistic Director responsible for overseeing future collaborations, projects, and events. This past year Mr. Lopez led the quartets collaboration on Jane Bunnett’s Maqueque album, ultimately winning the 2015 JUNO Award for Jazz Record of the Year, in addition to creating the Roaring Twenties Project- a breakthrough album with singer Sarah Jane Pelzer and producer Roberto Occhipinti. A highly sought after chamber musician, Mr. Lopez has worked and performed with a diverse range of artists such as Hilary Hahn, Jan Lisiecki, Mikel Rouse, Phil Dwyer, the Hilario Durán Trio, the Kronos Quartet, the Gryphon Trio, and members of the Fine Arts and St. Lawrence Quartets. Upcoming concerts include multiple appearances with the Canzona Chamber Players, Music Toronto Series with the Annex Quartet, and a residency at the Stratford Summer Music Festival. Current recordings scheduled for release include the Folktales album with singer Joanna Chapman-Smith, and Classically Latin featuring Spanish works by Lara, Still, Golijov, and Piazzolla, to name a few.

Born into a family of chemists, doctors, and lawyers, Mr. Lopez became interested in music through his exposure to various styles and genres native to the island. Furthermore, his aunt, Anais Abreu, is one of Cuba’s foremost singers and one of the world’s leading figures of bolero. Following his family’s defection from Cuba, Mr. Lopez settled in Las Vegas where he won a contract with the Las Vegas Philharmonic at the age of 17. Simultaneously, he spent summers studying with David Holland at the Interlochen Arts Camp and with members of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center’s Summer Music Institute. Mr. Lopez is a former principal violist of Lukas Foss’s National Festival Orchestra, the World Youth Symphony, the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, and the Kennedy Center’s National Institute Orchestra.

Mr. Lopez studied viola with Steven Dann, Susan Barton, and David Holland. Other influences include conductors Uri Mayer and Mario Bernardi and members of the Kronos, Tokyo, Orford, and St. Lawrence String Quartets. When not performing Yunior enjoys speed skating, traveling, and Texas- Hold’em poker. A young entrepreneur, he serves as President of the Don Lopez Cigar Company in Miami, FL as well as a variety of other ventures. Mr. Lopez currently resides in Las Vegas, NV and conducts using the batons of his late friend and mentor, Mario Bernardi.

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