Dominique Valenzuela Photo Credit: Xinyou Zhang
Currently an Orchestral Studies major, American violinist Dominique began studying the violin at the age of fifteen and has an extensive background in ensemble performance. He has led various operas, ballets, musicals, and symphonies ranging from Beethoven and Tchaikovsky to Bernstein’s “Mass” and Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls.” His chamber performances recently include Prokofiev’s Quintet, Op. 39 and Beethoven’s first String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 1 with resident faculty Nicholas Tzavaras. Dominique keeps a very busy schedule at school. Recently, he performed Bartók’s “Divertimento for Strings” with the Tianjin Juilliard String Orchestra and the Shanghai String Quartet. He is also an ensemble mentor for the Pre-College division at Tianjin Juilliard. His upcoming solo recital performance will be virtual, and is scheduled to take place this summer.
How are your studies coming along?
I am studying with resident faculty Guillaume Sutre. Our lessons have been really, really nice, especially having them in person. Mr. Sutre is a great teacher and a great player. The classes are so interesting because he'll actually play the orchestra part with me on his violin whenever I'm performing my solo, just to give a little bit more context to the concerto and broaden my knowledge of what other instruments in the orchestra are doing while I perform. Overall, my studies have been really challenging and fun. I am looking forward to upcoming opportunities, working with Shanghai Quartet, the conductor of the Shanghai Symphony, as well as living composers Zhou Tian and Adam Kondor. We even had virtual lectures from violinist Gabor Takacs-Nagy in preparation for Festival Connect! It is great to be able to make music with senior professionals in this sector and especially with my peers and friends, just collaborating on everything.
What is your favorite place to be when on campus?
My favorite section of campus is the practice room, of course! I am enjoying the new facilities very much – it's been a good place to get all my work done. The rehearsal spaces are just really lovely because the acoustics are unmatched. The entire campus is so nice and the building is beautifully designed. It's been incredibly impressive to be in the new facilities and to use the new halls and rehearsal spaces – they sound great and look even better when they are filled with audiences and players.
What has been some highlights of your experience living in Tianjin so far?
Moving to a new country for my graduate studies has been a life changing decision. The most exciting thing outside of the classroom has been just getting to know the culture in China and meeting new people from around the world. Everyone here in Tianjin is really nice and it has been great getting to know them. I have explored downtown Tianjin with its beautiful architecture. It was also very nice getting to see performances at the Tianjin Grand Theater which is so beautiful, and so large. The entire experience of living in Tianjin and studying at Tianjin Juilliard has been really mind-opening and a truly life changing opportunity.