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Violinist and conductor Simon Gollo hopes to inspire and challenge music students at NMSU

Leora Zeitlin

Music is a way “to achieve our dreams,” says violinist and conductor Simon Gollo, who came to Las Cruces to join La Catrina String Quartet and to teach at NMSU. As a native of Venezuela, Gollo has been part of the renowned “El Sistema,” which has trained 400,000 young musicians to the point that “the whole country is making music,” he says. Gollo wants to bring that same passion and sense of opportunity to students here, where, in addition to teaching, he is the new conductor of the NMSU Philharmonic Orchestra, the university’s student ensemble. He came to KRWG to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about his musical background and unexpected career as a conductor, and his upcoming first concert with the orchestra. The concert takes place on November 9 at the Atkinson Recital Hall, and will include works by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Boccherini. Gollo’s colleague, cellist Jorge Espinoza, will be a guest soloist in the concert as well.

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