Arturo Gonzalez, 15, began playing violin at the age of 6 for one year in the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and choirs (El Sistema) in Caracas, Venezuela. He later began playing cello at 11 years old. He has also very recently started to learn how to play piano, studying under the guidance of his uncle, Omar Gomez Blanco, a former teacher of the Vicente Emilio Sojo Conservatory, located in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. Arturo is a freshman attending the Woodlands College Park High School in the Woodlands, Texas, under the orchestra direction of Dr. Peter Kempter and Emanuel Coraza. He studies cello privately with Wendy Smith-Butler. Arturo is a participant of the Houston Youth Symphony, a member of the professional Woodlands Symphony, and is returning for his second season with the Virtuosi of Houston. He has also attended other programs such as the American Festival of the Arts
(AFA) and the Luzerne Music Center in Lake Luzerne, New York. Arturo has also earned top positions in the TMEA Region IX Middle School, Region IX High School, Conroe ISD Middle School and Conroe ISD High School orchestras, and has earned multiple gold medals at the Texas UIL Solo and Ensemble Contest. Some activities Arturo enjoys in his free time include composing and studying computer science.