Arturo Gonzalez, age 16, began playing violin at age of 6 for one year in the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of El Sistema in Caracas, Venezuela. He later began playing cello at age 11. Arturo is a sophomore at Woodlands College Park High School in the Woodlands, Texas, under the direction of Dr. Peter Kempter and Emanuel Coraza. He studies cello privately with Wendy Smith-Butler. Arturo is a member of the Houston Youth Symphony, the Woodlands Symphony, and is returning for his third 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 earned top positions in the TMEA Region IX Middle and High School Symphony Orchestras, CISD Honor Orchestra Middle and High School Orchestras, and earned top ratings in UIL Solo and Ensemble. After taking instruction with Omar Gomez Blanco, his uncle and former teacher of the Vicente Emilio Sojo Conservatory, Arturo is continuing teaching himself piano. He enjoys working out, composing, and studying computer science.