Recognized as an avid musician, Cuban-born violist Yunior Lopez enjoys an eclectic 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.
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, including Afro-Cuban jazz, bolero, danzón, and filín, to name a few. 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 joined Lukas Foss’s National Festival Orchestra as principal violist in a residency at Carnegie Hall. Prior to entering university, Mr. Lopez 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. He performed as a principal in the World Youth Symphony at Interlochen and the SMI National Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.
A devoted chamber musician, Mr. Lopez founded The Annex Quartet in September 2008. Since then, he has appeared with Annex in over one hundred concerts, including acclaimed performances at the Stratford Music Festival, Luminato, and Carnegie Hall’s Zankel and Weill Recital Halls. Moreover, he serves as Artistic Director responsible for foreseeing future collaborations, programs, and projects. Most recently, he has developed and produced the Roaring Twenties Project, featuring new takes on some of the most popular songs of the era, giving the growing number of interested listeners not only concerts featuring the songs, but a breakthrough album produced by Roberto Occhipinti. When not performing with Annex, Mr. Lopez can be seen sharing the stage with a diverse range of artists like Jan Lisiecki, Mikel Rouse, Phil Dwyer, Andrés Díaz, the Hilario Durán Trio, and the Gryphon Trio.
As an emerging conductor, Yunior Lopez has led orchestras throughout the U.S. and Canada. In 2009, at the age of 20, he was appointed conductor of the Academy Symphony Orchestra at The Royal Conservatory. During his three-year tenure at the Academy, Mr. Lopez expanded the orchestral program through highly-acclaimed performances of works by Bartók, Mahler, Shostakovich, Suk, and Tchaikovsky. Recently, he conducted Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with violinist Stanislav Pronin and violist Barry Shiffman, and made his Koerner Hall conducting debut with Stephan Moccio and guests Marc Jordan, Mark Masri, and Divine Brown. Recently, he returned to Koerner Hall with the Academy Chamber Orchestra and scheduled for a third performance featuring cello soloists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser of 2Cellos.
This summer will see Mr. Lopez in over fifteen performances with The Annex Quartet including concerts at St. James Park Music Series, Toronto Botanical Garden Summer Music, Temple Sinai, and multiple collaborations with pianist Jan Lisiecki at the Stratford Music Festival to name a few.
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, Mr. Lopez enjoys speed skating, travelling, and Texas-Hold’em poker. Recently, he became President of Don Lopez Cigars- a family business based out of Miami, FL.
For more information please visit www.YuniorLopez.com