About Valentina Guillen Menesello
M.M. Northwestern University, B.M. DePaul University. Valentina studied violin at Northwestern University with Gerardo Ribeiro and at DePaul University with Olga Kaler.
Valentina began her musical journey in Miami, Florida at the age of six where she started playing in her school and church orchestra in addition to private lessons under the Suzuki Method. At the age of ten, Valentina and her family returned home to Venezuela, and was welcomed into Venezuela’s world-renown youth orchestra program “El Sistema”. During those years, Valentina performed under conductors such as Cesar Ivan Lares, Dietrich Paredes and Gustavo Dudamel, and studied privately with the concertmaster of Merida’s Symphony, Maria Alejandra Guerrero and with Pedagogue Semaias Botello.
At the age of fifteen, Valentina attended the Meadowmount School of Music, founded by Ivan Galamian, in upstate New York. This summer experience transformed her life and Meadowmount became her summer school and home for many years to follow, studying with Walter Schwede and Gerardo Ribeiro and studying chamber music Tokyo String quartet member Kikuei Ikeda. Valentina has had the opportunity to attend Nuevo Mundo Summer Festival and Bowdoin International Musical Festival. She has played for Itzhak Rashkovsky, Simon Gollo, the Dover Quartet, Ani Schnarch, Blair Milton and Robert Hanford.
Valentina’s artistic mission is to transmit the love and importance of music and welcome new audience members into classical music. As a performer and teacher, she believes that a high level of music education is crucial from an early age. She believes in the power of the arts as a key instrument for the development of society.