Horacio Contreras

Associate Professor of Cello, effective Fall 2022


Instrumental Studies, Strings, New

Contact Information

Joining the UNT College of Music in Fall 2022, Venezuelan cellist Dr. Horacio Contreras has gained esteem through a multifaceted career as a concert cellist, chamber musician, pedagogue, and scholar. He has collaborated with prestigious institutions across the Americas and Europe as a concerto soloist, a recitalist, a chamber musician, and a master class clinician.

Highlights of his career include solo performances with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and the Municipal Orchestra of Caracas in Venezuela, the EAFIT University Orchestra in Colombia, the Camerata de France in France, and the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra and the Music Institute of Chicago’s Chamber Orchestra in the US; chamber collaborations with members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and members of the Detroit, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras, and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin; and master classes at Bloomington, Juilliard, Michigan, Oberlin and the ASTA National Convention, as well as at many renowned programs from Latin America. Recent collaborations include the recording of the works for cello and piano by Ricardo Lorenz, the commission and premiere of Diáspora for cello and piano by the Schubert Club’s composer-in-residence Reinaldo Moya, and the recording of Shuying Li’s World Map Concerti with the Four Corners Ensemble. 

Dr. Contreras currently serves on the faculty of Lawrence University, the Music Institute of Chicago and the University of Michigan’s MPulse summer institute Center Stage Strings. His students have made solo recordings, soloed nationally and internationally, attended festivals such as Aspen, Orford and Domaine Forget, and won awards at regional and national competitions. They have continued their education at institutions including the University of Michigan, the San Francisco Conservatory, the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne in Switzerland, and the Hochschule for Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Mannheim, Germany. Some of his former students have pursued successful careers as orchestral musicians, chamber musicians, teachers, and freelancers. Others have devoted their energies to grow in other professional areas and enjoy a meaningful connection with music through the cello. 

Dr. Contreras is the founder and artistic director of Strings of Latin America, an official partner to the Sphinx Organization with the purpose of social engagement through the promotion of diversity in the classical music world. As a part of his efforts to help diversifying the repertoire, he coauthored The Sphinx Catalog of Latin-American Cello Works, a comprehensive database with information about works for cello written by Latin American composers created in partnership with the Sphinx Organization and CelloBello.org. His pedagogic book Exercises for the Cello in Various Combinations of Double-Stops has received recognition as a significant contribution to the instrument’s literature.

Dr. Contreras is a member of the Four Corners Ensemble and the Reverón Piano Trio. He started his musical studies in Venezuela through El Sistema, and holds degrees from the Conservatoire National de Région de Perpignan, France, the Escola de Musica de Barcelona, Spain, and the University of Michigan. He is represented by Meluk Kultur Management and Halac Artists together with his colleagues of the Reverón Piano Trio.