Juan Cristóbal Palacios


      Juan Cristóbal Palacios brings passion and joy to his work as a conductor, his creativity as a composer and his commitment as an educator.  He is always seeking to share his love for music with others.

      Juan Cristóbal Palacios was born in Caracas, Venezuela and began his musical studies at an early age. First at the Dalcroze Rhythmic School and then at the Juan Manuel Olivares Conservatory. In 1983 he moved to the USA where he received degrees in Composition and Orchestral Conducting from Boston University and Yale University. During his college years he conducted the premiere of more than fifty works while writing music and studying the classical repertoire. From 1985-1988, Juan Cristóbal participated as a conductor at the Aspen and Monteux School and Music Festivals and his first commissions were performed in the Latin American Music Festivals of the 20th century and National Composition Meetings.


      Palacios’ career continued to advance after his return to Venezuela in 1991. His organizational skills and vision for the future allowed him to lead two of the most important and influential musical and cultural institutions in Venezuela: The Fundación Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil de Chacao and the Fundación Cultural Chacao. During these years, Palacios sought to integrate all the various elements of the musical arts by dedicating himself to educational, informative and recreational activities. This multidisciplinary effort was recognized by the County government of Chacao when he received the order “José María y Bote” in its first degree, for his ability to impart knowledge, inspire citizens and awaken intellectual curiosity among young people. During these same years, Juan Cristóbal became a guest conductor of the main orchestras in Venezuela and his compositions were performed at various contemporary music festivals, including in São Paulo, Brazil, where at the end of the 90’s, he conducted the Orquesta Sinfónica  del Estado de São Paulo where his commission “Alma Mater” was premiered worldwide.

” To play without passion is inexcusable “

– Ludwig van Beethoven –

      Juan Cristóbal then began to focus on the musical education and development of young individuals. Helping to prepare new generations of young people not only in music, but also in becoming full-fledged individuals with a full range of capacities and perspectives in life, became Juan Cristóbal’s direction and life project.

       Sixteen years after returning to Venezuela, in 2007, Juan Cristóbal left with his family for the United States due to the unsustainable political and economic situation in his native country. In 2010 Juan Cristóbal joined the faculty of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory music program. As an educator, he collaborates with the NIA National Youth Orchestra program in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, the Guayaquil Youth Symphony and serves as a teacher and conductor of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory.

      Along with his teaching, Juan Cristóbal has continued his career in orchestral conducting, most recently appearing as a guest conductor with the Symphonic Orchestra of Guayaquil, Ecuador. His musical compositions have moved to a more personal approach.  He has been writing several short pieces for different instrument combinations and grouped them in what he calls “Cuadernos Musicales”.