Quyen Nguyen

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     Quyen Nguyen brings a wealth of performing experience into her teaching studio and has enjoyed a versatile and varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and educator.  She has concertized all over Europe and the United States, won numerous awards in local, state, and national competitions, and has had the honor of representing the US in international competitions.

     As a soloist, Ms. Nguyen has been described as a “gifted interpreter” as well as “a performer who commands the stage”.  In 1999, she made her solo viola debut with both the Young Artists Symphony and the Mount Carmel Symphony Orchestra playing Stamitz’s Concerto in D for viola and orchestra.  In 2006, she was handpicked by composer Douglas Pipes to be the viola soloist for Columbia Pictures’ soundtrack of the movie “Monster House”.  An avid supporter of contemporary music, she has premiered several works written expressly for her by composers Douglas Pipes, Juan Martin Gendelman, Brandon Moore, Alfred Surenyan, and Dan Graziani. 

     A highly acclaimed chamber musician, Ms. Nguyen has been a founding member of the Velvet String Quartet, the Acht Stucke Trio, and the Goldberg Quartet - the latter of which was personally invited by the Alexander String Quartet to participate in the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Festival.  Additionally, she has had the privilege of studying chamber music with the Cypress String Quartet, Jupiter Trio, Halcyon Trio, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic.  An alumna of California State University - Northridge and San Diego State University, her mentors have included Chi-Yuan Chen, Keith Greene, Diane Roscetti, Robyn Glasson, Rebekah Campbell, and Warren Torns.

     As an orchestral player, Ms. Nguyen has taken posts as principal violist with the Poway Symphony Orchestra, National Honors Orchestra, Northridge Symphony, University of San Diego Symphony Orchestra, California “All-State” Orchestra, Young Artists Symphony, and Civic Youth Orchestra.  She has also played section viola with the La Jolla Symphony, American Youth Symphony, and Debut Orchestra. 

     A devoted music educator, Ms. Nguyen is a dynamic instructor who is highly involved in music education circles.  She has served as Director of Strings at the Seoul School of Music, Director of Piano & Strings at Vibe Performing Arts Studios in Los Angeles, Associate Dean at the San Diego Institute of Music, and Music Producer at 500 Fingers Productions.  She has also conducted clinics and masterclasses for the Kadima Conservatory Philharmonic and the Northridge Youth Philharmonic, as well as guest lectured at California State University - Northridge and San Diego State University.  She is the current President of the American String Teachers’ Association - San Diego Section and a proud member of the Music Teachers’ Association of California.

     Ms. Nguyen has sent students on to study at Juilliard and the Colburn School with the likes of Itzhak Perlman and other eminent pedagogues.  During her recent sabbatical, she created and developed three comprehensive graded curriculums for violin, viola, and cello, which are now being used internationally at the Royal School of Music in Kuwait.  In addition to music, she enjoys painting, writing, cooking, and meditating.  She takes great pride in teaching music and looks forward to bringing the joy of music into the lives of her students each day.


Aldo Ruiz-Alonso

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     A native of Tijuana, Baja California, Aldo Ruiz-Alonso has toured extensively around Mexico and California with many prominent professional ensembles such as the Orquesta de Baja California, Ópera de Tijuana, Coro Pro Música Ensenada, Orquesta del Puerto, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC), Camerata de la Facultad de Artes UABC, Tijuana Camerata, Ensamble Cuatrotiempos, Musica Vitale, San Diego City Ballet, and Opera NEO.  In 2015, he had the privilege of accompanying world-renowned tenor Plácido Domingo and soprano Ana María Martínez in a concert at the Valle de Guadalupe.  Aldo has also shared the stage with such artists as tenor Fernando de la Mora, Mariachi Sol de México, Mariachi Nuevo Tecatitlán, Rocío Banquells, María del Sol, Ana Cirré, Mijares, Susana Zabaleta, as well as members of the Hausmann and Formosa quartets. 

     A lover of experimental music, Mr. Ruiz-Alonso has participated in the improvisation workshops of Dr. Mary Oliver, Dr. Vanessa Tomlinson, Dr. Erik Griswold, and UCSD professor Wilfrido Terrazas.  He is also proficient in many types of electronic music software such as PureData, Audacity, Processing and SuperCollider. 

     Currently, Aldo Ruiz-Alonso is the principal violist of the San Diego State University Chamber and Symphony Orchestras.  He is also the principal violist of The 8-Bit Symphony, the first Mexican symphonic video game music project, and a member of the Mannheim Flute Quartet, a flute and strings group active in San Diego.  Earlier this year, Aldo performed at Jacobs Music Center’s Copley Symphony Hall.

     Mr. Ruiz-Alonso has performed in solo masterclasses for world-class musicians such as Paul Coletti, Che-Yen (Brian) Chen, Jonathan Moerschel, and Jorge Risi, as well as chamber music masterclasses with the Cuareim, Formosa, and Kronos quartets.  He feels fortunate to have studied under great teachers with four different nationalities: Mauricio Prieto-Astudillo (Mexico), Ara Ghukasyan (Armenia), Ethan Pernela (USA), and Chi-Yuan Chen (Taiwan).  Aldo is currently pursuing his graduate studies at San Diego State University with Dr. Chi-Yuan Chen, principal violist of the San Diego Symphony (Master of Music in viola performance, expected December 2018).

     Mr. Ruiz-Alonso has been a recipient of many awards, including the UABC Artistic Talent Scholarship, the Academic Merit for completing his Bachelor in Music with the highest grades of his graduating class, the Apoyo a la Promoción Artística y Cultural scholarship of the Centro Cultural Tijuana, as well as the San Diego State University’s Joseph Fisch Family Scholarship, School of Music and Dance Scholarship, and the Lieber-Flower Scholarship.


Extraordinary teachers like Quyen are hard to find these days, which is why I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with her.

Quyen possesses exemplary knowledge on both the physiological and cognitive approaches to studying music.  She is quick to assess technical problems with music and offer unique solutions.  

I -strongly- recommend Quyen Nguyen for anyone who is ready to achieve their unlimited potential!
— Aaron Rutten, violin & piano student