Dr. Roberto González

Music Professor
Survey and Appreciation of Music, History of Jazz
Symphonic Conductor

Dr. González has been described as "a conductor possessing a solid technical background and a genuine sense of artistry." Working as a professional conductor since he was 15, on the island of Puerto Rico, he made his symphonic debut with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra in 1983. Since that date, he has performed in Japan, the United States, and Puerto Rico as conductor, organist, and cabaret singer. In 1983, González finished his doctorate in instrumental conducting and organ performance at the School of Music of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, thus completing a distinguished record of higher studies in music that began at the Music Department of InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico at San Germán where he graduated summa cum laude in 1976. The IAU faculty named him "Most Outstanding Musician" in the same year, following his duties as Assistant Conductor of the IAU Orchestra and Concert Band from 1972 to 1976. He then entered the Master of Music program at Ball State University in conducting and organ at the Ball State University School of Music.

Dr. González continues to be active as a professional conductor, as the Principal Conductor of the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra and the Guerneville Mortuary Orchestra. He also conducts concerts on tour, with a particular following in Japan, for his propulsive and exciting version of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. He has conducted the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, The Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra of Japan, and the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, the resident orchestra of the Casals Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was engaged as the guest conductor for the unique San Francisco production of the Dance-Along Nutcracker in 2007.

Roberto’s last conducting teacher was David Raksin, last of Hollywood’s Golden Age film composers, for a period of over 10 years. His previous conducting teachers include students of George Szell, Eugene Ormandy, Pierre Monteux, Leopold Stokowski, and Hans Swarowsky.

Dr. González is listed in the first edition of Who’s Who Among Hispanic Americans and the 23rd edition of Who’s Who in the West. In 1992, he received the McPherson Distinguished Teaching Award¸ given by the Napa Valley College Foundation.

In addition to his instrumental accomplishments, Roberto always had an interest in vocal music. In fact, he began singing when he was 5. At Indiana's Ball State University where he finished his doctorate in orchestra conducting (1983); he also trained as an operatic lyric tenor. In 2006, he met Richard Nichol, director and vocal coach of the San Francisco Academy for Performing Arts, and began singing again. It was during one of the Academy's evenings, that he met Michael Parsons, a brilliant stride pianist and composer in the tradition of Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, and Thelonious Monk. Their first concert at Napa College was a sold-out success and hailed by Pierce Carson in his Napa Valley Register review. The relationship continues to bear fruit with an ongoing exploration of songs essayed by such greats as Nat "King" Cole, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and Shirley Horn, among others, in cabaret concerts with the Parsons Trio in Napa Valley and the wider San Francisco Bay area.


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