Biographies of the Millennium Quartet and its members

Comprising the cream of the world renowned Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela the Millennium Quartet was formed in 2000. They have enjoyed genuine world-wide success having trained with the most renowned orchestral and chamber music specialists across the world. In the year 2001 alone, the group studied and performed alongside the Philharmonic Quartet in Berlin, the Borodin Quartet and performed in the Amadeus Festival, New World Festival and the Festival of Youth Music in Japan. More recent work includes performing in the inaugural concert of the Kings Place Festival performing alongside the Chilingirian Quartet; concerts in the Cape Festival, South Africa; concerts in the USA under the auspices of the Portland String Quartet and performed at the American Society of New York. The Quartet are dedicated to raising international standards and accessibility to classical music world-wide and are proud to be working in association with Enterprise Music Scotland and Sistema Scotland.

Ollantay Velásquez (violin)

Ollantay was born in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela in 1981 and started his musical training at the age of 8 in the city of Carúpan. He enjoyed success at a young age, winning the 'Concurso de Ninos y Jóvenes Instrumentistas' in Argentina at the age of 11. A key member of the Simón Bolívar orchestra, Ollantay was selected as concertmaster of the Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil Iberoamericana and toured extensively with this role. As a soloist he has performed many of the major concerti including the Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and the Four Seasons by Vivaldi.

Miguel Nieves (violin)

Miguel was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, commencing his musical training at the early age of 7 with his grandfather - a violinist. He rapidly worked through El Sistema to achieve his seat in the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra in the first violins. He enjoys balancing his orchestral work and being part of the Millennium Quartet with his colleagues and brother Valmore.

Jesús Pérez (viola)

Jesús was born in El Tocuyo where he began his musical studies at the age of 6. He learnt viola at the conservatory, going on to win his seat in the orchestra in 2003 whilst studying at IUDEM simultaneously. Jesús is teacher both within the Sistema movement and at the Emil Friedman college in Caracas, Venezuela.

Valmore Nieves (cello)

Valmore commenced his musical studies with his father at the age of 10. He studied at the Conservatory in Barquisimeto and has received lessons from eminent cellists such as Janos Starker, Stefan Popov and Philippe Muller amongst others. Valmore is the principal cellist of the Simón Bolívar Orchestra and Director of the Venezuelan Cello Academy.

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