Alain DURBECQ

Alain Durbecq, emmigrated to Mexico in 1973 where he has held posts with the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra, and the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra where he served as principal cellist from 1986 to 1990. He was appointed co-principal cellist, with the Mexico National Symphony Orchestra in 1991, a post he currently occupies. He has appeared as soloist with the Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Bajio and in several occasions with the Mexico Nacional Symphony Orchestra; notably in the Mexican premiere of Samuel Zyman’s Triple Concerto.

Born in Philadelphia into a family steeped in musical tradition, he began his studies of the cello at the age of eight with his grandfather, Mtro. Leon Lewin a locally re-known cellist and composer, émigré to the U.S. from the Ukrainan capital of Kiev. His advancement as a cellist continued under the tutelage of Mtra. Elsa Hilger, the assistant principal cellist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and discovered his love for chamber music at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia with the eminent Budapest String Quartet violinist Mtro. Edgar Ortenberg. Years later, he traveled to Paris, France having been admitted to the cello studio of the eminent cellist, Mtro. André Navarra at the Paris Conservatory. It was later in this city that he had the exceptional opportunity to play on various occasions for the celebrated Russian cellist, Mtro. Mistislav Rostropovich, and consequently he went to study with another great cellist and pedagogue, Mtra. Raya Garbousova at the University of Northern Illinois at DeKalb, Illinois where he graduated with honors acquiring both his bachelors and masters degrees in music performance.

Alain is exceptionally active in chamber music performance having been a founding member of various ensembles such as the Mexico City Chamber Ensemble, the Mexico State University Quartet, and the ‘Atril 5’ Chamber Ensemble, the Dankwart Quartet, the Mexico Chamber Society Players, and the Soloists of Mexico Ensemble created and directed by the late conductor, Mtro. Eduardo Mata. He was similarly founding principal cellist of the Mozart-Haydn Festival Orchestra, the Capella Puebla Baroque Chamber Orchestra and the baroque chamber orchestra; Stravaganza.

Instituting the Carlos Chávez Quartet, in 1994 (previously known as the Russian-American Quartet), he has dedicated twenty years as the quartet’s artistic director to shape one of Mexico’s foremost chamber music ensembles. As the resident string quartet of the 2009 and 2010 edition of the San Miguel Allende International Chamber Music Festival, Alain directed the student chamber music program, designing a rigorous professional training ground for gifted, emerging chamber ensembles to offer them a wide array of performance opportunities and bring them into contact with elite teachers from world-renown string quartets.