Ruben Capriles was Music Director of the Baltimore Philharmonia Orchestra for its 14th and 15th seasons, as well as the beginning of its 16th season, and brought the orchestra to outstanding artistic achievements during his tenure.
Since his arrival in the United States in 2006 in order to pursue his graduate orchestral conducting studies at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Capriles has developed a close relationship with the Baltimore musical community, not only as graduate conducting assistant of the Peabody Opera, the Peabody Symphony Orchestra and Peabody Concert Orchestra, but also as cover conductor for Maestra Marin Alsop at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Director of Orchestras at the Baltimore School for the Arts, and conducting Teacher Associate at the Peabody Preparatory, where Capriles successfully co-conducted the Peabody Youth Orchestra during their first East Cost Tour. Other recent responsibilities have included being the founding Music Director of the Young Musicians Program Youth Orchestra at the University of California, Berkeley, where Capriles worked in close collaboration with internationally renowned artist Frederica von Stade, as well as with prestigious members of the San Francisco Conservatory faculty.
Awarded with the 2010 Bruno Walter Conducting Fellowship as Assistant Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Academy, Capriles has had his conducting described by Marin Alsop as “passionate” and “intelligent.” Capriles has been finalist of the First Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition, and of the Sixth Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition. Capriles has been nominated for the Thelma A. Robinson Award of the Conductors Guild as best participant at the 2007 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music; has been recipient of the Mabelle Antionette Leonhardtsen del Mar Scholarship of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University; and has been awarded with the José Félix Ribas National Order from the Venezuelan government for his contributions to the arts.
Capriles started to conduct professionally at 21 in his native Venezuela as the Music Director of the Zulia Boys Singer Orchestra, and later as the founding Music Director of the Caracas Youth Symphony Orchestra. After his five-year tenure there, the Caracas Youth Symphony Orchestra developed a strong and consistent artistic level, becoming a vital part of Venezuela's now internationally renowned El Sistema. Dedicated to the distinguished members of the diplomatic body of the country, his debut concert with the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela was immediately broadcast in the Venezuelan national television, with the highest recognition by the critics in attendance. As laureate guest conductor of the Regional Orchestras of Venezuela, Capriles toured extensively around the country, also conducting the Caracas Municipal Symphony Orchestra and the former National Philharmonic Orchestra of Venezuela. In 2005, Capriles was appointed as Music Director of the Ciudad Guayana Symphony Orchestra, where he developed intensive programming of more than sixty concerts during that season across the expansive Guayana region, obtaining the national recognition of the Federation of Regional Orchestras of Venezuela.
In his recent guest conducting appearance with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, the Kalamazoo Gazette praised Capriles’ conducting as the “most satisfying… His sweeping baton captured the romantic flavor of Berlioz’s composition. Ensemble remained tight and balanced, making for countless musical thrills.” Upcoming guest conducting engagements by Capriles include the Teresa Carreño Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, the Francisco de Miranda Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and the Regional Selection of the Carabobo Youth Orchestra System.
As a teacher, Capriles has been invited for the second time this year to be the principal instructor in the National Academy for Conductors that is organized by Venezuela's El Sistema to enhance the preparation of the new generation of highly talented conductors of the country. A strong advocate of young composers of his generation, Capriles has supported and recorded new award-winning orchestral and chamber works at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and at the Simón Bolívar Conservatory of Venezuela’s El Sistema.
Capriles graduated as the top conductor of his generation at the internationally renowned National Youth and Children Orchestra System of Venezuela (El Sistema), where he received his undergraduate education in Horn, Composition and Conducting. Capriles continued graduate studies in Conducting, Public Policy and Political Science at IESA, the Simón Bolívar University, the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University. His primary conducting teachers have been Gustav Meier, José Antonio Abreu, Helmuth Rilling and Marin Alsop.