RUBEN VALENZUELA is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Bach Collegium San Diego (BCSD). As a conductor, keyboardist, and musicologist, he has led BCSD in numerous notable performances of music of the Renaissance, early and high Baroque, through the early Classical period. His performances have been described as ‘dramatic’ and ‘vibrant’ and ‘unable to unlock the true power of Baroque music’ (SanDiegoStory.com). Under Valenzuela’s leadership, BCSD has achieved local, national, and international acclaim, through highly charged virtuosic performances of iconic repertoire, in addition to lesser-known works. In 2012, San Diego Metro Magazine selected Valenzuela as one of ‘Twenty Men Who Impact San Diego’ for his outstanding work with BCSD, and his ongoing contributions to the San Diego arts community.
With BCSD he has toured to the Festival Internacional del Órgano Barroco in Mexico City and Zamora, Michoacán, and to the Festival Internacional de Música Renacentista y Barroca Misiones de Chiquito in Bolivia. In addition to his work with BCSD, Valenzuela is regularly called upon as a guest conductor and keyboardist. Recent conducting engagements include Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity, New York City, Marsh Chapel Choir and Collegium at Boston University, and Bach at Emmanuel Church, Boston. Additionally, he has joined the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, Mexico City, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra as principal continuo player for performances of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion. Upcoming guest engagements will include a return to New York City to conduct Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity in early 2020.
As a musicologist, Valenzuela has undertaken research at the Centro Nacional de Investigación, Documentación e Información Musical, Carlos Chavez (CENEDIM, Mexico City), and has also engaged in research at the Archivo del Cabildo of Mexico City Cathedral focusing on the basso continuo in Novo-Hispanic music. In 2016, he presented a paper titled: Mexican Religious Iconography (Angels musicians and the Basso Continuo in Mexico City Cathedral) for the inaugural Historical Performance Institute of the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University. Recently, he has focused his research on the music and life of Anglo-Canadian composer Healey Willan, which led to the formation of the music festival Willan West 2018 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the composer. The year long festival produced a series of fourteen liturgies, two concerts, and a series of journal articles. Valenzuela is regularly called upon as a guest speaker on an array of musical topics that includes music aesthetics, Mexican cathedral music, liturgy and music, to the use of rhetoric in seventeenth and eighteenth century music.
Valenzuela holds a PhD in Musicology from Claremont Graduate University and is the Director of the Music & Organist of All Souls’ Episcopal Church, San Diego, and the Choral Director of the La Jolla Symphony Chorus.