Baroque On BeaverClassical Music on Island Time


Abdel Anzalua

Abdul Anzaldua (2013)

Second Violin – On Leave

What are your most important educational and musical moments?
A big musical moment for me was when I finally got to play Bach’s Violin Partita no. 3 in E major – the music that inspired me to pursue the violin.  An annual musical moment in my life is my time playing at Baroque on Beaver.  Playing with my Festival Orchestra colleagues makes me feel like I am part of something bigger and it fills me with energy that I carry with me until we return to the island again and I can again refuel. 

As for an important educational moment, I had a professor at the Conservatorio de las Rosas who was extremely influential to me as she persuaded me to continue with graduate studies in Michigan, where I met many of my closest friends and Beaver Island family.   

Tell us about your family.
My wife, Valeria Jonard, is a composer of music and her music is in demand in Mexico and Germany.  We have a 6-year-old son named Ilya who visited Beaver Island for the first time in 2022.  We also have a Pit Bull Terrier named Panchita, who patiently sits through all my music lessons so that she can receive belly rubs from the students when each lesson is over. 

Why did you choose music?
I got a late start in music – I was about 17 or 18 years old when I finally became interested in playing the violin as a career.  My biggest influences were my father, grandfather and my brother: my grandfather had a piano, my father was always playing classical music in the house, and the bond I have with my brother led me to university.  However, instead of enrolling in the university, I decided to go to the Conservatorio de las Rosas (the “Conservatory”) in Mexico.  I had to study on my own for 3 months in order to be admitted to the Conservatory.

Why did you choose your instrument?
My father played a recording of Bach’s Violin Partita no. 3 in E major for me when I was young.  He asked me how many instruments I thought was playing, and I guessed 4 or 5.  It blew my mind that I was in fact, only hearing one violin!  I was so impressed that I fell in love with the instrument.  I received a bachelor’s degree in music from the Conservatorio de las Rosas, and my Master of Violin Performance from Western Michigan University. 

What else are you currently doing?
I am currently teaching the violin at the Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, in Zacatecas, Mexico, and have been doing so for the last 5 years.  I love to teach my students.  It is so gratifying to see them perform and grow as musicians. In addition, I co-founded a baroque orchestra with another professor, the Academia de Música Antigua de Zacatecas, to make an ensemble for our students and I tour with the ensemble.   

Any non-musical interests or hobbies?
I like board games, enjoy drinking good beer, traveling, and spending time with my family.  My son is very much into Legos and Star Wars right now, and I am really enjoying this phase with him.

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