Soloist and Conductor
Born in Bahia, Brazil, Ricardo Castro General Director of NEOJIBA and its creator. He settled in Europe in 1984, where he studied Piano with Maria Tipo and Dominique Merlet and Conducting with Arpad Gerecz. Awarded at ARD Competition (Munich) in 1987 and Géza Anda Competition (Zurich) in 1988, he was promoted to the category of internationally renowned pianist after winning first prize at Leeds International Piano Competition (England) in 1993. He has performed in the most prestigious concert halls in the world, such as Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Musikverein in Vienna, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and with renowned orchestras such as Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, National Philharmonic Orchestra of Warsaw and Orcheste de la Suisse Romande. Ricardo Castro has taught since 1992 in the master’s degree program at Haute Ecole de Musique in Lausanne, Switzerland, and since 2005 he has dedicated himself with obstinacy to integration and social development activities, creating unprecedented opportunities for Brazilian youth and children. Since 2013, he is the first Brazilian to join the “Honorary Member” list of the Royal Philharmonic Society in London, where he figures alongside the most important Western music personalities.
The pianist Martha Argerich has been one of the most iconic interpreters since the second half of the 20th century. She studied with Friedrich Gulda, Nikita Magaloff and Stefan Askenase. She began her international career after winning the Bolzano and Geneva competitions in 1957 at age 16 and confirmed her presence in the international scene when she won the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1965. Her repertoire includes composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Schumann , Chopin, Liszt, Ravel, Bartók and Prokofiev. Argerich is regularly invited to perform at major international festivals and in the most important concert halls of the world. She recorded with important musicians such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Mischa Maisky, Gidon Kremer and collaborated with conductors Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Jörg Färber and Charles Dutoit. The pianist also develops actions to support young artists through the Martha Argerich Music Festival held in southern Japan and Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, Switzerland. Martha Argerich was soloist of the YOBA during its 2014 and 2016 European tours.
One of the prominent figures of the new generation of Brazilian pianists, Ronaldo Rolim already has a career spanning performances in more than twenty countries on four continents. The musician has performed in important concert halls such as Carnegie Hall (New York), Tonhalle (Zurich), Wigmore Hall (London), Franz Liszt Academy Grand Hall (Budapest) and National Center for Performing Arts (Beijing). As a guest soloist, he performed with orchestras such as Tonhalle-Orchester, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Saint Petersburg Chapel Symphony Orchestra, Brazilian Symphony, Minas Gerais Philharmonic, Goiás Philharmonic, USP Symphony, among others. Born in 1986 in Votorantim, São Paulo, Ronaldo Rolim was admitted in 1998 to Magda Tagliaferro Foundation in São Paulo, where he was a student of Zilda Cândida dos Santos and Armando Fava Filho. He also studied with pianists such as Flavio Varani, Benjamin Pasternack and Boris Berman. At the age of 18, he won both Nelson Freire and Magda Tagliaferro Competitions. He also received other awards such as Concours Géza Anda,, Teresa Carreño, Bösendorfer, Lyon, San Marino and James Mottram.
Conductor and violinist Eduardo Salazar is one of the international talents from the acclaimed El Sistema, a Venezuelan program of youth and children’s orchestras and choirs created in 1975, which was the inspiration for NEOJIBA. Since 2011, Salazar has been engaged in a permanent dialogue with the program from Bahia, developing special works with the YOBA and Orquestra Castro Alves. Salazar has already conducted the Simón Bolívar Orchestra (Venezuela) at Southbank Center in London, at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, and Carnegie Hall in New York. Salazar also performed as concert master of the Simón Bolívar Orchestra and played under maestros such as Gustavo Dudamel, Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle and Lorin Maazel, besides tours in Europe, Asia, United States and several Central and South American countries. All his musical education was supported and oriented by maestro Jose Antonio Abreu, founder of El Sistema. Currently, Salazar is in Salvador as a collaborator of NEOJIBA. A great collaboration moment of maestro Salazar happened in 2017. Under his conducting, the YOBA performed in São Paulo, Campos do Jordão and Belo Horizonte as part of the celebration for the tenth anniversary of NEOJIBA.