Andrea Natalia Torres-Álvarez


Photos by Matt Dine


Filarmónica Joven de Colombia, 2013–16; Fundación Orquesta Sinfónica de Bogotá (FOSBO), Colombia, 2013–17;
Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia, 2016–17; Orquesta Nueva Filarmonía, Colombia, 2016–17; Filarmónica Juvenil de Bogotá, Colombia, 2016–17; Maastricht Conservatory Orchestra, Netherlands, 2017–19; Limburgs Jeugd Symfonie Orkest, Netherlands, 2017–20; Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Netherlands, 2019–20;
Orquesta de Conservatorio del Tolima, Colombia, 2021–23; Classical Music Institute Orchestra, San Antonio, 2022

What is your earliest memory of classical music?

I remember listening to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in a cartoon that my older brother was watching.

Was there a teacher who was particularly impactful/helpful? What made this instructor stand out?

My master viola teacher, Julia Dinerstein, is an amazing artist, musician, teacher, and a wonderful person that inspired me in each lesson with her kind way of teaching. 

What made you decide to become a musician? Was there a particular performance or person that influenced your decision?

The first time I played Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, I felt so much energy from all the musicians in the orchestra and chorus that it made me realize I wanted to be part of it and make music all my life.

How did you hear about TŌN? What inspired you to apply?

I heard about TŌN thanks to the information provided by the Filarmonica Joven de Colombia. I love playing in an orchestra and I consider this master’s program as a perfect opportunity to do it.

How would you like to see orchestra concerts evolve in the future?

I think one important thing is to keep the public interested and get more audience. So, I think that some of the concerts could be focused on getting people interested who are not used to going to classical music concerts.

Tell us about a time you almost gave up but didn’t.

During the COVID lockdown I was unsure about the future and opportunities as a musician, but at the same time, music and my viola were the way I dealt with it. 

Do you have a favorite non-classical musician or band?

Colombian music always makes me happy, especially Alfredo Gutierrez´s music.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

A teacher, or maybe something with math or chemistry.

What is a surprising part of playing your instrument that you think most people don’t know?

There is not a standard size of viola, unlike a violin that can be 4/4, 3/4, etc. There are many different sizes and models of luthiers, so we measure it in centimeters or inches. This means you can find an instrument that best fits the size of your body and arms.

What advice would you give your younger self or anyone starting out?

Listen to more music, and read more about pieces, composers, and art in general.