Pedro Mendez


2023/24 Season DSO Diversity Fellow

Pedro Mendez is a Venezuelan violist and violinist who began his musical studies in EL SISTEMA. He obtained a minor degree in Violin Performance from the Vicente Emilio Sojo Conservatory in 2015 and concurrently studied at Academia Latinoamericana de Violín under the guidance of Luis Miguel Gonzalez and José Francisco del Castillo (student of Ivan Galamian).

During his time in Venezuela, Mendez focused on teaching. He worked as an Assistant Professor of violin and viola at Universidad Lisandro Alvarado and served as a professor at Academia Latinoamerica de Violín. Eventually, he became the principal director of this academy with sede in his hometown and joined the faculty of the Vicente Emilio Sojo Conservatory as a violin teacher.

Mendez has performed as a violinist soloist with the Pedro Leon Torres Youth Symphony Orchestra, Lara Youth Symphony Orchestra and Lara Symphony Orchestra. In 2019, he made a full-time transition to viola studies and received a scholarship at Roosevelt University, where he pursues an undergraduate degree in Viola Performance studying with Roland and Almita Vamos and Li Kuo Chang.

Mendez has played with various orchestras in the Chicago area, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Philharmonic. In 2022, he was appointed as Assistant Principal Viola at the Illinois Philharmonic and Co-principal Viola at the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Additionally, he holds the position of Project Inclusion Viola Fellow at the Chicago Sinfonietta. Mendez is also a member of the Soto String Quartet, serving as the violist.