Joining the College of Music faculty this fall, Assistant Professor of Violin Alex Gonzazlez is no stranger to the Centennial State.
“I’ve spent five or six summers in Colorado, in some capacity,” he recalls, having most recently moved here from Las Vegas, Nevada. “Over the years, I’ve spent time in Aspen as a student and in Boulder playing at the Flatirons Chamber Music Festival. It still feels like a new place to me, but it also feels somewhat familiar.”
Gonzalez shared with us his commitment to developing what Dean John Davis calls the universal musician, and cultivating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, faculty and staff. “This is how the music world is structured these days,” he says. “It’s not about hyper-specialization, but about flexibility, creativity and keeping an open mind.
“It’s imperative to be flexible because being rigid hurts your expression. If you can exemplify flexibility in your life and interests, it translates to your life on stage and makes you much more communicative in every area.”
He further explains, “My job is to give students the tools and perspective they need to broaden their horizons and explore all different genres, styles and avenues within the music world—and opportunities outside of the music environment, too. This is a mindset that I absolutely encourage–and require—to help students gain perspective on many disciplines, instead of getting stuck in tunnel vision. Why limit yourself?”
As a multifaceted musician himself, Gonzalez well understands today’s demand for universally trained musicians—among other areas of experience, he brings to our college extensive experience as a teaching artist, a virtuoso performing artist and a recording artist.
Indeed, throughout his education and career, Gonzalez has explored many musical paths. “Along the way, I found that every time I was 100% focused on just one thing, it felt like something was missing or I would start to feel burned out,” he reflects. “You may love ice cream, but if all you eat is ice cream, you’re going to get sick.
“When I was in school, the universal musician model didn’t really exist. It was more about hyper-specialization, which does have its place. But over time, I discovered that constructing my life in such a way that I didn’t have to choose just one path is also valid and—for me—actually preferable.”
Gonzalez adds, “One of the things that drew me to the College of Music is the amazing faculty, many of whom have collaborative backgrounds which is something that I care about in teaching, music and life in general.
“Upon moving to Colorado and meeting our faculty and staff, I’ve come to observe that collaboration is a shared value across the entire university community–from students and faculty to staff and administrators. I can’t wait to exchange ideas with everyone, to inspire and promote an evermore wonderful learning environment and creative, welcoming space.”