Jesús Castro-Balbi Named Director of Dr. Bobbie Bailey School of Music
Internationally renowned cellist with degrees from Yale and Juilliard joins ArtsKSU leadership
KENNESAW, Ga. (Mar 8, 2021) — Ivan Pulinkala, dean of the College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University, has named Jesús Castro-Balbi director of the Dr. Bobbie Bailey School of Music, effective July 1. The appointment comes at an exciting time for the Bailey School of Music, the recent recipient of a multi-million dollar gift from the Bobbie Bailey Foundation.
Internationally renowned educator and cellist Castro-Balbi has performed in the US, Latin America, Europe and Asia in chamber music and as a soloist with the Aarhus (Denmark), Dallas, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras; the China, Louisiana, and Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestras; the Leipzig Radio Orchestra; and the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru. He has been featured at New York’s Alice Tully Hall, over a dozen times at Carnegie Hall, at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center and at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.
To date, he has presented 53 premiere performances of music for cello, the world premiere recording of 19 works, and is the dedicatee of 19 compositions. Notable among these is his recording of the cello concerto Lord of the Air by Jimmy López for Harmonia Mundi with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra led by Miguel Harth-Bedoya.
“Dr. Jesús Castro-Balbi is a world-class concert cellist who brings to KSU a profile of international repute,” said Dean Pulinkala. “I look forward to welcoming him to the leadership cabinet of the College of the Arts and working closely with him to advance the Bailey School of Music with a focus on student success, as well as artistic and scholarly excellence.”
Over the last 20 years, he has developed a career of artistic and educational leadership nationally and internationally. Most recently, he served as professor and faculty leader at Texas Christian University (TCU), where he strengthened the institution’s value proposition while building a sought-after cello program serving both undergraduate and graduate students. As founding artistic director of the TCU Cellofest and of the Faculty & Friends Chamber Music Series, he raised the profile of the TCU School of Music in both the discipline and in the community, while also performing internationally.
Castro-Balbi said, “I am honored and thrilled to join Kennesaw State University at this exciting juncture. KSU’s commitment to student success, innovation, creativity, inclusive excellence, and societal impact is truly inspiring. I look forward to serving the Dr. Bobbie Bailey School of Music at KSU as we celebrate the accomplishments and chart the future of this extraordinary community.”
He has guest taught at Beijing’s Central Conservatory, Paris Conservatoire, Leipzig and Stuttgart Hochschule, for the Japan Cello Society, at The Juilliard School, and at the Yale School of Music. Additionally, he has adjudicated at the Lynn Harrell Competition (Dallas), the Sphinx Competition (Michigan), and at the Aiqin Bei (China), Lutoslawski (Poland) and Carlos Prieto (Mexico) international cello competitions.
As an American Council on Education Fellow, he developed higher education leadership capacity with senior executives at the University of Miami and at campuses across the nation. At Miami, his focus was on academic innovation, administrative excellence, and strategic plan implementation.
Of Peruvian heritage and raised in France, Castro-Balbi graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur at Lyon, Indiana University Bloomington, and the Yale School of Music, and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School.