Widely known as a composer and orchestra conductor, the Venezuelan Maestro Alfredo Rugeles was born in Washington D.C while his parents were working in the diplomatic service. He carried out his musical studies at Escuela “Juan Manuel Olivares” (“Juan Manuel Olivares” School), Caracas. In 1976 he obtained Diplomas in Singing and Choral Conduction from his teachers Fedora Alemán and Alberto Grau, respectively. He studied Composition with Yannis Ioannidis until 1976, year in which he travels to Germany with a scholarship, for continuing his studies in the Robert Schumann Institute of Düsseldorf, where he obtained Diplomas in Composition and Orchestral Conducting – in 1979 and 1981- as a student of Günther Becker and Wolfgang Trommer, respectively.
He attended the Cursos Latinoamericanos de Música Contemporánea (Latin-American Contemporary Music Courses) as a student and lecturer. He got a scholarship from the Composition Workshop during the New Music Courses in Darmstadt. He takes part in International Orchestral Conducting Courses taught by Sergiu Celibidache, Michel Tabachnik and Franco Ferrara. He has been invited to important international events as composer and orchestra conductor.
In 1979 he obtained the Premio Nacional de Composición (National Composition Award) for his work “Somosnueve” (“We-are-nine”) and in 1985 the Premio Municipal de Música (Municipal Music Award) for its work “Tanguitis”. Currently he is in charge of a tutorial class in Contemporary Composition and of a chair in Techniques of Orchestral Conducting at Instituto Universitario de Estudios Musicales (Universitary Institute of Musical Studies, IUDEM).
As a Conductor, Alfredo Rugeles has performed leading the Robert Schumann Institute Orchestra of Düsseldorf; the Siegerland Orchestra of Hilchenbach; the Dutch Chamber Orchestra; Chamber Groups of Contemporary Music in Düsseldorf, Köln and Darmstadt; the Sinfónica Nacional de México (National Symphonic of Mexico); Orquesta Filarmónica de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Philharmonic Orchestra of the National Autonomous University of Mexico); Orquesta de Cámara Mayo de Argentina (Mayo Chamber Orchestra of Argentina) and Orquesta Sinfónica de El Salvador (Symphonic Orchestra of El Salvador).
Furthermore, he is a permanent guest Conductor of the most prestigious orchestras of the country and has had the privilege of accompanying important soloists such as Judith Jaimes, Maurice Hasson, Harriet Serr, Margot Parés-Reyna, Eva María Zuk, Julius Berger, Ruggiero Ricci, Montserrat Caballé, Alirio Díaz, Elizabeth Glass, Karoly Mocsari, Shlomo Mintz, Arnaldo Pizzolante, Vladimir Spivakov, Carlos Duarte, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Renata Scotto, Frans Helmerson, Karin Lechner, Sergio Tiempo, Anssi Karttunen, Jorge Luis Prats and Jane Eaglen, among others.
His repertoire embrace the universal symphonic music as well as the opera, having conducted numerous opening nights of works by Venezuelan composers and first auditions of the international contemporary repertoire. In April 1990 was his debut in the Compañía Nacional de Opera del Teatro Bellas Artes de México (National Opera Company of the Fine Arts Theatre of Mexico) with Puccini’s “Il Tabarro”. In June 1991 he conducted Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro”// “La Nozze di Figaro” within the Opera Season of the Teatro Teresa Carreño (Teresa Carreño Theatre; Caracas, Venezuela). In September 1991 he is invited to conduct Mozart’s “Così fan Tutte”, the fist opera staged by the Compañía Nacional de Opera “Alfredo Sadel” (“Alfredo Sadel” National Opera Company).
He was Associated Director (1982-84) and Artistic Director (1984-87) of the Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal de Caracas (Municipal Symphonic Orchestra of Caracas) and since 1987 until 1990 he was Musical Director of Teatro Teresa Carreño (Teresa Carreño Theatre). Since 1989, he is the Musical Director of the Ensemble Nova Musica (New Music Ensemble), specialized in the diffusion of contemporary music.
In December 1990 he was appointed Director of the Circuito Sinfónico Latinoamericano “Simón Bolívar” (“Simón Bolívar” Latin-American Symphonic Circuit) and Artistic Director of the Festivales Latinoamericanos de Música (Latin-American Music Festivals) of Caracas, by the Consejo Interamericano de Música (Inter-American Music Council; CIDEM, by its acronym in Spanish) of the Organization of American States. Since January 1991 he is Associated Musical Director of Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar (Simón Bolívar Symphonic Orchestra), with which he makes an important and successful national tour in 1997.
Since 1992 he is Musical Director of Fundacion Pro Arte Musical (Musical Pro-Art Foundation). In November 1993 he was elected Executive Committee member of the International Society for Contemporary Music, ISCM. In June 1995, during the General Assembly of the a forenamed Society, carried out in Essen – Germany, he was re-elected in his post and attends to the General Assemblies and the World Music Day of the ISCM that took place in Stockholm - Sweden (1994); Essen – Germany (1995); Copenhagen - Denmark (1996) and Seoul – Korea (1997).
In June and July 1994 he made an individual program about The North-American Contemporary Music, visiting Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Boston, New York and Bloomington (Indiana), sponsored by the Information and Cultural Services of the United States of America (USIS).
Since November 1994 he is Director of the Fundación Orquesta de Cámara de Venezuela (Chamber Orchestra of Venezuela Foundation) and he conducted the orchestra in his inaugural concert in the city of Valencia, Venezuela.
In December 1994, he was selected by the American Composers Orchestra of New York for participating in the Sounds of the Americas Festival dedicated to Venezuelan Music. His work, “Oración para clamar por los Oprimidos” (“Prayer for crying out for the Oppressed ones”), was performed in the Weill Recital Hall of the Carnegie Hall by the Chamber Ensemble of the aforesaid orchestra, under de conduction of Tania León. Likewise, Rugeles had the opportunity of dictating Magistral Classes at Yale University and at Juilliard School of Music.
In March 1996 he is invited by the German Radio Deutschlandfunk; Köln to conduct a Latin-American contemporary music program with the Ensemble Die MusikFabrik of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf.
In August 1996 he is invited by “Associazione Concerti Città di Noto”; Italy, presided by Maestro Corrado Galzio, to conduct a Concert with the Symphonic Orchestra of Kiev-State, Ukraine; within the program of the XXI International Noto-Music Festival carried out every summer in the city of Noto, Caotania.
In May 1997, he is invited by the Institute for New Music of the State School of High Music Studies of Freiburg City, Germany (Institut für Neue Musik der Staatlichen Hochschule für Musik Freiburg), for conducting two Contemporary Music Concerts of Venezuela and Colombia with the Chamber Ensemble of the aforementioned Institute. Also, he addressed there a conference about “The relation between the Venezuelan contemporary concert music and popular and folkloric music”.
In August 1997 he attends, jointly with Cuarteto de Clarinetes de Caracas (Clarinet Quartet of Caracas), the 33rd New Music Festival in the cities of São Paulo and Santos, Brazil. There he addressed his conference about “The relation between the Venezuelan contemporary concert music and popular and folkloric music”.