Jorge A. Peña Portillo


Jorge is the Artistic Director of the largest free chamber music festival in the US. He and his wife, cellist Jin Kim Pena, founded the St. Augustine Music Festival together, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary summer 2016.

What do you want patrons of the Symphony to know about you?
Many times patrons are surprised to find out that I have been playing viola in the JSO for 19 years. Usually they don’t see the violas because often we sit in the middle and center of the orchestra behind the conductor.
In addition to playing the viola in the orchestra and teaching a few violin and viola students, I like to play at least one viola recital a year in or out of town.
Also in addition to managing the Coastal Symphony of Georgia’s 4 Masterworks concert season, I am the Conductor and Music Director of the Golden Isles Youth Orchestra.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a professional musician?
I’d be a doctor, a builder or an architect. Maybe all of them!?

What do you do in your spare time (other than practice!)?
I like to travel, go hiking and visit new places and keep up with Facebook too.

What is your favorite thing about being a professional musician?
It’s a privilege to be able to bring great music out of the page, knowing that it won’t exists unless you make it come alive, shape it the way you want it and ultimately share it with attentive audiences.  

What sport(s) do you participate in?
Does eating count? I like to run, I enjoy watching soccer.

Do you have a favorite team?

What is your favorite food?
When it comes to food I love to eat, I don’t discriminate but I like my food to be big on flavor and I love spicy food too! I like my fish very fishy, my veggies not soggy, steak medium rare and no pickles under any circumstance. 

Who is your favorite composer?
Beethoven and Mozart and Bach, wait Mendelssohn, Schubert, Brahms, okay I give up, I just love them all! (This is an unfair question)

What’s currently on your iPod?
Beethoven, Romance Op 40 & Op 50
Berlioz, Hungarian March
Schubert, Quintet in c minor
Handel, concerto grossi Op. 3 Op 6
Beethoven, violin concerto
Mozart, Sinfonia Concertante (which I am playing with Aurica Duca on opening concert September 28th of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia)
Many others

Bachelor of Music, Escuela de Musica Victoria Lopez, Honduras; Bachelor of Music, Columbus State University; Graduate Performance Diploma, Peabody Conservatory.