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Kennesaw State University has hired internationally renowned concert cellist Jesús Castro-Balbi to direct the Bobbie Bailey School of Music.

Castro-Balbi is on the faculty of Texas Christian University. He is the founding artistic director of the TCU Cellofest and the school’s Faculty & Friends Chamber Music Series.

Jesús Castro-Balbi

Jesús Castro-Balbi will start work on July 1.

He arrives on the KSU campus July 1 on the heels of a $5 million gift from the Bobbie Bailey Foundation that will be used for scholarships and enable the music school to attract top students.

“I am honored and thrilled to join Kennesaw State University at this exciting juncture,” Castro-Balbi said in a press release. “KSU’s commitment to student success, innovation, creativity, inclusive excellence and societal impact is truly inspiring. I look forward to serving the School of Music as we celebrate the accomplishments and chart the future of this extraordinary community.”

Castro-Balbi has performed all over the world, including multiple concerts at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center. He’s featured on the world premiere recordings of 19 works.

He has guest-taught at Beijing’s Central Conservatory, Paris Conservatoire, Leipzig and Stuttgart Hochschule, the Japan Cello Society, The Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music. He was born in Spain to Peruvian parents, both of whom are classical guitarists. Castro-Balbi was raised in France, and moved to the United States in 1996.

Ivan Pulinkala, dean of the College of the Arts, said he is excited about the future for the Bailey program. “Dr. Jesús Castro-Balbi is a world-class concert cellist who brings to KSU a profile of international repute,” said 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.”

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