Growing up in Las Vegas, the last thing I expected was to do was completely devote myself to a relationship with classical music. Starting off in a middle school band at age 11, I learned the trumpet and played that for four years. As I would constantly get envious of all the pretty solos the clarinetists in the front of the band would get to play (while I would sit in the back counting measures of rests), I decided to go straight to the local music shop and that’s when I rented my first clarinet. I still have a vivid memory of me trying to make a sound on it in the car ride home. I set my trumpet aside and started playing the clarinet full time when I turned 15.

Eventually, I decided to do my undergraduate degree at the Lamont School of Music in Denver, Colorado. My time at Lamont was so rewarding as I was introduced to my clarinet teacher, Jeremy Reynolds. Before going to Lamont, I wasn’t able to take on regularly scheduled private lessons as my family couldn’t afford it, so I really tried to soak in as much information as I could from him! During my four years of living in Colorado I had the pleasure of performing with several groups across the US, Italy, and Canada, and eventually I was a offered a position with the Boulder Chamber Orchestra, a professional chamber orchestra in Boulder, Colorado.

My fondest musical moment was when I was able to embark on a semester-long Erasmus program in Milan, Italy when I was 21. While in Milan I was fortunate enough to study with Fabrizio Meloni, principal clarinetist of the La Scala Opera Orchestra and Maurizio Longoni, clarinet professor at the Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado. Little did I know these couple of months I spent in Milan would have such a positive impact on my musical aspirations, which ultimately led me into my decision to study my postgraduate degree internationally and move to London.

I am currently in my second year of my MA at the Royal Academy of Music and am undergoing tutelage with Christopher Richards, Angela Malsbury, Chi Yu Mo, and Benjamin Mellefont. My time in London has brought many opportunities into my life including performing with the London Sinfonietta, going on tour to Sicily with the Hampstead Garden Opera, and volunteering with a few music organizations in London. Really excited to see what the future holds!


Royal Academy of Music
London, UK

Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado
Milan, Italy

Lamont School of Music
Denver, Colorado, USA

Quickfire Questions

How would you persuade someone who has never heard ‘classical music’ before to come with you to a concert?
As well as myself, lots of my friends love playing video games. Whenever there is an orchestra playing live video game music I feel like that is the perfect moment to encourage them to come along with me and listen to how the music from their favorite games are created.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
I absolutely adore animals. Back at home I have two cats named Bob and Emma which are generously being taken care of by my mother and my friend Kevin. Currently while in the UK, I own four snakes named: Udon, Fuji, Soba, and Moshi which are the friendliest Ball Pythons, as well as the sweetest and quirkiest Bearded Dragon named Miso. My passion and love for these animals has inspired me to one day become a hobbyist reptile breeder where I can pass on reptiles to future owners and reduce the negative stigma against these wonderful animals.

Guillermo is a member of the 2020-2021 fellowship.