Joliet Symphony Orchestra welcomes new director

September 8, 2015

The Joliet Symphony Orchestra (JSO) at the University of St. Francis is proud to introduce Gonzalo Farias as its new music director. Farias comes to Joliet from the University of Illinois in Champaign, where he assisted conductor Donald Schleicher since 2014.

Farias is a native of Chile, where he began his musical studies at the age of five. While in Santiago, Farias attended the Catholic University of Chile on full scholarship for piano performance. Starting in 2006, Farias attended the New England Conservatory for his Master’s degree, graduate diploma and doctoral degree–all as a full scholarship student. He received his DMA in 2014.

JSO will be the second symphony orchestra Farias has worked with. From 2012 to 2014, Farias served as the assistant conductor to the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra in Cambridge, Mass. In addition to his impressive education, Farias has worked privately with several conductors including Charles Peltz, Hugh Wolff, Diane Wittry, Jorge Mester, Harold Farberman, Larry Rachleff and Otto Werner Mueller. He has also worked with members of the Boston Chamber Orchestra, Worcester Youth Orchestra, the Norwalk Symphony, Bard Conductor’s Institute Orchestra, Pleven Philharmonic, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic and the National Symphony of Chile.

Although his love for music is consuming, particularly chamber and contemporary pieces, Farias is an avid reader of second-order cybernetics texts.

The Joliet Symphony Orchestra at the University of St. Francis was founded in 2005 as a university-community partnership. It performs varied works for orchestra, and membership is open to USF students, faculty and staff as well as area community residents. For more information, please visit

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves 3,700 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are 46,000 USF alumni throughout the country. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.