A native of Mexico, Socrates Villegas joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as second clarinet with the 2016-17 season. Prior to this, he served as principal clarinet with the Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, both in Mexico City. He has held clarinet positions with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Toluca (both in Mexico), and the Orchestre de la Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris.
Mr. Villegas obtained his Master of Music degree from Temple University, where he studied with Ricardo Morales, principal clarinet of The Philadelphia Orchestra; a Cours de perfectionnement from the Versailles Conservatory in France, where he studied with Philippe Cuper, principal clarinet of the Paris Opera; and a Bachelor of Music degree from the National Conservatory in Mexico City.
Mr. Villegas has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras in Mexico, performing the clarinet concertos by Mozart, Copland, and Weber. He participated in the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he studied with Joaquin Valdepeñas, principal clarinet of the Toronto Symphony. Mr. Villegas has won various prizes in clarinet competitions, including the 2008 Young Artist Music Competition (International Clarinet Association), the 15th European Competition and the Lempdes National Clarinet Competition (both in France), Temple University’s Concerto Competition, and the National Clarinet Competition in Mexico, among others.
Mr. Villegas is a Backun clarinet artist and performs on MoBa Cocobolo clarinets.
Photo: Gerado Ledezma