Cuarteto Latinoamericano is one of the world's most renowned string quartets and, for over thirty-five years, the leading proponent of Latin American music for the genre. Founded in Mexico in 1982, the Cuarteto has toured extensively throughout Europe, North and South America, Israel, China, Japan and New Zealand. They have premiered over a hundred works written for them, and they continue to introduce new and neglected composers to the genre. Winners of two Latin Grammys for Best Classical Recordings, they have also been awarded with the prestigious Diapason D'Or, have been recognized with the Mexican Music Critics Association Award, and have received three "Most Adventurous Programming" Awards from Chamber Music America/ASCAP.
Cuarteto Latinoamericano's members are three Bitran brothers: violinists Saul and Aron and cellist Alvaro, with violist Javier Montiel. They have recorded more than 80 CDs, including nearly the entire Latin American repertoire for string quartet. Volume 6 of their Villa-Lobos cycle of 17 string quartets on Dorian, was nominated for a Grammy and a Latin Grammy for Best Chamber Music Recording. Their albums "Brasileiro, works of Mignone" (2012) and "El Hilo Invisible" (2016) won Latin Grammys for Best Classical Recording. The work Inca Dances by Gabriela Lena Frank, recorded by Cuarteto Latinoamericano with Manuel Barrueco, won the 2009 Latin Grammy for Best New Latin Composition.
The Cuarteto has performed as soloist with many orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Seattle Symphony under Gerard Schwarz, Ottawa's National Arts Center Orchestra, the Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, the Dallas Symphony and the Simón Bolívar Orchestra of Venezuela, under Eduardo Mata. They have performed in some of the world's most distinguished halls and music festivals, including the Concertgebouw, Teatro alla Scala, the Esterházy Palace, the Kennedy Center, Ravinia Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Ojai Festival. They have collaborated with celebrated artists over the years including cellist János Starker, pianists Rudolph Buchbinder and Cyprien Katsaris, tenor Ramón Vargas, guitarists Narciso Yepes, Sharon Isbin, David Tanenbaum, and Manuel Barrueco. With Barrueco they have performed extensively in some of the most important venues of the US and Europe, commissioned guitar quintets from American composers Miguel del Aguila, Michael Daugherty and Gabriela Lena Frank, and recorded two CDs.
El Sistema - Latin American Academy for String Quartets
Under the auspices of the Sistema Nacional de Orquestas Juveniles of Venezuela, the Cuarteto created the Latin American Academy for String Quartets, based in Caracas, which served as a training ground for eight select young string quartets from the Sistema. Until 2014, the Cuarteto visited the Academy four times a year.
For twenty years they were quartet-in-residence at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Since 2004, they have been recipients of the México en Escena grants given by the Mexican government through FONCA (National Fund for Culture and the Arts).