Ana Belén Ruales

Since a very young age, music has been a fundamental part of my life. I discovered my love for music as a child, thanks to my family environment, and since then, I have never stopped exploring all that this world can offer. At the age of 9, I formally started taking cello lessons and became part of a Foundation of Youth and Children’s Orchestras in Ecuador (FOSJE). It was here that I began to play in a children’s orchestra and gave several cello recitals. At the age of 13, I participated in my first national competition and won first place in my category.

In 2010, I was invited to participate in an Ibero-American gathering representing my country in Caracas, Venezuela, under the direction of maestro Gustavo Dudamel. It was there that I had a closer contact with the Venezuelan System of Orchestras, which has achieved wonderful things with young people through music and has inspired many.

At the end of the same year, I completed my studies at the National Conservatory of Music of Ecuador, obtaining my degree as a Technical Music Bachelor with a specialization in cello. Shortly thereafter, I made my debut as a soloist with the Youth Orchestra of Ecuador.

In my search to continue my musical development, an opportunity arose to study in Brazil with maestro Fabio Presgrave at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte. There, I received masterclasses and participated in various cello festivals.

“Music is the language of the heart without words”

Shortly after that, I learned about a social project in Salvador de Bahia called Neojiba, which captivated me deeply. It was then that I decided to move to this city and support the system. I was part of the system for two and a half years, giving cello lessons to children and young people from different centers.

I was also a member of the Youth Orchestra of Bahia, with which we undertook 2 international tours in the United States and Europe, performing in some of the most renowned concert halls in the world and accompanying highly acclaimed soloists such as Martha Argerich, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Colin Currie, and Ricardo Castro. Since my priority was to continue my academic education at a university, I simultaneously enrolled in a Bachelor’s program for cello at the Federal University of Bahia, studying under the guidance of maestra Suzana Kato.

In 2016, I applied to the University of Music and Dance Cologne (Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln – HFMT) where I was accepted to pursue my Bachelor’s studies in cello under the guidance of Professor Nadège Rochat.

Halfway through my degree, I received a scholarship to study for a year at the Royal Academy of Music in London. After completing that year, I returned to Germany to finish my studies under the guidance of Professor Susanne Müller Hornbach.

Currently, I am pursuing my studies in instrumental pedagogy with a specialization in cello and a second profile in elementary pedagogy at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln in Cologne, Germany. Additionally, I am simultaneously completing a master’s degree in Music Pedagogy at the Robert Schumann University in Düsseldorf, Germany. I am dedicated to teaching cello and work as an independent artist, where I engage in my own musical projects with various musicians and ensembles.

During my studies at the university, I was always interested in exploring various branches of music, such as improvisation, jazz, contemporary music, early music, among many others. I believe it is crucial to have an open mind and explore the vast field that music has to offer. I want my music-making to not be defined by a single style or direction. I aspire to explore and learn from many cultures, embracing the opportunity to be open to new ideas and reflections. My goal is to continue growing and acquiring all possible tools for my human development, as an artist and educator.

“Music has been my best tool to communicate with different cultures without barriers. It has been a gateway to explore and connect with the outside world and myself in a different way.”


Ana Belén Ruales