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Rubato is held at the Oxford Performing Arts Center, a unique combination of a historic building and a destination for incredible performing and visual arts. Today, OPAC hosts nationally and internationally known artists in music, dance, and Broadway, and also serves as the official Alabama home of the Atlanta Pops Orchestra. In fact, OPAC is the busiest stage in the state of Alabama, presenting more touring artists than any other venue in the state.
Rubato Founder & Director
Born in Argentina, Julio Barreto proved to have an innate talent for music. He began his formal music studies at the age of five and his professional career at age nine. He performed a wide repertoire of music including jazz, rock/pop, Latin, and Argentine music. As a young man, Julio earned a reputation as a professional musician. At age sixteen, he began studying under the prestigious Argentine pianist Graciela
Reca, and continued his education at Universidad Nacional del Litoral (Argentina), earning an undergraduate degree in Classical Piano Performance in 2012. After graduation, Barreto served as a piano accompanist for the Choral Institute of Santa Fe School of Music and taught piano at Isidro Maiztegui School of Music (Argentina). In addition, he worked as a full-time professor at UNL teaching
Applied and Collaborative Piano, courses in Popular Music, Improvisation, Jazz, Rock, Pop, Arranging, and Production, and served as Director of School Extension & Outreach. During this time in Argentina, he wrote and produced music for radio and TV, and was also pianist and arranger of the “Santa Fe Jazz Ensemble” Big Band, and the group “Picante Latin Jazz”.
Next, he attended Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA). While there, his academic achievements earned him the Herbie Hancock Celebrity Scholarship. Julio studied piano and participated in workshops at Berklee with luminaries such as Neil Olmstead, Russell Hoffmann, Kevin Harris, Robert Christopherson, Utar Artun, Leo Blanco, and Vladan Milenkovic. He also was guided by world-class professionals of today’s music industry including Susan Rogers (Prince), John Storyk (Jimi Hendrix), Sean Slade (Lou Reed, Radiohead), and David Bendeth (Paramore). Julio earned a Master in Arranging and Orchestration in 2016.
In 2018, he permanently moved to the United States to serve as Visiting Assistant Professor at Jacksonville State University (JSU), Teaching Classical Piano, Applied Piano, Latin American Musical Styles, and Intro to Music Production. He also served as accompanist for the JSU Civic Chorale, the JSU Chamber Singers, and the JSU Opera Theatre. During this time Julio continued his education at Berklee College of Music, which culminated in 2019 when he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Music in Music Production. The same year, Julio
joined the faculty at Gadsden State Community College (Gadsden, AL) working as Adjunct Professor of Music.
Barreto has performed around the US as a solo artist and as a member of different groups and ensembles. He has frequently been invited as a clinician and artist-in-residence in universities and schools of music including the University of North Texas, Jacksonville State University (AL), Texas Woman’s University, Universidad Nacional del Litoral (ARG), Texas Christian University, Concordia University (NE),
Texas A&M University-Commerce, The Omaha Conservatory of Music (NE), among others. Mr. Barreto has also been repeatedly invited to teach online webinars for the prestigious Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy (Piano Magazine) to educators from conservatories, universities, and schools around the world on various topics, including jazz, arranging, and Latin music.
In 2021, Julio Barreto became the Director of Music Education at the Oxford Performing Arts Center. The same year, he joined the Atlanta Pops Orchestra (Atlanta, GA) as their Artist-In-Residence, performing, arranging, and writing original music for the orchestra, and touring with Irish pop singer/songwriter Chloë Agnew (Celtic Woman) as her pianist and arranger.
In 2022, he became the Founder and Director of the “Rubato International Piano Competition”. Uniquely including both classical and jazz music, this remarkable event sponsored by Steinway & Sons, has become the biggest international piano competition in the southeast of the US, designed to provide talented young pianists from around the world with the opportunity to develop a professional and artistic
His musical tenure includes a wide range of experience as a session musician, composer, arranger, producer, as well as a music educator. His musical specialties in classical, jazz, and pop music have allowed him to work with artists such as Paquito D’Rivera, Atlanta Pops Orchestra, David Phelps, Hugh Panaro (“Phantom of The Opera”, “Sweeney Todd” – Broadway, NYC) Timothy Miller, Chloë Agnew, “Balsam Range”, Jose Davila (Ray Charles and Marc Anthony’s trombone), John Driskell Hopkins,
Sandoval Moreno de Oliveira, Thomas McCutchen, and Nilsinho Amarante. Julio Barreto is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the College Music Society (CMS) the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).
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