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Julio Cesar Barreto

Founder and Director

Rubato International Piano Competition

Julio Barreto

Julio Cesar Barreto is a distinguished pianist, composer, arranger, and producer from Argentina, known for his versatile musical talent and extensive collaborations. He has performed and arranged for numerous high-profile artists, including Tip (T.I.) Harris, Paquito D’Rivera, David Phelps, Griogair (from Netflix’s “Outlander”), Antwan “Amadeus” Thompson, The Atlanta Pops Orchestra, Timothy Miller, Chloë Agnew (Celtic Woman), Sons of Serendip, Balsam Range, and John Driskell Hopkins. His Broadway collaborations include work with stars like Mandy Gonzalez (“Hamilton”, “Wicked”, “In the Heights”), Hugh Panaro (“Phantom of The Opera”, “Sweeney Todd”), and Capathia Jenkins (“Newsies”, “Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me”).

Born in Argentina, Julio displayed an extraordinary musical talent from an early age, commencing formal music studies at five and launching his professional career by nine. He performed a diverse repertoire, including jazz, rock/pop, Latin, and Argentine music, gaining recognition as a prodigious young musician. At sixteen, he studied under the esteemed Argentine pianist Graciela Reca, later earning a degree in Classical Piano Performance from Universidad Nacional del Litoral.

Post-graduation, Julio served as a piano accompanist for the Choral Institute of Santa Fe School of Music and taught at the Isidro Maiztegui School of Music. His academic and professional journey continued as a full-time professor at UNL, where he taught Applied and Collaborative Piano, Popular Music, Improvisation, Jazz, Rock, Pop, Arranging, and Production. He also held the position of Director of School Extension & Outreach, contributing significantly to music education and production for radio and TV in Argentina. Julio was a member of the Santa Fe Jazz Ensemble Big Band and the Picante Latin Jazz group.

Julio’s pursuit of excellence led him to Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he was awarded the Herbie Hancock Celebrity Scholarship. There, he studied under notable figures such as Neil Olmstead, Russell Hoffmann, Kevin Harris, and Vladan Milenkovic. He received mentorship from industry giants including Susan Rogers (Prince), John Storyk (Jimi Hendrix), Sean Slade (Lou Reed, Radiohead), and David Bendeth (Paramore), culminating in a master’s in Arranging and Orchestration in 2016.

In 2018, Julio relocated to the United States to become a Visiting Assistant Professor at Jacksonville State University and later joined Gadsden State Community College. He furthered his studies at Berklee, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Music in Music Production in 2019.

Julio has captivated audiences across the U.S. as a solo artist and ensemble member. His expertise is sought after in numerous institutions, including the University of North Texas, Jacksonville State University, Texas Woman’s University, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Texas Christian University, Concordia University, Texas A&M University-Commerce, and the Omaha Conservatory of Music. He has also shared his knowledge through webinars for the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy (Piano Magazine), educating a global audience on jazz, arranging, and Latin music. In 2021, Julio was appointed Director of Music Education at the Oxford Performing Arts Center and became the Artist-In-Residence for the Atlanta Pops Orchestra.

In 2022, Julio founded the Rubato International Piano Competition, sponsored by Steinway & Sons. This unique competition, which integrates both classical and jazz music, has swiftly become a premier event in the southeastern U.S., offering young pianists a significant platform for artistic and professional development. Julio is an active member of the Atlanta Federation of Musicians (AFM), 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). His contributions to the world of music inspire and nurture future generations of musicians, profoundly impacting the global music community and fostering artistic growth and cultural exchange.

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