Biography and Reviews


Recognized for the beauty of his tone, Mr. Cueto performs worldwide as chamber musician and guest soloist with orchestras. His recordings with orchestra include Gladness of Heart, performing the Menotti Violin Concerto with Concert Artists of Baltimore conducted by Edward Polochick (Sonora Label) and Two Italian Violin concerti-featuring violin concertos by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Ottorino Respighi, with Vladimir Lande conducting the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra of Russia (Marquis label). The album includes the premiere of Cueto’s violin solo and string orchestra arrangement of the song La rosa y el sauce (The Rose and the Willow Tree) by Carlos Guastavino.  A featured guest artist in major music festivals in North America, Puerto Rico, France and Italy, he has toured in Hungary, Slovakia, China, the Czech Republic, Italy and Russia. Mr. Cueto is Concert Master of the Maryland Lyric Opera Orchestra and the Chesapeake Festival Orchestra. He served as Concert Artists of Baltimore orchestra’s concertmaster from the beginning of its creation until the recent demise of the organization in 2019.

While pursuing his studies at the Peabody Conservatory at the Johns Hopkins University, he performed with Ruggiero Ricci and his teacher Berl Senofsky in the “Masters of Today and Tomorrow” series. Sought after for his extraordinary chamber music talents, he has shared the stage with cellist Steven Kates, harp virtuoso Nicanor Zabaleta, clarinetist Gervase de Peyer, pianist Leon Fleisher with The Kennedy Center Chamber Players, and pianists Jesús Maria Sanromá, and Nancy Roldán, with whom he has toured and recorded extensively. His dedication to the performance of music by composers of the Americas includes local and international premiere performances, such as music for solo, duo, and other ensembles. Among such repertory are Solo for Violin dedicated to him by Peabody trained composer William Moylan; Concerto for Violin and Viola by David Froom, with Violist Jennifer Rende and the Chesapeake Festival Orchestra; Para vos y para mí by Raúl Jaurena for Violin and Bandoneón; Double Rhapsody for Violin and Piano by Andrew Gerle dedicated to Cueto/Roldán; Recitativo/Allegro Barbaro for violin and piano by Thomas Benjamin; and the Piazzolla Transcriptions for Violin and Piano written by Nancy Roldán for the duo, featured in the Centaur Records Album Piazzolla, Here & Now. American premieres include Presencia No. 7 A Rosita Iglesias and Llanura by Carlos Guastavino; Piano Trios by Constantino Gaito (Argentina),  Eduardo Grau (Spain-Argentina), and Juan Orrego Salas (Chile) recorded under the title Music of the New World with Trio Americas – with cellist Daniel Malkin and pianist Nancy Roldán – Artists in Residence at UMBC through 1994. Italian premieres include Sonata for Violin Solo by David Froom and Grace for violin and orchestra by Judah Hadashi at the Alba Music Festival; and the Violin Concerto by Phillip Glass at the Saluzzo Festival.

José Cueto holds degrees from the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music and BM and MM in violin performance from the Peabody Conservatory at the Johns Hopkins University. He plays a 1920 Stefano Scarampella, and a 2006 Luiz Bellini violin. Mr. Cueto is on the violin faculty at the Catholic University of America and at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he has also served as Artist in Residence and Chair of Strings. He has taught for the Road’s Scholar program at Johns Hopkins University Peabody Institute. He serves on the Advisory Committee of the Center for Latin American Studies at CUA.

Solo Reviews

“If one wanted bravura, Cueto brought it in spades. With a rich vibrato and seamlessly brilliant technique, Cueto never hesitated to give it full reign.”  
The Washington Post

“Cueto made an impressive interpretation … poetic sweep, with flashes of fire … [his} tone is sheer delight.”  
The Capital, Maryland

Chamber Music

Chamber music has been a constant in Mr. Cueto’s musical life. He has performed in ensembles such as Pentad, Trio Americas, The Kennedy Center Chamber Players, the Casals Festival, and Autunno Musicale Veronese. The Cueto- Roldán DUO collaborative performances have been praised as “ … full blooded, … superb, … and … exciting.” Appearing in the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Argentina, the duo interprets traditional violin-piano repertory as well as chamber and duo music by contemporary composers, the ensemble has premiered several works by composers of the Americas and Spain. Recordings include On Wings of Angels, an audience favorite featuring solo and violin-piano selections for the heart. Remembrance, the duo’s latest soundtrack, is a collection of compositions recorded live during performance on several venues. Additional chamber music collaborations may be heard in Celebrations: Music of Thomas Benjamin, and Music of the New World, recorded by Trio Americas. The duo has been heard most recently in Tango recitals in Denver – Colorado, and in several venues in Maryland, including Music at Buckingham’s Choice, the St. Mary’s College Artist Series, Notre Dame of Maryland Concert Series, and the Hood College Summer Concert series. Festival performances include the 2010 Great Romantics Festival in Canada and several American Liszt Society (ALS) festivals, including the ALS “50th anniversary celebration” at James Madison University (2014), and Liszt-Garrison International Festivals since 2009 at Notre Dame of Maryland University. In October 2015 the duo performs the premiere of Magyar Combo dedicated to the duo by American composer Andrew Gerle. Cueto-Roldán have recently recorded a new CD – Piazzolla: Here & Now – for the Centaur Label.

Duo Reviews

Strad Magazine hailed the duo’s debut at Carnegie-Weill Hall as “grounded and confident” adding … “Cueto and Roldán are a powerful and well balanced combination … easy rhythmic energy and fine ensemble playing … superb in all particulars.”

“The Cueto-Roldán duo makes an impression foremost with its large and luxurious tone … The evening was an impressive display of full blooded music making.”

… a noble interpretation, each one with mastery, and both in perfect communication to shape each musical idea. [Their] wonderful innate musicality creates an expressive, stirring performance.”
Carlos Guastavino, ARGENTINE COMPOSER (Personal Letter)

“Poetic was the word at the start of Thursday’s Liszt-Garrison concert with the darkly reflective “La lugubre gondola,” in an arrangement played with great sensitivity by violinist José Cueto and pianist Nancy Roldán.”
Tim Smith, THE BALTIMORE SUN, Maryland

“Cueto and Roldán made a vivid impression … left a profound effect.”