Venezuelan cellist Horacio Contreras was trained in El Sistema and maintains an active career as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. He has been invited to work with the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra cello section where he has worked with Gustavo Dudamel and Simon Rattle. In addition, Mr. Contreras has presented cello classes at El Sistema's Latin American Cello Academy, and at the Universidad de Los Andes in Venezuela. Mr. Contreras graduated from the Perpignan Conservatory in France with the gold medal in excellence and completed his master's degree at the University of Michigan (UMich). He is currently working on his doctoral degree at UMich under the the guidance of Anthony Elliott.