Showcasing Bolivian Talent

Foundation for Bolivian Artists, Inc. builds community and provides opportunities through its programming and events. Kantuta Concerts, our main series, promotes previously undiscovered Bolivian talent in an annual recital. And, our three-pronged approach is transparent, creating equity for those interested in our programs.

We invite you to apply!


    Through a competitive application process, Bolivian musicians have the chance to perform in the annual Kantuta Concerts scholarship recital. This recital celebrates Bolivian musicians by providing an opportunity to showcase their talent in front of a broader audience on some of the most renowned stages of the United States.


    Bolivia, a country rich in cultural heritage, often remains underrepresented in various industries, including classical music. Together, we aim to bridge this gap by presenting the exceptional talents of Bolivian musicians through Kantuta Concerts. By fostering collaborations and inspiring dialogue, we aim to cultivate a lasting impact that transcends boundaries and encourages cultural exchange.


    We recognize that financial constraints often hinder talented individuals from pursuing their passion. That's why our mission is to provide equal opportunities for all aspiring musicians by eliminating these obstacles. We believe that talent should be the sole criterion for participation in programs, auditions, and festivals. Therefore, we have removed application fees, ensuring that everyone who meets our application criteria can apply without any financial burden. Furthermore, thanks to the generosity of donors and private funding, we are able to offer scholarships to deserving individuals selected for our programs. Once chosen, these scholarship recipients will not incur any costs associated with their participation. We firmly believe that financial limitations should never hinder the pursuit of musical excellence.


At Foundation for Bolivian Artists, Inc., we firmly believe in the transformative power of music and its ability to transcend borders, unite communities, and celebrate diverse cultures. Our mission is to provide unwavering support to Bolivian musicians, recognizing their immense talent and the invaluable contributions they make to the world of classical music.

Classical music, historically dominated by Western Europe, often overlooks the rich tapestry of musical traditions that exist beyond its borders. We acknowledge that Bolivia, with its vibrant heritage and unique cultural identity, holds a wealth of musical treasures waiting to be discovered and shared with global audiences. By amplifying the voices and talents of Bolivian musicians, we aim to challenge the prevailing narrative and foster a more inclusive and representative classical music landscape.

Our philosophy is grounded in the belief that every musician, regardless of their background or geographic location, deserves equal opportunities for artistic growth, recognition, and collaboration. We strive to break down barriers and provide Bolivian musicians with access to performance platforms, mentorship, and international networks. Through these initiatives, we aim to empower them to express their distinct artistic voices, expand their horizons, and inspire future generations.

Central to our philosophy is the celebration and preservation of Bolivia’s musical heritage. We recognize that Bolivian culture is a mosaic of indigenous, mestizo, and colonial influences, and that these diverse elements contribute to its richness and uniqueness. By promoting Bolivian composers, musicians, and innovative contemporary works, we seek to showcase the immense creativity and musical tapestry that stems from Bolivia’s multicultural society.

Furthermore, we believe that cultural exchange and collaboration are crucial for fostering mutual understanding and appreciation. We actively seek partnerships and collaborations with international musicians, institutions, and organizations to create opportunities for Bolivian musicians to share their talents on global stages and to learn from the wealth of knowledge and experiences that the world of classical music offers.

Ultimately, our philosophy is rooted in the belief that by nurturing and uplifting Bolivian musicians, we not only enhance their individual artistic journeys but also enrich the global classical music community. We envision a future where Bolivian musicians are recognized as equal contributors to the global musical canon, where cultural diversity is cherished and celebrated, and where classical music becomes a powerful agent of unity and dialogue across borders.

Our Story

Growing up, our founder, Walter Aparicio, noticed he was the only Bolivian in the room, even in his largely Latino community of northern New Jersey.

As he pursued music studies, he found himself connecting more to repertoire that referenced folk music and dance – the music of Béla Bartók & Alberto Ginastera particularly spoke to him. And, when one professor asked him if there were any Bolivian composers whose music he could learn, he realized he never even thought of that possibility.

His search for Bolivian composers began. 

He traveled to La Paz in 2001 and  visited the National Conservatory. There, he found  piano music of Eduardo Caba and Simeón Roncal among others in the library stacks. He immediately connected with these composers and later realized what he had been searching for in other repertoire was now right in front of him – the music of his own people. From then on, Walter has been programming music by Bolivian composers in recitals and has been committed to raising awareness for this corner of the world.

His search for Bolivian composers began. 

He traveled to La Paz in 2001 and  visited the National Conservatory. There, he found  piano music of Eduardo Caba and Simeón Roncal among others in the library stacks. He immediately connected with these composers and later realized what he had been searching for in other repertoire was now right in front of him – the music of his own people. From then on, Walter has been programming music by Bolivian composers in recitals and has been committed to raising awareness for this corner of the world.

Why Bolivia?

Bolivia has a vibrant culture that has always been represented through folkloric dances with colorful & ornate costumes, traditional Andean music with indigenous instruments & sounds, and with skilled artisans who weave intricate textiles, make clay pots & other beautiful crafts. Andean life is synonymous with Bolivia. Even in the United States, Bolivia has been featured in parades, folk festivals and in pop culture – it has been noticed and acclaimed for its unique traditions and customs. 

At the same time, Bolivia is less known for its contributions to the classical music world. Our composers are little to unknown and only performed by a handful of musicians worldwide. At Foundation for Bolivian Artists, Inc., we aspire to be the driving force in making these valuable and significant musical contributions known. And, in our ever changing field, musicians are interested and searching for repertoire that speaks to them and represents who they are.

We have made it our mission to uplift talented Bolivian musicians and give them a place to show who they are by playing repertoire that represents their own story. Our organization is especially unique in that we cast a wide net and our reach is extensive. 

While we celebrate the traditions of Bolivia that are steeped in folklore, we are excited to offer a different viewpoint, one where we examine how composers who write in the classical tradition communicate the intricacies of the culture. Through our work, we present concerts and artists who currently work on this level of inquiry.


Board of Directors

Walter Aparicio,
Founder & President

Known for the warmth and conviction of his performances, pianist Walter Aparicio has spent his career advocating for the performance of music from Latin America. He has presented workshops and recitals around the country, introducing audiences to rarely- performed works from Bolivia and making connections to dance, language, and folk traditions. These connections aim to inspire inquiry into issues of cultural background and identity. 

His debut album, Aires Indios: Piano Music of Bolivia (MSR Classics) features music by Eduardo Caba, Simeón Roncal and Marvin Sandi. These evocative works that draw from Andean folk music are then infused with the stylized vocal quality of Chopin and the barbarism of Bartók. Mr. Aparicio is on the artist roster of Cayambis Music Press, a leading publisher of works by Latin American composers. As a Cayambis artist, Walter champions and records recent works of the publisher’s composers.

As Founder and President of Foundation for Bolivian Artists, Inc., Mr. Aparicio aims to build a community of Bolivian musicians by granting them performance opportunities in important venues in New York City – these programs create visibility and highlight the value and point of view of these artists from a very distinctive cultural background.

Read more about Mr. Aparicio at www.walteraparicio.com

Alice Nissen, Vice-President

Born in the UK, raised in Switzerland, and living in the diverse city of New York City for over twenty years, Alice has a deep interest in the intersection of culture and the expansion of cultural horizons and has recently joined the board of the Foundation for Bolivian Artists.

Alice Nissen began her formal study of classical piano at the Konservatorium und Musikhochschule in Zurich, Switzerland.  She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with honors at Eugene Lang College, the New School for Liberal Arts.  Alice obtained a Diploma in piano performance from the Extension Division at Mannes College the New School for Music.  She completed her Masters in Music in Piano Performance at the Steinhardt School at New York University. 

For the last ten years Alice has focused on instructing, conducting, and accompanying elementary school aged children in independent K-12 schools including the Chapin School and the Town School in New York City.  Alice has intensive training in both Orff and Dalcroze teaching philosophies.  Alice takes a special interest in developing ways to make music education relevant and inspiring to broad audiences including those with learning exceptionalities. 

Alice Nissen has performed at the Black Box Theatre in New York City where she performed a world premier of a work by Steven Burke.  Other public performances include recitals at Goldmark Hall at the Mannes College of Music in New York City, The Round Barn in Waitsfield Vermont and Waterside Hall in Adamant, Vermont.

Sergey Shprints, Treasurer

A native of Ukraine, Sergey has resided in New York City for 30+ years with a career spanning 2 decades in digital advertising and operations. He has always been passionate in building teams and communities around the world, with a special focus on Latin America. In his current professional role, Sergey has pioneered the concept of borderless-offices, developing and managing US hubs in México City and Bogotá, for Omnicom Media Group, with 200+ employees, overseeing commercial terms, office interoperability, talent management and capability development. Sergey is also passionate about his NYC community, and as a board member of his COOP, initiated multiple improvement projects that will have a positive impact on the residents.

Evan Kory, Secretary

Evan Kory is a vivid keyboardist with repertoire ranging from the renaissance and baroque to the 21st Century. Kory has performed throughout the United States as well as Canada, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Russia, Australia and China in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Leipzig Bach Archive, Kosciuszko Foundation, Conservatoire de Musique du Québec in Montréal, St. Petersburg Lyceum of Arts Recital Hall, Beijing International Music Festival and others. He recorded the works of J.S. Bach on the Master Performers label. Equally versed in the modern piano and period keyboard instruments, Kory is a graduate of The Juilliard School’s historical performance Masters program and Manhattan School of Music where he completed his Bachelors, Masters, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in piano performance. As continuo keyboardist he has performed with The Phoenix Symphony, New York Baroque Incorporated, Inwood Baroque, Olmos Ensemble, and many other chamber groups throughout the United States.


Evan Kory resides in his hometown of Nogales, Arizona where he serves as President of La Linea Art Studio and the Wittner Museum. He is also an active board member of the Pimeria Alta Historical Society, Nogales Community Development, and Santa Cruz Foundation for the Performing Arts.


Pokie Huang

Logo Design

Christopher Baker

Dr. Priscila Navarro

Described as “a phenomenal talent” by the Atlanta Audio Club, pianist Priscila Navarro is the first prize winner of several international competitions, including the Liszt-Garritson International Competition in Baltimore, Maryland, Beethoven Sonata Competition in Tennessee, Chopin International Competition of Texas, Artist Series of Sarasota, Florida, Imola City Awards, Italy, and the Heida Hermanns International Music Competition in Connecticut. Priscila made her Carnegie Hall solo recital debut in 2013 as an international competition winner and returned there in 2022 for further concerts. She received a Special Bach prize at the International City of Vigo Competition in Spain, where she was one of five finalists from over 400 participating pianists, with a jury presided by Martha Argerich. Her performances in England last summer were streamed on BBC public radio as well as the Medici TV channel.

Last year, Priscila made her Kennedy Center debut with a sold-out concer. She also received the Christa-Marshall Bach Prize at the Bach competition in Leipzig, a prize founded by a descendant of the Bach family in one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions honoring Bach.

Highlights of this season include a concert featuring works by Cuban American composer Tania Leon, as well as soloist with orchestras throughout the US and South America. Priscila also recently won the Astral Artists competition, joining their roster alongside other phenomenal artists. Priscila is a champion and advocate of Latin American music, conducting research and creative activities to further the propagation of Latin American art. Her most recent project included the development of a piano method for children based on Peruvian folk tunes. This past season, she presented a program of Latin American dances at the Bravo Piano Festival in Hilton Head Island.

As a chamber musician, Priscila regularly performs with a wide variety of musicians. She did a tour of Peru with violist Jodi Levitz, professor of viola at the University of Miami. Priscila forms a piano duet with Dr. Michael Baron. Their first album was released this December 2021 with the MSR Classics label, followed by a Carnegie Hall premiere concert in March 2022. They have received five-star reviews from the Atlanta Audio Club and Fanfare Magazine.

Priscila holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance and pedagogy from the Frost School of Music, where she also completed Master and Artist Diploma degrees as a student of Santiago Rodriguez and Kevin Kenner. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida Gulf Coast University where she studied with Dr. Michael Baron. Priscila began her music studies at the age of 9, in the National Conservatory of Peru with Professor Lydia Hung.

Besides her busy performance career, Priscila is a passionate pedagogue and has been on the jury at several international competitions, including the Chopin International Competition for Latin American pianists, the Heida Hermanns International Competition, the Piano Stars competition and the Parnassus International Competition. She is currently the artistic director of the Parnassus Music Society, organizing cultural events throughout Peru and Latin America. This fall, she joined the faculty at Whitworth University as director of keyboard studies.

Dr. Isabel Dobarro

Recent winner of the Woman to Follow in Culture 2021 Prize and Melómano de Oro, Dr. Isabel Dobarro has appeared in solo recitals and chamber music concerts at the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall in New York, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Rachmaninoff Hall at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Sala Manuel de Falla, Ateneo de Madrid, Palau de la Música Catalana, and Sala Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli in Bolzano, Italy, among others. She was a prizewinner at the American Protegé International Piano and Strings Competition (2nd Prize), Grand Prize Virtuoso International Competition (3rd Prize), Ciutat de Berga International Competition (1st Prize) and the Cidade do Fundao Piano International Competition (1st Prize), as well as the recipient of the Jorge Bolet Distinguished Performer Award at the Stony Brook International Piano Festival.

Her activism for women composers’ music has led her to create with mezzo-soprano Anna Tonna the initiative Women in Music, which organizes cultural exchanges through the music of women composers. In these concerts, Tonna and Dobarro collaborated with the NY Philharmonic Very Young Composers Program, New York Women Composers, American Space, International Institute, Asociación de Mujeresen la Música and the Cultural Program of the Portugal Embassy in Spain. She has also performed the Clara Schumann Piano Concerto with the OSSB orchestra at the prestigious Palau de la Música Catalana, she will premiere the Louise-HeritteViardot Quartets in Spain, and has presented works by women composers in numerous solo recitals. For her work in the promotion of women composers, she has been invited to speak and play at the prestigious Women Now conference, along with Hillary Clinton and Kathleen Kennedy, and she has given numerous lectures on the topic at the Universidad de Costa Rica, Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid, III Encuentro María de Pablos, among others. Her interest for contemporary music has led her to premiere works by Eduardo Soutullo, Octavio Vázquez, Pamela Sklar, Sonia Megías, Michael Boyman, Julia Dopico, Lars Graugard, Ana Isabel Vázquez Silva, Carme Rodríguez, María Camahort, Silvia Llanas Rich, among others. She is a frequent performer of works both for solo and ensemble of George Crumb, Juan Antonio Simarro, Consuelo Díez, Mercedes Zavala, Alexa Babakhanian, Miguel Bustamante, Benet Casablancas, Cristóbal Halffter, Luis de Pablo, Antón García Abril, Carmelo Bernaola, Debra Kaye, Marga Richter, Mary-Ann Joyce, among others.

Isabel has taught masterclasses at the Festival de Ópera de Morelia, Curso de Perfeccionamiento Pianístico de Veracruz, Conservatorio Superior de Música de A Coruña, Manuel Peleteiro Conservatory and New York University’s Undergraduate Collegium. She has also given lectures and speeches at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, United Nations General Assembly, Harvard University, ECOSOC Youth Forum, European Parliament within the European Arts Forum, I Jornadas Sostenibilidad e InstitucionesCulturales, University of Michigan,IE University in Madrid, University of Vechta, Columbia University, Carnegie Hall, and Casina Pio IV at the Vatican. In 2016, she organized the Festival Granados: Composer, Pedagogue, and Virtuoso at New York University, a series of lectures and concerts about Enrique Granados in which she premiered a newly reconstructed version for piano quintet of Granados’ Concierto Patético by composer Sergi Casanelles. She has published for Harvard University-Observatorio Instituto Cervantes, IIASA Institute in Vienna, or Global Square Magazine, among other publications. Her musical studies include degrees from New York University (where she started teaching at age 19 and earned a Ph.D.), Manhattan School of Music, and Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid.

Dr. Juan Pablo Andrade

Costa Rican pianist Juan Pablo Andrade maintains a very active career as a recitalist, concerto soloist, collaborative artist, clinician and adjudicator. He is the recipient of numerous awards, most notably the Costa Rican National Prize of Music, the highest recognition given to a musician by the Costa Rican Ministry of Culture. Other awards include the First Prize at the Artlivre International Piano Competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil; and the First Prize in the Carlos Enrique Vargas National Piano Competition in CR. As a student he received First Prize in the Concert of Soloists Competition at Arizona State University, First Prize at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Concerto Competition, and Second Prize in the University of Costa Rica Concerto Competition.

He has performed as a soloist with the South Bend Symphony (IN), the Greensboro Symphony (NC), the Powder River Symphony (WY) the University of Costa Rica Symphony, the Cartago Symphony (CR), the Central American Symphony, the Bolivian National Symphony, the Costa Rican Youth Symphony, and on many occasions with the Costa Rican National Symphony. Recent concerto performances include Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 26, and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Conductors he has collaborated with include Irwin Hoffmann, Chosei Komatsu, Kaisa Roose, Norman Gamboa, Ricardo del Carmen, Alejandro Gutierrez, Gabriela Mora, Ivan Arguedas, Mathew Troy and Timothy Russel. As a recitalist he has appeared throughout the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Serbia, Norway, Greece and Spain. Recent performances include solo recitals at the Yehudi Menuhin Forum in Bern, Switzerland, and at the World Piano Conference in Novy Sad, Serbia. Many of his performances have been recorded and broadcasted by the Phoenix Classical Radio Station KBAK, Costa Rican University Radio and Costa Rican National Television. He is also a very active chamber musician and a member of the Aegina Trio with Dr. Betul Soykan and Dr. Katherine Decker. His recent duo CD titled War to Peace, (Centaur Records 3666) and recorded together with violinist Betul Soykan, features works by Ferguson, Prokofiev and Messiaen and received very favorable reviews in Fanfare magazine. Other musicians he has collaborated with include Margaret Lattimore, Kenneth Grant, Bonita Boyd and Frederic St. Pierre.

Dr. Andrade is a Professor of Piano at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and has previously served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano at Idaho State University and Lecturer of Piano at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He obtained his Bachelors and Licenciatura in Music degrees from the University of Costa Rica, the Master of Music from Arizona State University, an Artist Diploma from Indiana University-South Bend, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His mentors include Gerardo Duarte, Robert Hamilton, Alexander Toradze and John Salmon. Dr. Andrade is also a faculty member at the SemperMusic International Summer Festival in the Italian Alps, and a frequent guest at the Global Summer Institute of Music in Richmond, VA, and Curso de Perfeccionamiento de Piano EAFIT, in Medellin, Colombia. He is the founder and artistic director of the newly created La Frontera International Piano Conference, in Brownsville, Texas.
  • Solo recital in one of New York City’s top venues
  • Transportation to and from New York City
  • Room & board
  • Post-concert reception
  • Exposure and press