Dr. Ruben Balboa III is an educator and violist in Austin, Texas. Currently, he serves as a lecturer at Texas State University and Assistant Director/Coordinator of the award-winning University of Texas String Project. Previously, he was the Instructional Assistant Professor of Viola at Illinois State University and Acting Director/Master Teacher of the Illinois State String Project.
Dr. Balboa has also served on faculty at Austin Soundwaves, Austin Chamber Music Center, Austin Youth Orchestra, Texas State String Project, and Longhorn String Camp. Additionally, he maintains a diverse private studio of violin and viola students, which includes novice and advanced young learners, avocational adults, and students with learning challenges. Dr. Balboa has made it his mission to prioritize the development of young musicians as much as possible, especially those in areas where quality music education programs are not readily available. He continues this work as a board member of the American Viola Society, serving on both the Education Committee and the Access, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee.
Beyond his work as an educator, Dr. Balboa has a multifaceted career as a performer and enjoys working with a variety of musical ensembles. He has performed with The Dallas Opera, Austin Camerata, Abilene Philharmonic, Celtic Thunder, Evanescence, Il Divo, Las Colinas Symphony, Lindsey Sterling, Mid-Texas Symphony, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, among many others. In 2017, Dr. Balboa was invited to perform at the Festival of the Orchestras hosted by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, where he performed Astor Piazzolla’s Le Grand Tango.
He enjoys an active chamber music career. From 2014-2016, he performed with the Bancroft String Quartet, an elite graduate ensemble at the University of North Texas, which placed as semi-finalists in the Plowman Chamber Music Competition and Festival. Dr. Balboa was a founding member of the Favola String Quartet, which won both the Grand Prize and First Place awards at the 2020 Coltman Chamber Music Competition. Other recent chamber performances have included collaborations with Anton Nel, Sandy Yamamoto, and the Miró Quartet. Dr. Balboa also enjoys presenting recitals of works for viola, voice, and piano with his wife, Dr. Samantha Balboa. This unique ensemble led him to write his doctoral research entitled: “Musical Poetry: An Examination of Works and Texts by Charles Martin Loeffler and Paul Verlaine for Viola, Voice, and Piano”. In June 2021, the pair were invited to present a program of lesser-known works for this instrumentation at the American Viola Society Festival.
Dr. Balboa earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas, Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas, and Bachelor of Music degree at Texas State University, where his principal teachers were Professor Roger Myers, Dr. Susan Dubois, and Dr. Ames Asbell, respectively.