Dr. Ruben Balboa III, violist, currently serves as Instructional Assistant Professor of Viola at Illinois State University and Assistant Director/Master Teacher for the award-winning Illinois State String Project.


Ruben has an active and multifaceted career as a performer, as he enjoys working with a variety of musical ensembles.  As a Texas native, Ruben has performed with The Dallas Opera, Austin Camerata, Abilene Philharmonic, Las Colinas Symphony, and Mid-Texas Symphony.  He has also recently collaborated in recital with Sandy Yamamoto, Anton Nel, and the Miró Quartet.  In 2017, Ruben 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. 


Ruben is an avid chamber musician.  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. After graduating from UNT, he went on to become 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.  Ruben has had the pleasure of participating in chamber music masterclasses by the Aeolus String Quartet, Baumer String Quartet, Donald McInnes, Eighth Blackbird, Fauré Piano Quartet, Melissa Reardon, Miró Quartet, Peter Slowik, Škampa String Quartet, and Sibbi Bernhardsson. 


Ruben also enjoys his work as an educator and has served on faculty at the Austin Chamber Music Center, Texas State String Project, University of Texas String Project, Longhorn Music Camp, Texas State String Camp, and YOSA Summer Symphony Camp.  He is frequently invited to be a guest clinician for string methods and orchestral techniques and to teach classes such as: All-State Prep, Chamber Music, Viola Ensemble, Viola Literature, Viola/Violin Technique, and Private Lessons.


Ruben 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 principle teachers were Professor Roger Myers, Dr. Susan Dubois, and Dr. Ames Asbell, respectively.


In June 2021, Ruben will be featured on the America Viola Society Emerging Artist Recital in Knoxville, Tennessee with his soon to be wife, Samantha Wood.