J. Andrés Ballesteros is a composer, educator, and speaker based in Cambridge, MA. A
polystylist, his works are centered in the classical music vernacular but include a variety of
musical styles, from Latin music to electronics and theater.
A Latino 30 Under 30 honoree and recipient of awards from the Asia/America Music Institute and
Harvard University, among others, Andr.s is regularly commissioned to create collaborative
projects that engage with youth and community organizations in creating original works around
social issues they face. His work as a composer and activist was recently recognized in Ana
Francisca Vega’s book Corazón de Mexicanos Como Yo, highlighting 50 Mexican-Americans who
Andrés has been recognized for his leadership in working to expand the representation and
performance of works by historically-underrepresented composers and has twice been invited to
speak at the National Conference for the League of American Orchestras on this important
cause. In 2017, he led a team of musicians and community leaders working directly with the
Boston Symphony on diversifying their programming, leading to a significant change in the BSO’s
approach the very next season. He has continued this work as the Executive Director of Eureka
Ensemble, an innovative musical group focused on nurturing social change through music, and
elsewhere through talks and consulting.
Andrés excels in creating works for a wide range of ensembles and genres and has been
commissioned by several groups, including Talea Ensemble, Juventas New Music, and the
Callithumpian Consort to the Greensboro Youth Chorus, the Brattle Street Chamber Players, and
the Mozart Society Orchestra. He has also written for several short films and a documentary
(which have screened at festivals in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Providence, RI) and for other
media such as podcasts, e-books, and apps. Previously, he taught music history,
ethnomusicology, music theory, and creative writing at Boston Arts Academy.
Andrés received his B.A. in Music from Harvard University, where he studied with Chaya
Czernowin, Hans Tutschku, Edgar Barroso, and Trevor Bača. He is deeply grateful to all of them.
Prior to his studies at Harvard, he started composing with Jack Jarrett in North Carolina. He has
also studied at the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France; at the highSCORE
festival in the Milanese suburb of Pavia, Italy; and at the Harvard Summer Composition Institute in
Concord and Cambridge, MA.
In his free time, Andrés volunteers in local musical and social initiatives, including Boston Hope
Music (2020-present), a platform providing hope and healing through music for those at the
frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also sings with the Jameson Singers and has taken
leadership roles through Scouts BSA and as a faculty dean’s aide at Adams House in Harvard
College. When not doing music, he can be found cooking or exploring Greater Boston.