A violinist and conductor trained by the National Youth Orchestra System of Venezuela (currently known as “El Sistema”), Edward Pulgar was born in Caracas and began his musical studies at age eight in solfège, percussion and violin. At thirteen years old, he won his first violin competition at the Juan Bautista Plaza V National Violin Competition in Venezuela. He continued his studies in violin and orchestral conducting first in Maracaibo and then in Caracas, at the Simon Bolivar Conservatory of El Sistema and the Latin-American Violin Academy under the guidance of the eminent Venezuelan pedagogue, José Francisco del Castillo. Later, he obtained scholarships to study violin in the U.S., and consequently earned an Artist Diploma and a Master Degree in Music Performance from Duquesne University and Michigan State University, respectively.
Since 2009, Mr. Pulgar has been Principal Second Violin of the Knoxville Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, and a member of the Knoxville Symphony’s Principal String Quartet, appearing throughout East Tennessee in recitals, concerts and radio and television appearances. Prior to becoming Principal Second Violin of the Knoxville Symphony, Mr. Pulgar has also held principal positions with Symphonic Orchestras in the U.S. and South America, such as Wheeling Symphony, Altoona Symphony, Duquesne Symphony, Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Zulia Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has also appeared as guest soloist with the Knoxville Chamber Orchestra, Duquesne University Contemporary Ensemble (performing David Stock’s “The Philosopher’s Stone” with the composer at the podium), Zulia Symphony, Delta Amacuro Symphony, Falcon Symphony, and others.
As an educator, Mr. Pulgar is a driving force in the creation and development of the newly-emerging string program and more specifically, violin program, at Carson-Newman University. The numbers in his violin studio have quadrupled in recent years and his students are performing in regional orchestras and festivals across the U.S. He has also served as an adjudicator and guest clinician with youth orchestras and colleges in East Tennessee.
He is married to violinist, Mary Pulgar, and a proud parent of two daughters, Ana and Claudia. He actively continues to pursue solo and chamber music in the U.S. and Latin America along with guest appearances as a conductor.