Marquez Barrios began his musical studies under the guidance of Prof. Gerardo Soto (classical guitar) at Maracaibo’s Music Conservatory. In 1998, he moved to Caracas to attend the “University Institute of Musical Studies”, where he worked under the wings of such masters as Prof. Luis Zea for classical guitar, Prof. Federico Ruiz for composition, and Prof. Gonzalo Mico for Jazz guitar, earning his Bachelor Degree in Music Composition in 2005. As a guitarist, Marquez Barrios has been part of numerous festivals and seminars, as well as workshops, conferences, and master classes with well known masters of international acclaim, such as: Alirio Diaz, Luis Zea, David Russell, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, and Leo Brouwer. As a composer, Márquez-Barrios holds an extended catalog of works that includes compositions for a variety of solo instruments, numerous chamber ensembles, mixed choir, electronics, symphonic band, and symphony orchestra. His music has been performed, published, and recorded by important soloists and ensembles from Latin America (Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, enCayapa Ensamble, Luis Julio Toro), the U.S. (H2 Quartet, Helix Collective, Alexander String Quartet), and Europe (Guitar Duo Montes-Kircher, Proxima Centauri). Works by Marquez-Barrios have also been performed at numerous international music festivals, such as the Latin American Music Festival (Caracas, Venezuela), XVII Festival of Contemporary Music of Havana (Cuba), 20eme Festival Internacional de la Clarinette (Martinique), Hollywood Fringe Festival 2012 (Los Angeles, USA), and the 2012 World Saxophone Congress (St. Andrews, Scotland), among others.
In 2003, Marquez Barrios and other fellow musicians founded enCayapa, an ensemble focused on promoting Venezuelan and Latin-American contemporary music based on folk genres. enCayapa’s first recording, entitled “Ensamble Urbano,” was released in the summer of 2006 and includes five of Marquez’s compositions. In this recording, Marquez Barrios worked not only as composer and guitarist for the ensemble, but as one of the producers. “Ensamble Urbano” has received very positive reviews from some of the most important musicians inVenezuela and abroad, such as latin jazz authority Paquito D’Rivera.
In the year 2006, Victor Marquez Barrios moved to the U.S. to pursue graduate studies in composition under the guidance of Composers Ricardo Lorenz and Jere Hutcheson at Michigan State University, where he earned his Master’s degree in Music Composition in 2008, a Doctoral degree in Composition in 2012, and a Master’s degree in Music Theory Pedagogy in 2013. During his time at MSU, Marquez Barrios was an active participant in both master classes and individual coaching sessions by important guest composers from the U.S. and Latin America, such as: Gabriela Ortiz, Paul Desenne, Daniel Catan, Ricky Ian Gordon, and John Corigliano.
As an educator, Marquez Barrios has served on the faculty at Michigan State University, Alma College, Kalamazoo College, Grand Valley State University, and St. Lawrence University. Today, he teaches as an Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Truman State University’s Music Department, in parallel to his active career as a composer and guest lecturer.