SA'OAXACA - Festival Internacional de Cuerdas


SA'OAXACA is the first tuition-free chamber music festival for string instrumentalists in Oaxaca, Mexico. The SA'OAXACA vision is to provide excellent educational opportunities to students in Mexico and increase the study and promotion of Hispanic and Latin American composers. 

SA’OAXACA was created by violist, Gwendolyn Matias-Ryan and founded by the Amatista String Quartet. We partner with the Fine Arts School (Escuela de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca, UABJO) and the Fonoteca Juan León Mariscal of Centro Cultural San Pablo.

SA'OAXACA 2020 Summer Dates: July 26th - August 8th. 

Impact of COVID-19:

Due to the impact that COVID-19 brought upon the world, we have now joined the increasing number of music festivals that will be going VIRTUAL this year. We are incredibly excited for this unique opportunity to provide an innovative learning experience for our students. Students of this year’s festival will receive multiple private video lessons, participate in engaging online conferences, and take part in online performances. 

SA’OAXACA 2020 will be partially funded through the continued sponsorship from the University of Michigan EXCEL Program as well as from the Fonoteca Juan León Mariscal.

We currently find ourselves ONLY $500.00 USD short of completing our budget goal in order to completely fund our incredible teachers and artists who provide multiple private lessons, workshops, conferences, and performances to our talented and incredibly dedicated SA'OAXACA student body.  


Sa´- This word comes from the Zapotec language in one of the famous regions in Oaxaca, el Istmo. Depending on the context, the word can mean: celebration, music, festivity, “son”, agreeable sound, melody, orchestra, dance or song. Our festival takes places in Oaxaca, a place of great beauty, diversity and cultural richness that is found in southern Mexico and is famous for its biodiversity, excellent cuisine, artistic splendor and breathtaking landscapes. The musical community is one of the strongest in the country with an extensive history in band and woodwind pedagogy. One of SA's primary missions is to promote and support underserved talented string musicians in Oaxaca as well as all of Mexico who are in need of excellent educational opportunities. We believe that Mexico's students are some of the most dedicated and passionate in the world. Their commitment, discipline, and deep sense of gratitude inspire us to provide a platform for them to continue their musical growth and reach their artistic potential. 

What do the students say?

"Thank you for the opportunity to learn from great teachers and people, it was an experience that has definitely changed my life. I not only learned musically, I know that I grew as a person and I learned the importance of handling things professionally, responsibly, and passionately. These two weeks were incredible, full of music, love, growth, beautiful places and traditions and it wouldn’t have been possible without your support. Many thanks!" - Danahé, cello

"Events such as this give me hope, they unite me with my colleagues, they connect me with my surroundings, they make me aware of my flaws and strengths and make me think about the different ways I can better myself musically. But above all, they remind me of how wonderful life is, and how music connects us all as human beings. Thank you for making this experience possible, thank you for sharing a little of you with me in Mexico." - Eva, cello

"This is the first time that a string festival is realized in this state. I currently study in the Universidad de Zacatecas and and it makes me so happy that many of my friends were able to come to this festival from so far away. I truly believe that without the sacrifice and hard work of so many people this festival would not have come to be. It makes me happy to know that people like you exist, who support projects like this that give so much to the musical world as well as humanity. I have learned to work with others in this festival, I have learned that everything is possible with work and dedication, I have learned to be more confident, to appreciate people, humility, and companionship." - Fabiola, violin

For more information and updates:

saoaxaca official website 


  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 21 hrs
  • Daniel Hollander 
    • $450 
    • 22 d
  • Erick Vidaña 
    • $5 
    • 23 d


Gwendolyn Matias-Ryan 
Ann Arbor, MI
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