Javier Gándara has been a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1999. He has held positions with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias (principal), Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi (principal), and Oregon Symphony (assistant principal), and has performed as a guest with the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony. He has been on Juilliard’s Pre-College Division faculty since 2004 and is also on the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music. Every summer since 2003, Gándara has joined the faculty of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. He began his professional career at the age of 16 when he won a position in the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra while still attending high school in San Juan. He later studied at Indiana University and obtained a BM from Juilliard where he studied with Ranier DeIntinis. He is a regular guest faculty member at the Puerto Rico Conservatory and has been a coach for the National Youth Orchestra System in Colombia (Batuta) and the Swedish National Youth Orchestra.