About

 
 

Praised by the international press, conductor Carlos Izcaray won top prizes at the 2007 Aspen Music Festival and later at the 2008 Toscanini International Conducting Competition. Since then he has led numerous ensembles in the United States, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Venezuela.


In 2012 he conducted the Latin American premiere of Henri Dutilleux’s masterpiece Métaboles, and throughout his career he has shown special interest and prowess in tackling some of the most complex scores in the symphonic repertoire. Izcaray has also premiered - and in some cases commissioned - a great number of instrumental, choral and operatic works by composers worldwide. He is the most frequently featured conductor of the current era of the Wexford Festival Opera, today’s leading stage for rarely performed and contemporary repertoire. His 2010 production of Saverio Mercadante’s Virginia won the Best Opera prize at the Irish Theatre Awards, immediately followed by another nomination for his 2011 production of La Cour de Célimène, by Ambroise Thomas. He is equally distinguished as a passionate performer of the standard repertoire. His performances of Carmen at Opera Theatre of St. Louis earned him rave reviews from the North American Press.


Recently, he has led ensembles such as the Malmö Symfoniorkester, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, Orchestra Regionale dell’Emilia-Romagna, Macedonian Philharmonic, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio, Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia, Orquestra Sinfônica da Bahia, Cambridge University Music Society, Orquesta Sinfónica de Salta, Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela, Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal de Caracas, Orquesta Filarmónica Nacional de Venezuela, and many other ensembles from the acclaimed orchestra network known as El Sistema. His performances have aired at the BBC, NPR, RTE, RTVE, EBU, and other main network, reaching millions of listeners across the globe. Future engagements include Carmina Burana with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra & Chorus (US symphonic debut), the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, South Netherlands Philharmonic (Philharmonie Zuidnederland), Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, Filarmónica Joven de Colombia, the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio, Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de perles at the Utah Opera, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at the  Alejandro Granda International Opera Festival in Peru, Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires in Bangkok, as well as concerts at Cambridge University, where he has also taught conducting workshops.


A distinguished instrumentalist, Izcaray was featured as concert soloist and chamber musician worldwide, and he served as Principal Cello and Artistic President of the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra prior to engaging fully on a podium career. His musical philosophy is clearly influenced by having studied in depth with the legendary LaSalle, Vermeer, Borodin, Tokyo, Takács, Orion, Emerson, Penderecki, Carmina, Colorado, Fine Arts, Miami, and Cleveland string quartets. During his student years, he won the Kuttner Prize, the top chamber music award at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Increasingly active as a composer, Izcaray’s most recent orchestral piece, Cota Mil, was premiered by the Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal de Caracas.


Based in Berlin, Carlos Izcaray was born in Caracas into a family of several artistic generations. A representative of the new Venezuelan musical generation, at age 3 he was enrolled in Venezuela’s public system of youth orchestras, continuing later from age 7 at the Emil Friedman Conservatory, one of the few schools in the world that promotes music as the root and essence of education. There, he was a boy chorister as well as an instrumentalist. He studied conducting with his father since he was a teenager, and went on to become a distinguished fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. His teachers include Maestro David Zinman, Patrick Summers, Eduardo Díazmuñoz, Lajos Zeke, Frank Cooper, and Emile Naumoff. He is an alumnus of the Interlochen Arts Academy, New World School of the Arts, and Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. For three years, Izcaray was Conductor of the Mozarteum-Caracas Chamber Orchestra.

from the international press...

“Conductor Carlos Izcaray made an outstanding, memorable debut, leading with idiomatic fire and elan; he’s a real find. His section of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performed with verve.”

ST LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2012


”The young Venezuelan conductor Carlos Izcaray sends the overture shooting upwards like a rocket, and the piece stays high in the air all evening.”

THE GUARDIAN

LONDON 2011



“Beautifully shaped by the young Venezuelan conductor Carlos Izcaray. He led the performance with an unstinting command of pace, superbly capturing the score’s dramatic fire while allowing the singers’ voices to ride over the orchestra. The climaxes -and there were many of them- never fizzled.”

OPERA NEWS

NEW YORK 2011



“Idiomatic conducting... Izcaray supplies the necessary dramatic propulsion.”

THE SUNDAY TIMES, LONDON 2010


“Control and elegance... consistency and cleanliness of gesture that felt very much intended for the orchestra and that marked the interpretive route.”

GAZZETTA DI PARMA ITALY 2009



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