Carlos Izcaray is the newly appointed Music Director Designate of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Praised by the international press, he 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, Macedonia, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Venezuela.

His highly successful debut at the Wexford Festival Opera 2010 won the Best Opera prize at the Irish Theatre Awards, and he has since returned regularly to that acclaimed festival to perform a great number of rarely performed operas. Other stage appearances include Carmen at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and most recently Les Pêcheurs de Perles at Utah Opera, both of which earned him rave reviews from the North American Press.

In the symphonic platform, has led ensembles such as the St. Louis Symphony, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Orchester der Komischen Oper Berlin, Malmö Symfoniorkester, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, Orchestra Regionale dell’Emilia-Romagna, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne,  Macedonian Philharmonic, Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia,  Bahia Symphony Orchestra,  Salta Symphony Orchestra, Venezuela Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal de Caracas, Orquesta Filarmónica Nacional de Venezuela, and many other ensembles from Venezuela’s orchestral network. 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. He conducted the Inaugural Concert of the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio in 2012, and also opened their new hall at the Tobin Center for the Performance Arts at a later date. In addition to his future concerts as Music Director Designate of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, other upcoming engagements include returns with the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, Macedonian Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio, stage performances of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor in Lima-Peru, and Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires with Opera Bangkok.

As a strong believer of supporting the younger generations, Carlos has worked on numerous occasions with the world’s leading music education institutions, including his country’s own El Sistema, as well as Fundación Batuta of Colombia, Filarmónica Joven de Colombia, Neojiba in Brazil, London Schools Symphony Orchestra, and Cambridge University Music Society, where he has also taught conducting workshops. Next summer includes a debut at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, where he will lead a performance with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra.

A distinguished instrumentalist, Izcaray was featured as concert soloist 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 rooted in chamber music, having studied in depth with members of 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. 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 immersed in musical activities both as a boy chorister as well as 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. Izcaray is an alumnus of the Interlochen Arts Academy, New World School of the Arts, and Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. He is a dual citizen of Spain and Venezuela.

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.”


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



“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.”



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


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


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