“Ágreda looks every inch a conductor. His technique is admirably economical, with the left hand kept out of the way whenever it is not needed for expressive molding of phrases, and displaying also an ample supply of charisma he created the feeling that this could well be a major career in the making.”
—Seen and Heard International
Recently appointed as Dudamel Fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carlos Ágreda is a musician and an orchestra conductor from Colombia developing a promising international career in the United States, Europe and Latin America. Carlos was formerly a Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music under the mentorship of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin
As a conductor, Carlos Ágreda is quickly gaining attention for his expressive musicianship and his charismatic leadership on and off the podium. Carlos Ágreda first came to international attention when he reached the third round in the Cadaqués Orchestra International Conducting Competition (Spain) at the age of 22. Most Recently, as one of the Designate Winners for the first edition of the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam 2022 (Netherlands) Carlos appeared with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Sinfonia Rotterdam, The Orchestra of the 18th Century and the Ensemble de Doelen.
Carlos Ágreda’s collaborations as guest conductor include performances with the leading orchestras in his home country such as the Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia, Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, and Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín. Other appearances include the BBC Philharmonic, Opera Philadelphia, Curtis Opera Theater, among others. Carlos has worked closely with world-renowned conductors such as Juanjo Mena, Andrés Orozco Estrada, Cristi Macelaru, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Andrew Davis, Leonard Slatkin, to name a few.
Carlos Ágreda has been involved in innovative projects such as the Filarmónica Joven de Colombia—the first Colombian orchestra in history to perform at prestigious historical venues such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Konzerthaus, and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg under the baton of Maestro Andrés Orozco-Estrada. Recently, Carlos stepped in last minute to conduct the 2022 Colombian National Tour of this orchestra, and also conducted performances at the Rheingau Musik Festival in Germany with enthusiastic audience reception.
Carlos Ágreda has lived in Colombia, England, the United States, and Germany. He was born in Bogota, Colombia where studied conducting, piano, and composition at the Juan N. Corpas University, graduating with Summa Cum Laude Honours. Carlos also holds a Master’s Degree with First-Class Honours from the prestigious conducting programme at the Royal Northern College of Music (United Kingdom) with Maestro Clark Rundell and Maestro Mark Heron as his mentors. Carlos also holds a Post-baccalaureate Diploma from the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music (United States) where studied with Dr. Ford Lallerstedt and Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
His unique background and perspectives leads Carlos Ágreda to be very passionate about musical versatility in general and an enthusiast for the celebration of the diversity of symphonic music. His repertoire and musical interest ranges from not only the vast spectrum of symphonic music across the Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century eras, but also opera, choral music, contemporary music, electronic music, and music from the Americas. It would not be surprising to find Carlos occasionally playing piano with salsa and tango bands, or collaborating with folkloric groups as an arranger in celebration of his passion for bridging musical languages. Allowing his understanding and experience from all these activities to influence each other, Carlos epitomises the 21st century musician.
Carlos’ approach to new music has been developed not only by being an award-winning composer and an arranger himself, but also by collaborating with numerous composers and conducting more than 30 world premieres..He has performed in a number of new music festivals including the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (USA) and New Music North West (UK).
Carlos Ágreda has been featured in national and international media: Forbes Life Latam, La Voz de América (USA), The Violin Channel, Revista Semana, Caracol Radio and La W Radio Colombia, and recently in “Los Informantes” (Colombian adaptation of “60-minutes”) in Caracol Televisión. In 2021 Carlos was included on the list of Colombia’s “50 Most Creative People” by Forbes Magazine.
With the philosophy that all music is contemporary now and that all music is divine, Carlos defines himself as an artist in the quest of exploring the 21st century’s possibilities to continue to celebrate —through performance as a conductor— human creativity and transformation around symphonic music.
His commitment to education had allowed me to lead different collaborations with "El Sistema-inspired" projects such as Play On Philly (Philadelphia, USA), Sinfonía por el Perú, and youth orchestras such as the Filarmónica Joven de Colombia, the Empire State Youth Orchestra (NY, USA), the Stockport Youth Orchestra (UK), and more! In Colombia, Carlos was the founding Artistic Director of one of the projects of social transformation through music funded by the Bogota City Hall in collaboration with the Bogota Philharmonic and the Corporación Coral y Orquestal de Colombia.