Carlos Ágreda - Credits 'Abigel Kralik' 0 IV3C0593.jpg

About Carlos.

My name is Carlos Ágreda, I am a Musician and an Orchestra Conductor (sometimes a composer and arranger). As a true believer of the power and importance of the arts in humanity I am an advocate for the celebration of all kinds of music, especially symphonic music, in the 21st Century.

Here are some descriptions about my work and biography:

Described as “a major career in the making” by Seen and Heard International, as a conductor Carlos Ágreda is noted for his dynamic leadership on and off the podium, and versatility of repertoire. Carlos is one of the designate winners of the first edition of the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam. Carlos was formerly the Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music under the mentorship of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and just finished his tenure as Music Director of the Empire State Youth Orchestra in New York, USA.

 

Carlos has worked with different orchestras in Colombia, United Kingdom, Mexico and the United States, including the Manchester Camerata, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Filarmónica Joven de Colombia, the Colombia National Symphony Orchestra, Filarmónica de Bogotá, Filarmónica de Medellín, among many others.

Carlos first came to international attention when he reached the third round in the Cadaqués Orchestra International Conducting Competition in 2013 at the age of 22, the youngest of the seven short-listed candidates. Ágreda has worked alongside internationally renowned conductors assisting Juanjo Mena, Peter Oundjian, Yan Pascal Tortelier, David Robertson, Leonard Slatkin, Jon Storgårds and Sir Mark Elder with orchestras such as the St. Louis and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras, the Royal Liverpol Philarmonic Orchestra. He has also collaborated professionally with Sir Andrew Davis, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, and Osmo Vänskä and has been invited to participate in many high-profile masterclasses with Michael Tilson Thomas, Cristian Măcelaru ,Benjamin Zander, Stéphane Denève, and Vasily Petrenko, to name a few.

I am very enthusiastic about versatility and the different expressions of symphonic music; my musical interests and repertoire can go from opera and choral music to contemporary and Latin-American music. For instance, I have conducted more than 30 world premieres in the United States, Colombia and the United Kingdom, I conducted chamber pieces by British composer Jonathan Harvey in the prestigious Wigmore Hall (London) and conducted at the festival New Music North West (UK) 2016, but I also conducted full-staged opera and new opera productions at the Opera Philadelphia and Curtis Opera Theatre (USA), and I was a Conducting Fellow to the Cabrillo Contemporary Music Festival 2017 (USA) giving the world premiere of Jules Pegram's composition "L.A. Grows".

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia, where I studied conducting and composition at the Juan N. Corpas University under the mentorship of Jorge Alejandro Salazar, graduating with summa cum laude honours in 2012. Then continued my conducting studies at the Royal Northern College of Music )UK) on their wonderful Master’s programme under the tutelage of Clark Rundell and Mark Heron, graduating with distinction in 2016 before taking up the Conducting Fellowship at the incredible Curtis Institute of Music (United States). ​
 

I am also passionate about education. This commitment 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, I had the honor to be 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.

As a composer, my compositions have won some prizes such as the Stockport Youth Orchestra Composition Competition 2016 and the First Prize of the Gustavo Gómez Ardila Composition Competition 2012. My works have been performed by the leading professional orchestras in Colombia including the Filarmóncia de Medellín Colombia National Symphony Orchestra and the EAFIT Symphony Orchestra; and also the Unitas Ensemble (Boston – USA) performed in its opening concert the North-American premier of my composition “Prólogo y Danza Fugitiva”.

My pieces "Abrazos de Latina Proveniencia", "Prólogo y Danza Fugitiva", and "Dejémonos de Vainas" were selected by the Colombian National Symphonic Music Association to be recorded and performed in 2010, 2011 and 2012 in the season New Colombian Music by the Colombia National Symphony Orchestra.