Conductor Carlos Izcaray is considered one of the most outstanding artists of the new Venezuelan musical generation. Praised by the press, the range of his orchestral repertoire covers all performance styles, including great standard works as well as contemporary and innovative programs. Several of his performances with the country?s top ensembles have been aired repetitively on national television and radio. After his successful debut leading the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra, the country?s oldest ensemble, he has established himself as one of the nation?s most sought after conductors. While still in his twenties, he was elected President of the Artistic Committee by the members of the VSO, and was an active force in improving the orchestra?s programming and artistic planning. He has become one of the orchestras most frequent Guest Conductors, performing regularly throughout the 2005-2008 seasons, including special appearances for the orchestra?s 75th Anniversary. In 2009, he will be featured in two upcoming CD releases and will take the VSO on an international tour through Spain and Portugal. Other future engagements include invitations to conduct the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra in Switzerland and numerous concerts with his country?s most important orchestras, including a debut performance with the Simon Bolívar Youth Orchestra. Izcaray also works regularly as a conductor for the world acclaimed Venezuelan System of Youth Orchestras, having been mentored by its founder, Right Livelihood Prize recipient Dr. José Antonio Abreu. As a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and School 2007, he was awarded the very first James Conlon Conducting Prize by the festival?s Music Director, David Zinman.
He began his studies in conducting with his father, Felipe Izcaray, and later continued with maestros Zinman and Murry Sidlin at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival and School. During his undergraduate studies, he was given the opportunity to serve as Assistant Conductor for Orchestral Ensembles at the New World School of the Arts in Miami. After his return to Venezuela he focused his full attention towards his career at the podium after having successfully conducted important concerts with professional ensembles such as the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra, the Caracas Municipal Orchestra, Caracas National Philharmonic Orchestra, Ayacucho Symphony, and the Tachira, Falcon and Nueva Esparta symphony orchestras. He is the Founding Director of the Rinconada Youth Chamber Orchestra in Caracas and works closely as conductor and faculty member with the Mozarteum Music School and the New World Festival of Venezuela . He has received great reviews after conducting in Argentina, leading ensembles such as the Salta Symphony Orchestra and the Camerata Lyrum. Izcaray was also a top Finalist in the Assistant Conductor trials for the Kansas City Symphony.
Also a distinguished cellist, he has been featured as soloist with all mayor Venezuelan orchestras, and some in the United States. He was principal of numerous American orchestras and for 4 years he held the Principal Cello Chair of the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra. He has taught master classes for the American String Teachers Association, Artist on Tour in Ohio, Soundfest in Massachusetts, Utah State University, University of Nebraska, and the Mozarteum Centre in Caracas. His concerts and recitals in cities like Miami, Cincinnati, Chicago, Bloomington, Caracas, Salta and Buenos Aires, have earned him excellent reviews. He also received a solid chamber music formation with teachers of international renown, such as members of the Vermeer, LaSalle, Tokio, Takács, Orion, Emerson, Penderecki, Carmina, Borodin, Colorado, Cleveland, and Miami string quartets. He won the Chamber Music Prize at Indiana University?s Jacobs School of Music as a member of the Kuttner Quartet and was for three years member of the Avila String Quartet, with which he toured around the United States, Canada, and Venezuela.
Carlos Izcaray was born in Caracas in 1977. After graduating in the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, he obtained an Associate in Arts from the New World School of the Arts, a Bachelor of Music Degree (with honors) from the University of Florida, and a Master of Music Degree from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, in Bloomington.