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  • Jury members


    Dr. Ana María Orduz-Espinal (Colombia)

    The Colombian pianist Ana María Orduz-Espinal has received numerous recognitions that include being the winner of the first place in the modality of four hands piano in the Città di Padova competition (Italy) with the duo Betancur-Orduz, of the soloist contest of the University of Memphis (USA), the Berl Olswanger and Herbert Herman Memorial Scholarships, the Beethoven Club scholarship, the Carolina Oramas Icetex scholarship, the University of Iowa Fellowship, the Cartagena International Festival scholarship, the scholarship of circulation of the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, the circulation grant of the Ministry of Culture of Medellín, full scholarships for undergraduate, masters and doctorate studies (USA), and to attend the Chautauqua Summer Piano Festival in New York on four occasions (USA) and twice at the Mammoth Lakes Piano Festival in California (USA).

    Dr. Orduz was a guest artist of the Amazonas concert series in 2016, where she made her debut at Carnegie Hall in New York. He has also participated in festivals such as "Piano Extravaganza", "Liszt Festival", International Clarinet Fest (USA), ClarinFest and ClarinSax Eafit, International Clarinet Festival of Bogotá, International Festival of Culture of Tunja, International Piano Festival of Bucaramanga, International Piano Festival of Barrancabermeja, National Piano Festival UNAC (Colombia), Kota Kunabalú Music Festival and Malaisyan Youth Music Festival (Malaisya), and Zamorelli`s Concert Series of Chile. He has performed as a soloist with the orchestras: Philharmonic of Medellín, Eafit Symphony, Symphony of the University of Memphis, Chamber of the University of Iowa, Amadeus Foundation, Camerata UdeA, Symphonic Band of UdeA students and the IMDE orchestra; and has offered recitals of solo piano and chamber music in Colombia, the United States, Italy, Chile, Brazil, Panama, Malaysia and Singapore.

    She began his musical studies at the Diego Echavarría Musical Institute (Medellín) under the guidance of the teacher Cecilia Espinosa and the piano teachers Javier Franco and Lise Frank. She obtained her undergraduate degree Summa Cum Laude at the University of Memphis (USA) under the direction of the teacher Joan Gilbert, and her master's and doctorate at the University of Iowa (USA) under the direction of Drs Réne Lecuona and Alan Huckleberry. She has also studied with teachers Paulina Zamora and Rebecca Penneys among others. Her interest in piano pedagogy has led her to exhibit at congresses in Des Moines, Cedar Falls, Iowa City, Albuquerque and Denver in the United States; in Kuala Lumpur and Sabah in Malaysia, in Brazil, Panama and in Colombia. She is the founder and co-director of the Piano Festival of the Americas and the founder and director of the Pianissimo Foundation, with which she organizes the concert series Martes Pianissimo, at the Chamber of Commerce of Medellín, Encounters with Piano at the UPB, Pianissimo Saturdays at the Juan del Corral Museum, Young Pianissimo at the CCFA, the Pianissimo Children's and Youth Competition, and directs the Pianissimo Piano Pedagogy Group (pianissimo.com.co).

    She has shared the stage with great musicians, such as Colombian pianists Teresita Gómez, Carlos Eduardo Betancur, Pablo Rojas, Juan David Mora, Diego Arango, and Andrés Gómez; Brazilian flutist Bruno Faría; the Greek pianist Victoria Tsangari; the Colombian tenor Diver Higuita, with whom he recorded the CD "Día de Diciembre" in 2012. She is currently concentrating on the concert agenda of the Orduz-García duo founded in 2012 with the Colombian clarinetist José García-Taborda with whom he recorded in 2015 the CD "Portraits of Colombia" (orduz-garcia.com and Facebook: ORDUZGARCIA).

    She is currently an associate professor at the University of Antioquia, where she coordinates the piano area and the Eafit University in Medellín (Colombia). She was previously a professor at the University of Iowa and the Nancy Cree Keyboard Center (USA).


    Professor María del Carmen Gil (Puerto Rico)

    María del Carmen Gil studied undergraduate and graduate studies at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. She was the Rector of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico from 1998 to 2012. She is also a professor of the university's piano faculty. As a concert pianist she has performed extensively in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Central America and the United States. She is Commissioner of the Accreditation Commission of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM); founder and president of the Latin American Association of Conservatories and Music Schools (ALCEM); founder and president of the Music and Country Foundation; founder and director of the Alliance ArteSanturce; first vice president of the Board of Directors of the International Council of Music; and president of the Council of Music of the Three Americas.

    As a leader and educator, she has been responsible for the creation and direction of many important projects in the field of music and music education in Puerto Rico, including the development and construction of the magnificent project of the new headquarters of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. For her achievements and leadership in the field of music and music education, she has been honored as Woman of the Year by the Puerto Rican chapter of UNESCO and also recognized by the Caribbean Bussiness several times in the "Women in Leadership Awards" and "Puerto Rico's Most Powerful Bussiness Woman".


    Professor Carlos Vargas (Dominican Republic)

    At his young age the Dominican pianist Carlos Vargas has performed concerts in Europe, the United States and South America, highlighting his appearances in prestigious venues such as the Wiener Saal in Salzburg, the Eduardo Brito National Theatre in the Dominican Republic and the Teatro "El Círculo" in Rosario, Argentina.

    At an early age he began his studies with the renowned pianist and Cuban pedagogue Karelia Escalante at the Institute of Culture and Art (ICA), Santiago. Since its inception has been an active participant in national and international competitions receiving awards such as the "Manuel Rueda" Award, third place in the Steinway Massachusets competition, second place in "Churchill Scholarship Competition and second place in the Bradshaw and Buono International Competition. Since 2005 he was awarded the full "Zitrin" scholarship which allowed him to pursue his undergraduate and master's studies at the Boston Conservatory, under the tutelage of Dr. Jonathan Bass.

    During the 2008 season, Carlos Vargas made a Tour with his Dúo Plano-Vargas highlighting his appearances at the Teatro "El Círculo" in Rosario Argentina and with the Municipal Orchestra of Rosario as special guests. Because of these concerts, the young pianist was the special guest of the President of the Dominican Republic to play at the opening of the 2008 International Book Fair. After finishing his master's degree studies, Carlos Vargas was invited to be part of a select group of musicians to participate in the Fontainebleau Music Festival in France under the direction of Maestro Philippe Entremont.

    In this festival he had the opportunity to work with renowned French musicians such as Jean Phillipe Collard, Philippe Entremont, Michel Beroff and Christian Ivaldi. Since then his career has been on the rise performing a tour with the Ecuadorian-Spanish cellist Francisco Vila in the cities of Los Angeles, Washington DC and Boston. On this occasion they were invited by the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles to work and play for the students of their program.

    In the 2013 season, Carlos Vargas made a tour with the Ecuadorian cellist in the cities of Washington, Boston and Los Angeles. In 2013, he created the chamber music group "Macondo Chamber Players", since then he toured in Colombia, Turkey, Ecuador, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. In these concerts he has had the opportunity to share the stage with distinguished musicians such as Daniel Austrich, Violinist of the Michelangelo Quartet; Raúl García, Principal violist of the Bogota Philharmonic; Andrej Power, Concertmaster of the Royal Orchestra of Stockholm; Andrey Baranov, Winner of the International Competition Queen Elisabeth and Francisco Vila. During the 2016-2017 season, Carlos Vargas is scheduled to make his debut with the Cuenca Symphony Orchestra and chamber music concerts in the United States, Colombia and Ecuador with the members of Macondo Chamber Players.

    In the pedagogical area, Carlos Vargas has a great interest in developing programs that facilitate access to music education for marginalized sectors of society. It is for this reason that he has been recipient since 2008 of a Grant sponsored by the Boston Public Library to create a free program that allows dozens of children to receive piano and theory classes in the community of Roxbury, Massachusetts.

    Carlos Vargas resides in Boston, MA and is part of the Piano Faculty of the Boston Conservatory.