Orlando Cela is committed to engaging audiences with lively performances that open new worlds of experience. The Venezuelan-born conductor has received the American Prize for conducting, and the Vytautas Marijosius Prize for orchestral programming. He also received second place in the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for excellence in the performance of American music. He also won second place in the London Classical Soloists Conducting Competition for his performances of Beethoven’s Symphonies 7 and 8, in 2017. Guest appearances include performances with the London Classical Soloists (London, UK), Marquette Symphony Orchestra (MI), the Randolph College Chamber Orchestra and Chorus (VA), UMass-Dartmouth Choruses (MA), and others. He has been invited to conduct and lecture at Tête-à-Tête Opera Festival (UK), the Central Conservatory of Music and Shanghai Normal University (China). Being an advocate of new music, Mr. Cela regularly offers short lively introductions to selected works, providing audiences with entry points into unfamiliar works. He has conducted world premieres by Bernhard Lang, Renée Baker, and national and regional premieres by Kaija Saariaho, Armando Bayolo, Bongani Ndodana-Breen, Andy Akiho, Alwynne Pritchard, and many others. Orlando is the founder and Music Director of the Lowell Chamber Orchestra, serves as the Music Director of the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the North Carolina Governor’s School. Besides teaching a number of music-related courses at Middlesex Community College, he also teaches conducting at Berklee College of Music.
In Orlando Cela’s able hands and imagination, a flute becomes a world orchestra,” says the Oregon ArtsWatch about Orlando’s lively performances that open new worlds of experience. Known for his compelling renditions, using imaginative programming, Orlando has premiered over 200 works, both as a conductor and a flutist, to rave reviews from the national media. In concert, Mr. Cela regularly offers short lively introductions to selected works, providing audiences with entry points into unfamiliar works, so that listeners can easily connect the music with other life experience. Mr. Cela has performed at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian (Washington DC), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), and at the Center for New Music and Technologies at UC Berkeley. His credits abroad include concerts at the Zentrum Danziger (Berlin), the Espace des Femmes (Paris), and at the Musikverein (Vienna). As a collaborative artist, Mr. Cela has concertized with flutist Paula Robison, tabla player Samir Chatterjee, harpsichordist John Gibbons, and with shen (mouth organ) virtuoso Hu Jianbing. He recently became a finalist in the American Prize in the professional instrumentalist division. He recently released his third solo CD, “Shadow Etchings” with rave reviews from Grammophone, Naxos Music, and Avant Music News. Orlando is also the conductor of the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lowell Chamber Orchestra, and the NC Governor’s School Orchestra.
As a conductor, he serves as the Music Director of the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the North Carolina Governor’s School and he recently founded the Lowell Chamber Orchestra. He has also guest conducted the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Choral, the London Classical Soloists, Marquette Symphony Orchestra, and others. He created the Ningbo Symphony Orchestra during his year as visiting professor at Ningbo University, in China. Orlando has received the American Prize for conducting youth and community orchestras, the Vytautas Marijosius Prize for orchestral programming, and the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for excellence in the performance of American music. His interpretation of Beethoven’s Symphonies 7 and 8 with the London Classical Soloists earned him a second prize with their competition.
A dedicated music educator, Orlando is known for his dynamic workshops and lecture demonstrations. Popular and effective as a guest lecturer and clinician, he has presented sessions at Tulane University, UC Berkeley, and Brandeis University, as well as at the Central Conservatory of Music in China, the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart (Germany), and the Charlotte New Music Festival (NC). Mr. Cela has also lectured on general performance practice issues at flute festivals in Ithaca and Syracuse, and at in China at Dulwich College (Beijing) and Shanghai Normal University. He currently is an assistant professor at Berklee College of Music, where he teaches conducting, and at Middlesex Community College, where he teaches a variety of music courses and is the coordinator of the MCC Music Outreach Program. Orlando has two masters degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied flute performance and conducting with Paula Robison and Tamara Brooks, respectively.