#EmpireStateYouthOrchestra #ESYO #CarlosÁgreda #TheSpot518
SCHENECTADY — The Empire State Youth Orchestra board of directors has announced the hiring of a new music director after an extensive global search. Members of the board appointed Carlos Ágreda to the position. He will come to the Capital Region in early June and take over for Music Director Helen Cha-Pyo as she closes out the season after 16 years with the organization.
According to Abbe Kovacick, chair of the EYSO board, “Mr. Ágreda is simply an amazing musician,” who emerged from a pool of more than 70 highly qualified candidates as the clear choice. “He has talent and technique. We were impressed by the fluency, brightness and energy of this exceptional candidate. His conducting demonstrates flexibility and expressiveness. He is thoughtful and humble; insightful beyond his years. He is affable and engaging. During his audition he clearly connected with the youth. Mr. Ágreda has limitless potential and talent, and combined with his already considerable experience, he was clearly the ideal choice,” said Kovacik.
Ágreda, from Colombia, has worked with a variety of orchestras, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Manchester Camerata, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Colombia National Symphony Orchestra and the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra. Most recently, he was a conducting fellow at Curtis Institute of Music, one of the finest conservatories in the world. Ágreda is thrilled to come to the Capital District to serve as ESYO’s music director and conductor of the Youth Orchestra. He said, “I am passionate about symphonic music and its power to make society better. I am very excited and honored to take on this responsibility of serving the region through music education. ESYO has a particularly important role because our young musicians are not only future audience members in the area, they are also building our future society and broadening the perception of quality in the arts,” he said.
Ágreda received international attention at the age of 22, when he reached the third round in the Cadaqués Orchestra International Conducting Competition 2013, being the youngest and one of the final candidates. He won the competition for young Colombian conductors to conduct the Colombia National Symphony Orchestra in its 2014 season, while he served as music director of the Orchestral Corporation of Colombia.
He has a wide variety of musical interests and repertoire that range from opera to contemporary to Latin-American music. His approach to new music has been cultivated by conducting more than 30 world premieres in the United States, Columbia and the United Kingdom. In the Capital District both ESYO and the Albany Symphony Orchestra are nationally recognized leaders in the category of new music.
“He will be extremely motivational to not only the young musicians, but the institution as a whole,” said Kovacik.