Conductor Carlos Izcaray, from Venezuela to Alabama and California

Posted on: December 21, 2020

“Carlos Izcaray was born under the rainforest canopy of Venezuela’s capital [and] was nourished with musicality from the beginning,” writes Caroline Rice in Wednesday’s (12/16) Auburn Plainsman (AL). “At 3 years old, Izcaray was enrolled in Venezuela’s public system of youth orchestras…. Izcaray took up the cello…. Before starting high school, Izcaray … moved … to the U.S…. Izcaray quickly picked up interest in composition and conducting…. He returned to Venezuela and became principal cellist at Venezuela’s National Orchestra…. ‘I had to decide if I was going to be a full-time cellist or a conductor,’ Izcaray said. As he began conducting symphonies and operas around the globe, it was clear that conducting was where his heart lay…. Izcaray began his career as music director of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra [in 2015]…. He now splits his time between Birmingham and Los Angeles, where he is also the music director of the American Youth Symphony…. He still savors composing cello concertos and performing his own works…. For Izcaray, being someone who is from a place not necessarily associated with classical music gives him further motivation to open his arms to people with any level of music background…. ‘I knock down all of those barriers,’ Izcaray said.”