Carlos Riazuelo (Manship Director of Orchestra Studies) is established as one of the most important Latin-American conductors, praised by audiences, musicians and music critics in many cities for his performances of a very varied repertory. He was born in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, from Spanish immigrants, where he studied violin and music theory. Riazuelo earned his first appointment as music director at the age of 23 with the Chamber Orchestra of the Universidad de Carabobo. After attending conducting seminars with Franco Ferrara in Sienna and Venice, Italy, and George Hurst in Canford, Great Britain, he completed the Post Graduate Certificate in Advanced Conducting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama of London, Great Britain, where he received the Ricordi prize for opera conducting.
Riazuelo returned to Venezuela and was named Artistic Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal de Caracas, carrying out a varied and widespread work of Gala Concerts, Children’s Concerts, Pops Concerts, Street Concerts throughout the city, and pioneering old and new repertory, taking the orchestra to the front line of Latin-American orchestras. He has worked with soloists such as Henryk Szeryng, Janos Starker, Nicanor Zabaleta, Gyorgy Sandor, Byron Janis, Yuri Bashmet, Susan Starr, Joaquín Achúcarro, Michala Petri, Joshua Bell. He has also worked with singers Alfredo Kraus, Ruggero Raimondi, Samuel Ramey, Chris Merritt, Carol Neblett, Justino Díaz, Peter Kelen, Lando Bartolini, Paul Plishka, June Anderson, Dmitri Hvorostovsky.
He has guest conducted both in Venezuela and abroad, with many outstanding local and international soloists. After a first experience with the great violinist Henryk Szeryng and the Beethoven violin concerto, the soloist himself chose Mr. Riazuelo to accompany him in what would be his last concert in Venezuela. Riazuelo was the only Latin-American conductor invited by the late Maestro Eduardo Mata to conduct the Dallas Orchestra, conducted in Dresden and Leipzig, Germany, by recommendation of Maestro Kurt Masur.
As an opera conductor, he has conducted performances including Tosca, Bohème, Butterfly, Traviata, Norma, Don Giovanni, Cenerentola, Dido y Eneas, Don Pasquale, Sonnambula, Capuletti y Montecchi, and Elisir d’amore y Trovatore. As a guest conductor, he has conducted in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Spain, Belgium, Germany, France. Bulgaria, Poland and the USA. He has recorded four CD’s. Three of the four CD’s were recorded with the Sinfónica Municipal de Caracas -two with music of Venezuelan composers and one pairing Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and selections from Prokofieff’s ballet Romeo and Juliet. The fourth CD was recorded with Spanish tenor Alfredo Kraus and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria. After this recording, he was invited directly by the great singer for concerts in Las Palmas (Canary Islands) and Rosario, Argentina. Both concerts were televised nationwide.
Moving to Madrid in 1998, he guest conducted in Madrid, Oviedo, Pamplona, Galicia, Cordoba, Malaga, Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, and concerts in France and Italy. Between 2005 and 2009 he taught at Florida International University’s School of Music as Head of Strings and Director of Orchestral Studies. While in Miami he was invited to conduct the Greater Miami Youth Symhpony, the Miami Dade Honors Orchestra in Miami and the All State 9-10 orchestra in Tampa, first time for the conductor in FIU.
In August 2009, he joined Louisiana State University School of Music as Associate Professor and Director of Orchestral Studies, while keeping his work as guest conductor with professional groups.
“[Riazuelo] as the ability to make you sit and listen because he has an exceptional ear for color and orchestral balances and some personal ideas on how the music should sound… Consequently, Mr. Riazuelo made both the hall and the music sound live and exciting.”
John Ardoin, The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX
“Riazuelo… was swaying to its rhythm like a veritable Leonard Bernstein. How Riazuelo and the musicians held the wild mix together I have no idea, but it seemed to me they did, and brilliantly… The dynamics were carefully controlled; the finale was like a deliverance… Riazuelo conducted with the same intensity and awareness with which he had energized the Venezuelan music, and the result was stirring.”
William Glackin, The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, CA