Meet the Musicians

Jorge Luis Uzcátegui

Assistant Conductor

Jorge Luis Uzcátegui

Uzcátegui is assistant conductor of the Spokane Symphony, chief conductor of the Pacific Academy Foundation Symphony, and music director of the Buddha’s Light Youth Symphony Orchestra (BLYSO). He has led his orchestras in concert tours to France, Austria, Germany, and Taiwan. He is also music director of Music Innovates, a collaboration between the Spokane Symphony and the Spokane Public Schools designed to change children’s lives through music education and performance. Music Innovates is based on the Venezuelan music education program, El Sistema, designed to help underserved children develop the essential life skills and habits of mind they need to lead successful lives.

In 2017, Uzcátegui was awarded First Prize at the Debut Hamburg International Conducting Competition in Germany, conducting the Klassik Philharmonie at the Laeiszhalle. Uzcátegui’s engagements during the 2018-19 season include performances in Venezuela, Paraguay, Brazil, Finland, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary, France, and Germany, where he will conduct the German National Orchestra at the Philharmonie Chamber Music Hall in Berlin.

Since his debut as a pianist with the Simón Bolívar Orchestra and the Venezuelan National Philharmonic at age 13, Jorge Luis Uzcátegui has performed concerts in North, Central, South America, Asia, and Europe, with orchestras such as the Valencia Symphony, where his concerts at the “Palau de la Música” have been broadcast live on Spanish National Television and Radio. He has performed in festivals alongside artists such as Paul Badura-Skoda, Gabriela Montero, and Chick Corea. His interpretation of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is the soundtrack in El Cerrito, an award-winning documentary for the History Channel.

Uzcátegui has conducted members from distinguished orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Frankfurt Opera Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Sao Paulo Symphony, Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Los Ángeles Philharmonic. Uzcátegui won top prizes at the Wise Conducting Competition in Los Ángeles, and at the Paraná Symphony International Conducting Competition in Brazil, obtaining the unanimous vote from the jury and all orchestra members.

Among Uzcátegui’s teachers and mentors are conductors Gustavo Dudamel, Kurt Masur, Eckart Preu, Daisuke Soga, Neal Stulberg, Donald Neuen, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Osvaldo Ferreira, Manuel Galduf, Isaac Karabtchevsky; also the pianists Alejandro Slobodianik, Marina Lomazov, György Sandor, Angela Hewitt, Georges Pludermacher, Ralph Votapek, Benedetto Lupo, Jekaterina Kargina, Adriana Moraga. Currently, he is in the last year of a Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), where he served as chief conductor of the UCLA Symphony.

Maestro José Antonio Abreu, founder and director of El Sistema said, “Jorge Luis Uzcátegui is one of the most outstanding figures of the new musical generation in our country.” Gustavo Dudamel said, “Maestro Uzcátegui is a young Venezuelan conductor with the highest academic education and artistic ability.” The President of Venezuela bestowed Uzcátegui with the José Felix Ribas Order and the General Juan Manuel Valdez Order for his achievements as an artist.

<December 2018>
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