Winner of the 2016 American Prize for Conducting 

Youth Orchestra Division


Winner of the 2016 Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award for 

Orchestral Programming, Youth Division


2nd prize of  The American Prize's 2016 Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music

about


Venezuelan-born musician Orlando Cela is committed to engaging audiences with lively performances that open new worlds of experience. Known for his engaging performances using imaginative programming, Orlando has premiering over 100 works, both as a flutist and as a conductor. In concert, Mr. Cela regularly offers short lively introductions to selected works, offering audiences entry points into unfamiliar works, so that listeners can easily connect the music with other life experience. 

As a flutist, 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 shen (mouth organ) virtuoso Hu Jianbing. 

To help expand the flute repertoire further, Orlando recently launched FluteLab, an online forum in which he answers composers’ questions about writing for the flute, posting answers and commentaries in engaging video clips to help the entire field and share the latest approaches and technical wizardry.

The former Music Director of the Boston-based Willow Flute Ensemble, Orlando arranged over a hundred works for the ensemble, from Baroque to contemporary, including folk music from five countries.  His world music arrangements were highlighted on the ensemble’s 2009 album, “World Winds.” 

As a conductor, Mr. Cela’s experience includes launching the orchestral department at Ningbo University in China and conducting the inaugural concert of the Ningbo City Symphony Orchestra. In the US, his conducting positions include work with orchestras and choruses at Randolph College (VA) and UMass Dartmouth (MA). Guest conducting credits include the Marquette Symphony Orchestra (MI), the Northern Michigan State University Orchestra (MI), Brandeis New Music Ensemble (MA).  He is currently the music director and conductor of the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra, and the orchestra of the Governor’s School of North Carolina, with which he has performed world and American premieres by composers like Salvatore Sciarrino, Chen Yi, Hector Parra, Rebecca Saunders, Andrew List, and many others.

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 on contemporary music topics at Tulane University, Berklee College of Music, 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 Dulwich College (Beijing) and Shanghai Normal University. He currently is assistant professor at Berklee College of Music, where he teaches conducting, and at Middlesex Community College, where he teaches world music.

Orlando received his undergraduate degree from DePauw University, and holds two master’s degrees (flute and conducting) from New England Conservatory.  His teachers include Glenn Michael Egner, Anne Reynolds, and Paula Robison, and he has performed in master classes for Raymond Guiot, Alan Marion, Shigenori Kudo,  and Leone Buyse.