Andres Lopera is the new Music Director of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony in Portland and was
selected from among 73 applicants from across the country. "We are bringing an exceptional talent to Portland. Mr. Lopera
is a gifted conductor whose musical depth and outstanding communication skills make him ideal for
steering our program. He is a natural leader, and his joy in bringing music to young people and
passion for community engagement are contagious. We are thrilled that he has accepted the position,"
said Executive Director Diana Scoggins.
Mr. Lopera has considerable experience with youth orchestras in both North and South America, including opportunities to work for and conduct programs inspired by the Venezuelan program "El Sistema," including Sembrando Talentos in Uruguay and La Red de Escuelas de Musica de Medellin where he worked as a co-conductor of the Main Orchestra and Choir.
In 2009 and 2010 Mr. Lopera participated as a trombone player and assistant conductor of YOA Orchestra of the Americas, under the direction of Carlos Miguel Prieto. Earlier this spring, he participated in an Apprenticeship Program with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, working closely with Canadian conductor Jean-Marie Zaitouni.
In 2010 Mr. Lopera had the distinct honor of being the only student accepted to NEC's Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting. There he worked under the direction of esteemed conductor Hugh Wolff, who is who is scheduled to perform as a guest conductor with the Oregon Symphony next season. Mr. Lopera studied with Cecilia Espinosa in Colombia and later with prestigious conductors Benjamin Zander, David Loebel, Carlos Miguel Prieto and Peter Bay. In addition, he was named the Quimby Family foundation scholar for the year 2011 at the Pierre Monteux School of Conductors.
Building programs is natural for Lopera. He was founder and conductor of Follia Chorale in Colombia, a vocal ensemble to promote and cultivate Latin American choral repertoire, and most recently, the Boston Latin-American Orchestra (BLAO), a chamber music orchestra that celebrates Latin-American orchestral music in non-traditional settings for audiences unfamiliar with classical orchestras. The BLAO's performances are characterized as "a stunning success" by Hugh Wolff.
Born in Colombia, Lopera began studying trombone at age 11. At the age of 14 he won the award for best soloist at the National Band competition in Samaniego Narino. In 2001, he was awarded the "Hernan Gomez" scholarship to EAFIT University. In 2006 he completed a double major in Orchestral Conducting and Trombone Performance and was honored for his academic record as the best student of his class. Lopera received his Master of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin before going on to the Orchestral Conducting Program at NEC.