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Andrés Orozco-Estrada: Conducting with Colombian Passion and Austrian Precision

Andrés Orozco-Estrada, born in Colombia in 1977 and trained in Vienna, is music director of the Houston Symphony, chief conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra."

A young conductor, trained in both his native Colombia and Vienna, now leads orchestras on two continents. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, culture, intellect and passion are all part of his approach to music.

Listen to The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI on Sunday, April 10th at 1 pm to hear Andres Orozco-Estrada lead the Orchestra in a program featuring the music of Barber, Brahms, and Dvorak.  The concert was recorded live at Verizon Hall this past February. The broadcast can be heard on 90.1 FM in Philadelphia and streaming online at WRTI.org.

Conductor Andres Orozco-Estrada talks with WRTI's Susan Lewis about why intellect and passion are both so important in his approach to music.

Radio script: 

MUSIC: Brahms, Violin Concerto

Susan Lewis: Classical music has been a part of Andres Orozco Estrada’s life since the early 1980s.

Andres Orozco-Estrada:  Classical music in Colombia - this is already an interesting combination. Back in the '80s, it was not that much developed. 

SL: When he was about five years old, he began at school in Colombia, where he sang, studied violin, and at 15, began conducting.  

AOE:  In Colombia, you could say - this is very general speaking but - we are not only very passionate, but kind of spontaneous and very free. And we try to be very alive, and very happy, which is beautiful. I love this and I have this.

SL: As a young man, he moved to Vienna, where he studied conducting, and soaked up a new culture, history, and tradition.

AOE:  But, also, the way the people think, the Germanic mentality, if you want, Austrian Germanic - which I like very much, which is precise, very structure. So I try to make music with both these elements.

SL: He says each day, music is what moves him.

AOE:  So, what makes me have dreams, what makes me wake up every morning thinking, what is the challenge for today?  And I still try to experience and  live through the music in this way. 

SL:  Orozco-Estrada now leads the Houston symphony, as well as the Frankfurt Radio Symphony. He’s also principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic. 

Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and contributes weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.