Energy, elegance and spirit — these are the qualities that particularly distinguish Andrés Orozco-Estrada as a musician. Since the 2020-21 season, he has brought these strengths to bear as principal conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has been music director of the Houston Symphony since the 2014-15 season, and after eight outstanding years, the 2021-22 season will be his last in this role.
Orozco-Estrada was principal conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra from September 2014 to July 2021 and said goodbye in June with a major concert at the Alte Oper, about which the Frankfurter Rundschau wrote: "The image of a balance of human impeccability, communicative passion and the highest professionalism emerged. An orchestra, it was understood, wants to enjoy its work and at the same time make serious musical progress, and of course that sounds easier than it is. But it is precisely the combination of dancelike playfulness and an unconditional search for perfection that obviously distinguishes the Colombian's work."
Orozco-Estrada regularly conducts Europe's leading orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Orchestre National de France, as well as major U.S. ensembles such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has also conducted concerts and opera performances at the Berlin State Opera and the Salzburg Festival with outstanding success.
In the 2021-22 season, he tours with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra for the first time in Austria (Graz, Salzburg, Bregenz), Europe (Spain, France, Germany) and Asia (Taiwan, China, Korea). Additionally, he
conducts a new production with his orchestra at the Theater an der Wien (Catalani's La Wally) and takes the podium at the open-air concert in the Museumsquartier.
Orozco-Estrada also appears this season with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Berlin and the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, where he will conduct the New Year's Concert 2021-22 and a revival of Tosca, as well as with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale deAlso this season, a tour with the Filarmonica della Scala will take him to Bucharest, the Grafenegg Festival and to the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival, where the orchestra will open the event under his direction, accompanied by a TV broadcast.
Orozco-Estrada is particularly committed to new concert and mediation formats, as well as premieres of young composers. The inaugural concert with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra featured the world premiere of a commissioned composition by Dutch composer Carlijn Metselaar. Another world premiere of a work by the Austrian composer Johannes Maria Staud follows in 2022.
The WSY Talent also celebrated its premiere, in which exceptional musical talents were allowed to work on a solo piece with orchestral accompaniment and then present it in concert. There will be another WSY Talent in June 2022.
Working with young musicians is very close to his heart, and in 2019, he went on tour in Europe with the Filarmónica Joven de Colombia, of which he has been principal conductor since 2021. Since November 2018, Orozco-Estrada also has been principal conductor of the Freixenet Symphony Orchestra of the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid, Spain. He will tour Europe with both orchestras in the 2021-22 season.
His CD releases on the Pentatone label have received much attention: with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, he made recordings of Stravinsky's Firebird and Rite of Spring, which were praised by critics as "hauntingly beautiful" (Gramophone). His concert recordings of Richard Strauss' operas Salome and Elektra also have enjoyed great success. With the Houston Symphony, he released a “zestful” Dvořák cycle “with warm colors” (Pizzicato). He also has recorded all Brahms and Mendelssohn symphonies.
Born in Medellín, Colombia, Orozco-Estrada began his musical education by playing the violin, receiving his first conducting lessons at the age of 15. In 1997, he moved to Vienna, where he was accepted into the conducting class of Uroš Lajovic, a student of the legendary Hans Swarowsky, at the renowned Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst. Orozco-Estrada lives in Vienna.