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 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, Ashley Fure 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.
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, Leone Buyse, and Trevor Wye.
"The performance given by Orlando Cela of Varèse's Density 21.5 for solo flute was in a different category. His reading was especially lyrical, […] a brief episode that lingered in memory after it ended.""
"What we heard performed by flutist Orlando Cela and bassoonist Neil Fairbairn was [...] possibly the best we've heard, live or on recording, full of both perky, bustling movement""
"... absolute solidity and soaring imagination […] from the Soria Chamber Players and conductor Orlando Cela""