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Carlos Zamora was born in Calama City in May 1968. He completed his primary and secondary school at the Obispo Silva Lezaeta Institute in that city. His first music teachers were Carlos Pérez and Eduardo Cepeda. In 1985 he moved to Concepción to study music at the Universidad de Concepción where he gained a bachelor’s degree in music education (distinction) in 1990.

In 1993 he started the bachelor’s degree in composition at the Universidad de Chile. Then he was awarded the Master of Arts in Composition (maximum distinction). In 2020, he was awarded the PhD in Music by the University of York.

He has studied orchestral conducting with Wilfried Junge, Guillermo Scarabino and Guillermo Rifo, contemporary music conducting with Aliocha Solovera, choral conducting with Mario Cánovas and composition with Miguel Aguilar, Gustavo Becerra, Eduardo Cáceres and Thomas Simaku. In 1998, 1999 and 2000, he attended the Composition Fields INJUVE in Spain, where he had lessons with Cristóbal Halffter and Mauricio Sotelo.

He created and conducted the chamber ensemble of the Silva Lezaeta Institute of Calama, the San Miguel of Talcahuano’s children choir, and the Choir of the Artists of Steel Academy of Concepción. He was the Assistant Conductor of the Symphony and the Chamber choir of the Universidad de Concepción. Also, he was an Assistant Lecturer at the Music Department of the University of Concepción, music teacher at the Conservatory of the University of Bío-Bío, Lecturer at the Universidad Mayor, the AIEP Institute and the Universidad Santo Tomás. Furthermore, he has been Treasurer and President of the National Association of Chilean Composers. He was Head of the Music Department of the Universidad Tecnológica de Chile INACAP and in 2008 he created the School of Music of the Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano, where he was the Head of the Department of Music and later the Dean of the Faculty of Arts.

Since 2009 he has resumed the orchestral conducting having been invited to conduct the Symphony Orchestra of the University of Concepción, the Symphony Orchestra of Antofagasta, the Orchestra of the Chamber of the Conservatory of the Austral University of Valdivia, the Marga-Marga Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra from Chile, the Temuco Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber and Symphony Orchestras of the University of York, the Chimera Ensemble of the same university, as well as several ensembles. He has recorded as conductor the CD «Concerts for Recorder and Orchestra by Chilean composers» with the soloist Carmen Troncoso and the Marga-Marga Orchestra. Between 2016 and 2018 he was the principal conductor of the University of York Wind Orchestra. At the same time, he was invited by the Gilbert & Sullivan Society to conduct The Mikado in 2018 and Pirates of Penzance in 2019.

He has been invited to talk about his music at the International Choir Conference «La Plata Cantat» in Argentina, the Austral University of Valdivia, the University of Concepción, the University of Chile, the Catholic University of Valparaiso, the Catholic University of Santiago, the Technologic University INACAP, the Modern School of Music, and several conservatories, primary and secondary schools in Chile among other institutions. Also, he has given presentations about Latin American, Chilean and his music at the University of York, the University of Sheffield and the University of Huddersfield.

He has been a member of the jury of the Composition Competition «Luis Advis» of the Chilean Ministry of Culture three times, musical producer of the collection «Chilean Music of the XX Century» of the National Association of Chilean Composers, producer of the CD «Chilean Choral Anthology II» and more than 20 compact discs and DVDs. He has been the producer of the VI Festival of University Choirs (Universidad de Concepción), and the founder and curator of the Contemporary Music Festival of the Technological University of Chile. Additionally, he has been a member of the committee of specialists of the Fund for the Promotion of Music of the Ministry of Culture on several occasions and member of the Council for the Promotion of National Music at the same Ministry on behalf of the Academics of the universities of the Metropolitan Region.

He has received several awards: among others, the Grant of Artistic Creation of Andes Foundation; a Master’s Scholarship from the University of Chile; first prize in the 1997 composition competition of the National Choir Federation for his work «Padre Nuestro Kunza»; first place with his work «Sikuris» in the 3rd version of new works by Chilean composers of the National Symphony Orchestra of Chile; the prize to the best composer of the Modern Orchestra of the Modern School of Music 2006; the Charles Ives Award 2010 of the Chilean American Culture Institute for his music career; the Award by the Chilean copyright society SCD, the Modern Music Prize 70 Years (2010) for its contribution to Latin American culture and, the Cpnicyt-Chile Doctorate Scholarship. He has also been awarded more than ten funds from the Ministry of Culture in the fields of creation and musical production. In the years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020 he was nominated for the PULSAR Awards of the Chilean Copyright Society SCD.

He was honoured at the «Concert Tribute to Composers from Concepcion» (Season 2005) of the Symphony Orchestra of the University of Concepción and in the «Tribute Concert to Carlos Zamora» of the 2008 Season of the Orchestra of the Universidad Mayor. At the same time, he was included in the book «Cantus Firmus – Myth and Narrative of Chilean Music of the Twentieth Century» as one of the most important composers of the history of Chilean music, in which his talent and his indigenous condition stand out, as Zamora belongs to the Atacamenian Culture of the Lican-Antay of San Pedro de Atacama.

He was invited as the representative of Chile to the General Assembly of the International Association for Contemporary Music at the Contemporary Music Festival 2000 in Luxembourg, 2008 in Hong Kong and the 2010 Biennial of the Americas in Denver, USA. Moreover, his music has been included in important concert seasons, among which stand out the Chamber Orchestra of the Berlin Opera, the National Orchestra of Ireland, the Caracas Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Antigua de Curitiba, the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, the YOA Symphonic Orchestra (young orchestra of the Americas) of the USA, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Medellin, the Orchestra of the Universidad Mayor of Cochabamba, the Symphony Orchestra of Mendoza, the Symphony Orchestra of Salta, the Caminos del Inca Ensemble, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Latin American String Quartet (Grammy Award winners), all the professional orchestras in Chile, and the National Youth Symphony Orchestra and several orchestras of the Chilean youth orchestra program.

His music has been performed in the five continents and he is currently the Chilean composer whose music is most frequently presented both in Chile and abroad, which is why his music is now published by the North American publishing house Filarmonika, the German publisher Tre Fontane, and the Editorial Nacional of Chile. Among his most outstanding works are «Sikuris» for symphony orchestra, «String Quartet Nº2», «Tenebrae Factae Sunt» for choir, «Concerto for 4 Guitars and Orchestra», «Symphony Víctor Jara», «Symphony Patricio Manns», the «Overture El Pukara» and the «Missa Brevis in Memoriam Mater Mei». Also, his music has been recorded and released on more than twenty compact discs.

His research has been published in the Chilean Musical Magazine and the FEDECOR magazine of the National Choir Federation of Chile. At the same time, musicologists have referred to his music in the International Bulletin of Choral Music, in the Journal of Musicology of Cuba and the Chilean Musical Magazine. Furthermore, undergraduate and postgraduate students have written about his music in their research.

Currently, Carlos Zamora lives in England, where he has received the two awards granted by the University of York: the “Sir Jack Lyons Award in 2016 to compose a Concert for Recorders and Chamber Orchestra, and the “Terry Holmes Commission Award 2017” for Composing a Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.

Carlos Zamora is represented worldwide by Fanjul & Ward – fanjul@fanjulandward.com

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