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Leading Orchestras in an Online Setting - Indiana University 2020 Conference

Maestro Barbosa-Vásquez will be sharing the insides of the interdisciplinary leadership strategies that he used to be successful led two orchestras totally online.

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Since the world was confronted with the pandemic situation, almost all human interactions changed to an online version. And that is also the case for arts, music, and symphonic orchestras. This situation required Maestro Barbosa-Vásquez to led two orchestras in very different contexts. The Americas Chamber Orchestra, a professional orchestra based at Bloomington, Indiana, USA, where he is currently Music Director; and the Youth National Symphony Orchestra of El Salvador (San Salvador, El Salvador) where he returned for the 4th time as Guest Conductor now leading a full online season of 3 months.

With totally different orchestras, players, communities, and goals, “the challenges were enormous… we had to think about how to be online in an art that has strong paradigms of in-person practice,” said the Colombian maestro. He realized that three main parameters had to follow: First, real orchestra development from a musical, technical, and artistic perspective. Second, important community interaction and development through a clear artistic and valuable proposal for the society the orchestra is serving. Third, a program that could work with the financial and logistical possibilities of the orchestra, its members, and its communities.

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At the 2020 Indiana University Annual Conference, he will be sharing the strategies behind the interdisciplinary concepts that were able to get an increase in 1100% of community interaction with the National Youth Orchestra of El Salvador. Or how The Americas Chamber Orchestra was able to reach out to different communities across the American and European continent while working in their ensemble development.

Despite the enormous success, the maestro emphasizes, “As one of the channels Online interaction is good, and I am sure this situation will totally change the music industry, but there is nothing comparable to real in live music. I am doing in-person Rossini’s Barber of Seville with Indiana University Opera, and the feeling is completely different. Music was created for live human interactions, and as artists, we are hoping to get together in real again with our communities”.

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Colombian Maestro Barbosa-Vásquez has been consolidating a prolific international career. Currently is the Music Director of The Americas Chamber Orchestra (Bloomington, IN, USA), Music and Co-Artistic Director of CASC, Opera Summer Camp (Los Angeles, CA, USA), and Assistant and Cover Conductor at Indiana University Opera and Ballet. Based in Bloomington, Indiana, USA, he is pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Opera, Orchestra, and Ballet Conducting at the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music as a Scholarship holder of Graduate Tuition Award and Artistic Excellence Award. Other international highlights are his 1st. International Opera Conductors Competition in Belgium (Opera Royal de Wallonie) (2017), the III Nino Rota International Conducting Competition in Italy (2018) (in both cases representing Latinamerica), Guest conductor for the 70 anniversary of UNICEF concert, special guest lecturer at the 11th European Orchestra Festival of (EOFed) and WFAO General Assembly (2018 - Norway) and special guest lecturer at the WFAO General Assembly (2019 - Singapore).

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