Stephen Tavani

USA | Trumpet | 2002

 “I’m excited to announce my appointment as CEO of the Grand Teton Music Festival. Looking back, The Orchestra of the Americas was one of the most pivotal experiences in my life, turning my musical focus outward to a broader community impact. To me, OA was the beginning of my understanding of the power of music to build connections, find understanding, leverage resources and move a mission of an organization forward–and deeper into its community.”


Stephen Tavani

USA | Violin | 2015

 “Winning the Assistant Concertmaster position at The Cleveland Orchestra is a major accomplishment for me. Joining an orchestra with such an inspiring level of musicianship will challenge me to grow as a musician. My summer of 2015 with The Orchestra of the Americas was an amazing experience. I met so many talented musicians from all over North and South America, and it expanded my view of the world. The Orchestra of the Americas had so much incredible diversity, yet in making music together we had a powerful thing in common. It grew my own passion for music. The Orchestra of the Americas is bringing people together in a unique way!”

Brad Davis

USA | Timpani | 2018

 “I am incredibly excited to have been selected as Principal Timpanist of the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra! It is no coincidence that this came just months after my life-changing experience with The Orchestra of the Americas, where I was constantly inspired by my colleagues and the faculty. The outpouring of support from the OA family has been amazing, and shows just how unique and valuable an experience the orchestra provides, as I gained not only musical skills, but also lifelong friends from throughout the Americas and Europe. I will forever be grateful for the role The Orchestra of the Americas had in getting me to this point!”

Brad Davis
Jory Herman

Jori Herman

USA | Double Bass | 2002 & 2006

“Joining the Los Angeles Philharmonic has been a dream come true. During The Orchestra of the Americas’ 2002 Tour, I remember rehearsing Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet with Gustavo Dudamel. It was so amazing we literally set off fire alarms! Little did I know, I would be performing the same piece 15 years later with him in the Hollywood Bowl in the first week with my new orchestra family, the LA Phil. I will cherish the worldwide friendships, concerts, and experiences during the two summers I toured with The Orchestra of the Americas for the rest of my career. To this day, the mission of the orchestra instilled a passion in me to help connect the world through music.”

Alejandra Carrillo

Venezuela | Violin | 2015

“I’m currently recording as a member of The Venezuelan Strings Recording Ensemble, with whom I won a Latin Grammy for the album ‘Sólo Buenos Aires.’ We’ve been working with top international artists recently including Armando Manzanero (Mexico), Felipe Peláez (Venezuela/Colombia), María Toledo (Spain) and Rubén Blades (Panama), among others.”

Hugo Valverde horn

Hugo Valverde

Costa Rica | French horn | 2015

“I’m thrilled to have won Second Horn in The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (New York). Being part of The Orchestra of the Americas just two years ago is an experience that I’ll always carry in my heart. The privilege of working with a world-renowned faculty and the chance of making music with people from around the continent changed my way of seeing life. Thanks for the amazing concerts, the great friendships, and the unforgettable experiences. Pura vida!”

Kelly Zimba

Canada | Flute | 2012

“I recently won the position of Principal Flute with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra! The Orchestra of the Americas was unquestionably the turning point in my musical career. It was my first time participating in a major festival orchestra, and it was where I met my future graduate school professor, Leone Buyse. Touring Chile and playing with musicians from around the world was an almost magical experience. My route to the Toronto Symphony really began there. I am forever grateful!”

Kelly Zimba flute
Carlos Camacho

Carlos Camacho

Panama | Percussion | 2013

“I’ve accepted a position as Percussion Professor at the University of Panama, where I’ll start this month!”

Kaylet Torrez

Venezuela | French Horn | 2016

“I’m thrilled to have won the Assistant Principal Horn position in the Pacific Symphony. To think that just two years ago I was sending my audition video to participate in The Orchestra of the Americas fills me with joy! Taking part changed my life; it introduced me to many friends and left me with great memories. To see so many musicians from The Orchestra of the Americas family winning positions in professional orchestras around the world is incredibly exciting!”

Kaylet Torrez double bass

José Luis Ureña

Dominican Republic | Percussion | 2014

“I am currently a timpanist with the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic. In 2016, the JGPercussion chose me as an artist for their brand. It’s the first time a Dominican has received an endorsement from an international timpani product manufacturer. As a conductor, I work with the ODV youth band, and the Juan Pablo Duarte Symphony Orchestra of the National Conservatory of Music”.

Zuby Azezi

Canada | Violin | 2013 & 2014

“I recently became a member of The Florida Orchestra! My two summers with Orchestra of the Americas were instrumental in my development as a violinist. I learned the importance of connecting with communities through music and will always carry that with me wherever I go. Thank you for opening the doors to so many worlds of possibilities for so many musicians!”

Zubaida Azizi
Daniel Vasquez Ayala flute

Daniel Vasquez Ayala

Ecuador | Flute | 2012 & 2013

“Last May, after finishing my PhD at the Frost School of Music of the University of Miami, I won the position of Flute Professor at the University of Akron in Ohio. I moved here in August! I’m still playing with my Chamber Orchestra in Miami, the NuDeco Ensemble. I treasure the memories and learnings from The Orchestra of the Americas. I’m now encouraging my students to audition!”

Manoela Freitas

Brazil | Double Bass | 2015

“This year has been a great one for me! I won a full-time position in The Philharmonic of Goias, which is securing its place among the top orchestras in Brazil. I’m very grateful for the experiences I had with The Orchestra of the Americas, which inspired and helped me so much! Working in a professional orchestra, I realize how much I learned from it. Thanks for everything!”

Maneola de Freitas Double Bass
Alexander Walden trombone

Alexander Walden

Trombone | United States | 2017

““I’m thrilled to have been awarded first prize and the grand prize overall at this summer’s International Brass Conference solo competition. I also recently won the Principal Trombone position in the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra of China.”

Diego Naser

Uruguay | Violin | 2003 & 2011

“After studying and working in Germany, I’m thrilled to return to Uruguay to assume the role of Music Director & Principal Conductor of the Teatro SODRE Orchestra of Montevideo. “

Diego Naser
Julie Rochus horn

Julie Rochus

French horn | Canada | 2013, 2015, 2016

“I won Second Horn in Orquesta de Coahuila in Saltillo, Mexico. So I’m moving to Mexico! After my first summer with Orchestra of the Americas in 2013, I decided that I wanted to do two things: play in an orchestra full time, and live in Latin America. I’m excited that I can do both now!”

David Santos

Brazil | Trombone | 2016

 “I won the bass trombone position in the Orquestra Sinfônica do Paraná! My experience in The Orchestra of the Americas’ 2016 European Tour changed the way I see the world. It also made me sure about my career as a musician, commitment to giving my best. I’m grateful for the beautiful and transformative experience I had, and for the great friends that I met!

David Santos trombone
Carlos Gomez trumpet

Carlos Gómez

Mexico | Trumpet | 2017

“Beginning in March 2018, I’ll be Principal Trumpet in the Mitteleuropa Orchestra in Italy! The Orchestra of the Americas gave me new opportunities, great friends, and helped me understand the incredible power of music. As a proud alumnus, I’m committed to representing my country and the continent in the best possible way.”

Angela Contreras

Colombia | Double Bass | 2008-2010

 “I’ve been promoted as a Principal Double Bass in the Mariinsky Orchestra of Saint Petersburg with Valery Gergiev. It is a real privilege to be the first Colombian to hold a position in this orchestra.”

Angela Contreras double bass
Darwin Aquino violin

Darwin Aquino

Dominican Republic | Violin | 2002

“It’s a huge honor and a great challenge to have been appointed Director of the National Conservatory of Music of the Dominican Republic, the country’s most important musical education institution. To have taken part in The Orchestra of the Americas changed my life completely and transformed the way I see music and its contributions to our society. The Orchestra has allowed me to meet many wonderful artists and human beings, countries, cultures, and realities. It helped me to broaden my vision on the role music plays in the world. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me be part of this great worldwide family.”

Victor Pablo

Puerto Rico | Percussion | 2014

 “I’m working in New York City as a full-time member of the Mobius Percussion Quartet, Fernando Garcia Sextet, TM Street Band, Jan Kus & The Slavo Rican Assembly, and People.Of.Earth, with fellow Orchestra of the Americas 2017 Alumnus Kalun Leung. I also keep active as a Teaching Artist, mostly for the Afro Latin Jazz Academy.”

Victor Pablo
Malcolm Armstrong double bass

Malcolm Armstrong

Canada | Double Bass | 2015

“I won the position of Associate Principal Bass with the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra and began working with them in the 2016-2017 season.”

Pedro Manuel Zayas

Cuba | Violin | 2011

 “I recently won a position in the Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra of Mexico. My experience in The Orchestra of the Americas changed my life—not just professionally, but also in term of personal goals. In addition to performing, I am also now a teacher in Sistema Bajío, a group of community orchestras that aims to change the lives of children in deprived communities of the region. My experience with The Orchestra of the Americas opened this idea within me.”

Pedro Manuel Zayas violin
Jonathan Perodin

Jonathan Perodin

Haiti | Violin | 2015

““I won a Fulbright scholarship to pursue an MA in Arts Management at American University in Washington, DC. I’m planning to work in music education and orchestra development in Haiti, and this decision was greatly influenced by my participation in The Orchestra of the Americas’ Pan-American Tour. I am a founding member of the VibrAyiti Chamber Orchestra, which is active in Port-au-Prince’s musical scene.”