Andrés Orozco-Estrada, the Medellín-born violinist and conductor has started his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and will launch next month in the Austrian capital the start of the 2021/2022 season.
Orozco-Estrada was appointed to the prestigious position in 2018 after the orchestra’s acclaimed music director Philippe Jordan was named for the Vienna State Opera. Among Jordan’s many accomplishments during six years at the Wiener Symphoniker was the box-set release of Beethoven’s nine symphonies to mark the 250-years of the Austrian composer’s birth.
The first concert of the new season with Orozco-Estrada takes place February 16 with Johannes Brahms’s violin concerto (Op.77), Richard Strauss’ tone poem for large orchestra from “Don Juan,” (Op.20) and Suite from the opera “Der Rosenkavalier” (Op. 59). Orozco-Estrada comes to the Symphoniker after previous appointments as chief conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra.
Other highlights of his career include conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchester National de France and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 2019, the maestro dazzled audiences inside the Royal Albert Hall conducting the Vienna Philharmonic for the BBC Proms. A Financial Times review of the music festival praised Orozco-Estrada’s masterful rendition of Dvorak’s “The Noonday Witch” and “New World” Symphony No.9 as one “quivering intensity.”
Admired for energetic, elegant and expressive interpretations, as well as plans to incorporate concerts with visual formats, the long-time resident of Vienna first picked-up a baton at age 15 in his native Medellín. Four years later, however, he was accepted at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts, where he entered the class of Uroš Lajovic, the Slovenian conductor whose repertoire covers more than 1,400 performances with the world’s most renowned orchestras. “Orozco-Estrada is the type of fearless individual who has no qualms about uprooting his life, moving to a new world and making things happen,” wrote Houston columnist Joel Luks of Estrada’s 2014 debut as one of the youngest – and first Hispanic – to lead the Houston Symphony. “What’s distinctive about Orozco-Estrada, on top of having a sexy, hyphenated name that both hint and dim his foreign provenance is that he’s lived the immigrant story,” adds Luks.
For Viennese audiences, Orozco-Estrada’s appointment at the helm of the Vienna Symphony promises to revitalize the program of this 121-year old institution, while staying the course with a musical legacy that has embraced every great Straussian – and as of now – the first to herald from Colombia.