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Competition Judges

Efraín Amaya

American conductor and composer Efraín Amaya was born in Venezuela, where he began his musical training. Continuing his studies in the United States, he earned two Bachelors of music degrees in composition and piano from Indiana University, and a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Rice University.

Mr. Amaya's compositions have been selected for performance at major international festivals, including the Bergamo International Festival of 2011 at Bergamo, Italy with his two-act opera La Bisbetica; the Seattle Symphony's Viva la Música Festival; the V Congreso Iberoamericano de Llíria, Spain, the Festival de Música de Santa Catarina in Brazil, the American Composers Orchestra Festival of Venezuelan Music at Weill Recital Hall in New York; the II Congreso Puertorriqueño de Creación Musical in San Juan among many others.

The recording of his latest opera "Constellations" which premiered in 2015 in Philadelphia was released in December of 2020 on the Albany Records label. Some other CD releases include flutist Sara Hahn featuring his piece “Pathways” on her CD I Close My Eyes In Order To See released in the Fall of 2018 with Navona Records; virtuoso flutist Alexa Still CD release of an all Amaya flute music CD called “Syzygy” in January 2018 with the Oberlin Music Record label, and the Jano Duo included his piece “Pres-ent” for flute and cello on their CD “Dreaming in Color” released in August of 2017, also with Albany Records label.

Mr. Amaya has been on the faculty at Minot State University as well as the Western Plains Opera General Co-Director and the Music Director & Conductor of the Minot Symphony Orchestra since the 2015-16 Season. 


Photo: Vanessa Briceño-Scherzer

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