Efraín Amaya (b. 2 October 1959, Venezuela) is a Venezuelan-born conductor and composer living in the United States.
Amaya began his musical training in Venezuela, then continued his studies in the United States. He earned two bachelor of music degrees, in composition and piano, from Indiana University, and a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Rice University.
After returning to Venezuela, Maestro Amaya became the music director and conductor for one of the “El Sistema” Youth Symphony Orchestras based in the “Núcleo La Rinconada”. He then returned to the United States where he held the position of resident conductor and artist lecturer in music theory at Carnegie Mellon University from 1993 to 2009. He also served as associate conductor with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra from 1994 to 2007. In addition, he has been the music director and conductor to the Greensburg American Opera, the Three Rivers Young People’s Orchestra, the Westmoreland Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Carnegie Mellon Summer Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble.
As a guest conductor Mr. Amaya has appeared with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela, the Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal de Caraca , the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, the McKeesport Symphony Orchestra, among others, and several youth symphonies.
Mr. Amaya’s compositions have been selected for performance at major international festivals, including the Seattle Symphony’s Viva la Música Festival; the V Congreso Iberoamericano de Llíria, Spain, and the II Congreso Puertorriqueño de Creación Musical in San Juan, among many others.
In 2004, Efraín Amaya received a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He was also a Meet the Composer composer-in-residence with Gateway to the Arts, WQED-FM, Renaissance City Wind Music Society and Shaler School District from September of 2001 to September 2004. His opera Clepsydra premiered as part of the First Night celebrations in Pittsburgh as a collaborative multimedia performance for tape, live performers, and edited video projection.
His cello concerto, Un Camino, premiered in August of 2013. Other recent works include Archipiélagos for E-flat clarinet and piano; Chocolat for solo bassoon. Robert Boudreau, conductor of the American Wind Symphony Orchestra commissioned him Marahuaka, a concerto for three marimbas and wind symphony orchestra; Epona's Portal, a concerto for bassoon and wind symphony orchestra' and a Suite of Latin Dances among three other arrangements of his pieces for the AWSO.
Maestro Amaya founded and was the music director of the Point Chamber Orchestra, which made its debut performance during the summer of 2006 with a tour of seven concerts in Italy. From the fall of 2012 to 2017 he was one of the four national adjudicators for the National YoungArts Foundation in Miami, for their national competition selection of finalists and presidential scholars nominees.
Mr. Amaya is in the faculty at Minot State University as well as Western Plains Opera and the music director for the Minot Symphony Orchestra since the 2015-16 season.
Works for Winds
- Angelica (2015)
- Indigo Concerto (2001)
- Pájaro de Tres Alas (1996/2002)
- Parasol (2002)
- Suite of Latin Dances (2012)
- Wuarairo Repano (2009)
- Efraín Amaya website Accessed 27 December 2020
- Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. " Efraín Amaya." Accessed 27 December 2020
- The Horizon Leans Forward..., compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 242.