The Venezuelan-born flautist, conductor, arranger and educator, Orlando Cela Soria, studied at Colegio Emil Friedman in Caracas, Venezuela (High School Degree: 1980-1992). He obtained his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Performance - Flute from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana (1993-1997); his Master of Music degree in Music Performance - Flute (1997-1999) and his Master of Music degree in Wind Ensemble and Choral Conducting (1999-2000), both from from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. His teachers include Glenn Michael Egner, Anna Reynolds, and Paula Robison, and he has performed in master-classes for Raymond Guiot, Alan Marion, Shigenori Kudo, Leone Buyse, and Trevor Wye.
Orlando Cela is known for his engaging performances using imaginative programming of diverse repertoire. His eclectic recitals regularly include contemporary works using extended techniques and electronics, programmed alongside his own arrangements of rarely heard 19th century works or traditional folk music from China and beyond. In concerts, Cela regularly offers short lively introductions to selected works, offering audiences through lines for enhancing their experience.
Orlando Cela has performed at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian (Washington DC), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), and at the Center for New Music and Technologies at University of California at Berkeley. His credits abroad include concerts at the Zentrum Danziger (Berlin), the Espace des Femmes (Paris), and at the Musikverein (Vienna). A frequent collaborator, Mr. Cela has concertized with flutist Paula Robison, tabla player Samir Chatterjee, harpsichordist John Gibbons, and shen (mouth organ) virtuoso Hu Jianbing.
Orlando Cela's collaborations with composers have led to his premiering over 100 works, including pieces by Jean-Claude Risset, Tony DeRitis, Maxwell Dulaney, and Benoit Granier. Orlando recently released “Project Extended,” an album of works written for him, each requiring extended techniques. He has recorded three other albums of his own, and has collaborated in numerous others. To help expand the flute repertoire further, he recently launched FluteLab, an online forum in which he answers composers’ questions about writing for the flute, posting answers and commentaries in engaging video clips to help the entire field and share the latest approaches and extended techniques.
A dedicated music educator, Orlando Cela worked as Flute Professor at College of the Holy Cross (September 2003-June 2010 ); Professor of Music at Ningbo University (September 2013-May 2014). Since September 2014 he serves as Visiting Professor of Music at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia Area. He is known for his dynamic workshops and lecture demonstrations. He has been a guest lecturer and clinician on contemporary music topics at Tulane University, Berklee College of Music, and Brandeis University, as well as at the Central Conservatory of Music in China, the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart (Germany), and the Charlotte New Music Festival. Mr. Cela has also lectured on general performance practice issues at flute festivals in Ithaca and Syracuse, and at Dulwich College (Beijing) and Shanghai Normal University.
The former Music Director of the Boston-based Willow Flute Ensemble (September 2000-2013), Orlando Cela arranged over a hundred works for the ensemble, from Baroque to contemporary, including folk music from five countries. His world music arrangements were highlighted on the ensemble’s 2009 album, "World Winds." He has also been Assistant Music Director of Juventas New Music Ensemble (2012-2015) and Flutist, conductor at Independent Music/Theatre Arts & Teaching Professional in Somerville, Massachusetts’ (May 1993-Present). He currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.