Dr Carlos Alvarado
Colombian born Carlos was appointed Musical Director of the Manly-Warringah Choir in April 2003.
Carlos started his musical career as a pianist under Maestro Jorge Zorro, one of the leading personalities in the Colombian Music Education System.
Having won a full scholarship from the Colombian Institute of Credit to study in Russia , Carlos obtained his Doctorate of Opera and Symphonic Conducting at the Tchaikovsky Conservatorium of Music of Moscow where he studied under Gennady Rozhdestvensky, who commended both his musicianship and his commitment to high-quality performance. He also undertook higher studies in choral conducting , piano theory and voice technique, and was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree in choir conducting from the same Conservatorium.
In 1990-92, he was invited by Professor Hellmuth Rilling and the International Bach Academy of Stuttgart to take part as an Active Conductor in various courses and festivals with the Bach Collegium Orchestra and the Gachinnger Kantoire Choir in Stuttgart (Germany), Moscow and Santiago de Compostela (Spain).
Carlos returned to Colombia after finishing his academic studies. During this time he was guest conductor of the main Colombian orchestras, conducted several groups, choirs and ensembles and taught conducting in most of the important universities in Bogota, Colombia. At that time he took part in various international competitions in Brazil, Russia, Spain and Italy.
Since his arrival to Australia in 2002, Carlos has been actively developing his musical career. In 2004 Carlos was Co-founder of the Wollongong Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra that became a symbol of the cultural development in Wollongong and the Illawarra region (NSW) Australia.
Many Important Australian and International figures as James Morrison, Timothy Kain, Konstantin Shamray, John Chen, Tatiana Kolosova, Alexandra Loukianova, Deborah De Graaff, Emma Moore and many other soloists have been part of the programs conducted under Carlos Alvarado’s baton.
Carlos has founded a variety of choirs and music ensembles. The most recent being “Cantares”, a new choral ensemble with members from the Shoalhaven, Illawarra and Wollongong areas..
Concertmaster from 2003 to 2016.
Sadly, Alexandra passed away in December 2016, but her spirit lives on in the Choir. It is appropriate for her biography to remain here as a testament to her huge contribution to our music making over 13 years.
She has enjoyed international success as a solo violinist, interpreter of chamber and orchestral music. She was the Concertmaster of the Russian Ministry of Education Orchestra, first violin of the XXI Century Chamber Orchestra, and with this group she toured throughout Ireland. She was also soloist of the Ensemble of Soloists of Tula (Russia), with whom she performed throughout Russia and the Ukraine.
From 1994 to 2002 she was Associate Concertmaster of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogota (Colombia). At that time she was also Associate Professor of the National University Conservatorium of Colombia.
As soloist, Alexandra has recorded many recitals and concerts with orchestra for the Colombian National Radio and Television. She has also performed in the most prestigious concert halls and auditoriums in Colombia. More recently she has performed in various venues in Wollongong and Sydney, including a recital at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and was performing regularly with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra till recently.
Alexandra currently works as a violin teacher at the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music. Since 2003 Alexandra has been Concertmaster for the Manly Warringah Choir’s orchestra and was Concertmaster for the Wollongong Symphony Orchestra.
Alexandra performed the Prokofiev’s 1st violin concerto at the Manly Warringah Choir Easter concert in 2011 and has recently formed the Australian Violin Ensemble – an innovative all-female group of twelve violinists, of which she is leader and artistic director.
Our very talented rehearsal pianist and accompanist, Angela Ferguson, has been with the choir for 25 years. She obtained her Bachelor of Music degree from the NSW Conservatorium of Music and, since graduation, has freelanced as a bassoon player for many professional and amateur orchestras in the Sydney, Newcastle & Wollongong regions, including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Opera House Orchestra & the Hunter orchestra. She has also accompanied many soloists on the piano for recitals and examinations.
Angela has played piano accompaniment for Manly-Warringah Choir’s concerts, and often joins the orchestra as a bassoonist.