American composer and conductor Efraín Amaya was born in Venezuela, where he began his musical training. Continuing his studies in the United States, he earned two Bachelor’s of music degrees in composition and piano from Indiana University, and a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Rice University.
Amaya’s compositions have been selected for performance at major international festivals, such as the Seattle Symphony’s Viva la Música Festival; 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; the XVII Foro Internacional de Música Nueva Manuel Enríquez in Mexico City; the XVII, XVI, XV, XI and VIII Festival Latinoamericano de Música in Caracas, Venezuela; the 38th, 37th, 35th, 32nd and 29th Annual National Flute Association Conventions; the Gala Concert of the Jeanne Baxtresser International Master Classes at Carnegie Mellon University and the Juilliard School in New York, and in Boston at the Modern Orchestra Project recital series.
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, which was made possible by Meet The Composer, Inc. and its New Residencies program. His music has been performed by numerous ensembles, including the Orquesta Municipal de Caracas, Orquesta Sinfónica Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho, the Point Chamber Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil del Estado de Veracruz, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, the Dali Quartet, the Madison String Quartet, the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, the IonSound Project, as well as the Carnegie Mellon University and the Duquesne University Contemporary Ensembles, among several others. Amaya’s work has also been included in the Sewickley Bachfest, the Shadyside Concert Series and the Renaissance City Winds concert series. 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, sponsored by the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and the Heinz Endowment.
His debut CD A Sense of Time was released on June 1, 2001 by Élan Recordings. In 2004, Albany Records released the two-cello version of Silent Conversations in a CD entitled Zoo of Dreams, featuring the Amici Chamber Players. Amaya’s two chamber operas: Clepsydra: An Operatic Installation with 13 Performers and Phantasmagorilla? No! Phantasmagoria, were also released by Albany Records in 2009 receiving excellent reviews by Pittsburgh Magazine, the American Record Guide and Fanfare Magazine. His flute and cello duo Pres-ent commissioned and premiered by Gerald Carey and Tanya Carey releasing it in their CD Golden Celebration this past December of 2013.
His cello concerto Un Camino, commissioned by international renowned cellist Kim Cook with a grant from the Pennsylvania Arts Council, premiered in August of 2013 with the State College Summer Orchestra in State College, PA. In the Spring of 2010 Mr. Amaya was selected to be part of American Composers’ Forum New Voices with International Opera Theater resulting in the collaborate opera The Decameron, which premiered in November of 2010. Recent work includes his piece Chocolat for solo bassoon commissioned and premiered by Jim R. Whipple in November 2011; his duo for flute and cello Pres-ent, commissioned & premiered by Gerald Carey and Tanya Carey in 2010; Marahuaka, (2009) a concerto for 3 marimbas and Wind Symphony Orchestra and Epona’s Portal, a concerto for bassoon and Wind Symphony Orchestra both commissioned by Robert Boudreau and the American Wind Symphony Orchestra in 2010. His opera La Bisbetica, commissioned and performed by International Opera Theater was premiered in August of 2010 in Italy; it was then invited to participate in the Bergamo International Festival of 2011 at Bergamo, Italy.
He was invited and completed a residency at Yaddo, NY, during the summer of 2012 where he worked on his latest opera. Since the Fall of 2012 he has been one of the national adjudicators for the National YoungArts Foundation in Miami, for their national competition selection of finalists. Mr. 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, performing in venues such as the Fenice Theater in Venice, the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and the Parco della Musica in Rome.