Ana María Otamendi
Since her orchestral debut at age twelve, Ana María has performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist at important venues and with renowned orchestras in Austria, Panama, Brazil, the United States, Spain, Italy, and Venezuela. Upcoming performances include concert tours with the Reveron Trio (a Venezuelan ensemble devoted to the standard and Latin American piano trio repertoire), with clarinetist Cecilia Kang (premiering works by American composers and gearing to their first album together), and the Aelia duo (with pianist Elena Lacheva), concerts in China, as well as masterclasses in the US and abroad.
After finishing her two-year tenure as Studio Artist at the prestigious Houston Grand Opera Studio, as well as the Merola Opera Program of the San Francisco Opera, she became the Head Vocal Coach of the Moores Opera Center at the University of Houston. Currently, she is the new Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano at Louisiana State University. She is the Artistic Director of the Collaborative Piano Institute, an intensive three-week summer program devoted to collaborative pianists, that counts with stellar faculty, such as Martin Katz, Rita Sloan, Kathleen Kelly, Marie-France Lefebvre, Howard Watkins, and many more. She was Head Coach and Conductor for the Franco American Vocal Academy in France and Salzburg (FAVA) during several summers, where she conducted works like Don Giovanni and La Belle Helene, and coached singers in their roles and art song. She also founded the Octave Illusion Ensemble, a Houston-based two pianists and two percussionists quartet encompassing three continents and four countries. The ensemble is devoted to arranging, performing and promoting repertoire usually reserved for large orchestral settings, in an effort to bring contemporary music to a wider audience.
She has won First Prize at all the major Venezuelan piano competitions, as well as the University of South Carolina Concerto Competition and the Ouro Branco Festival Competition (Brazil). She is also a regular guest, as performer and teacher, at different Universities in the US such as the University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Bemidji State University and the University of South Carolina. Ana María holds a Master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Wisconsin, an Artist Certificate from the University of South Carolina, and a Doctorate in collaborative piano from the University of Michigan, where she studied with renowned pianist Martin Katz.
She was principal keyboard of the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra (2007–08) as well as assistant professor at the University of Musical Studies in Caracas. Besides her musical training, Ana María is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Italian, and also a Geophysical Engineer. Her thesis was published in the prestigious journal Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors.