Colombian conductor Juan Montoya has been the recipient of several scholarships and prizes.
Earlier in his career, he was the Assistant Conductor of the percussion ensemble of the EAFIT University directed by Maestro Alexander Ziborov; later on, he became the associate conductor of the “University of Toledo Symphony Orchestra” and the “University of Toledo Wind Ensemble” for more than two years. He has been collaborating with world-class Maestros such as Claus Peter Flor, Kevin Field, Jose Luis Gomez, and Edo de Waart. Nowadays, he is working under the guidance of Maestro Vance George from the “San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.”
From 2010 until 2015 Juan Montoya lived in Malaysia, a country where he conducted different orchestras such as “Bentley Repertoire Symphony Orchestra,” Music Director of the “UiTM Symphony Orchestra” and assistant conductor for the “MPYO - Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra” among others. He also worked with the Malaysian Ministry of Education, training several high school symphonic bands throughout the country, work which has taken him to several cities of this South East Asian country.
Also in Malaysia, he was part of the conducting staff of the "MPO – Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra", where he was the Assistant Conductor of the "MPYO – Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra" and the Music Director of the ETE “Encounters Training Ensemble”, all housed at the “Dewan Philharmonic Petronas”, Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
Other organizations conducted by Juan Montoya around the world include: National Symphony Orchestra of Paraguay (Paraguay), EAFIT Symphony Orchestra (Colombia), Hungarian Opera at Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Tucson Symphony Orchestra (USA), Surabaya Symphony Orchestra (Indonesia), Arizona Symphony Orchestra (USA), Rousse Opera (Bulgaria), Symphony Orchestra of Michoacán (Mexico), Kuala Lumpur City Opera (Malaysia), among others.
He started his early music studies with his father Carlos Montoya and Maestro German Aristizabal. In 2006, he finished his bachelor's degree with an emphasis in Piano, Conducting and Composition at the EAFIT University in Medellin - Colombia. There he studied under the tutelage of Maestros Blanca Uribe, Lise Frank, Cecilia Espinosa, and Andrés Posada.
As a composer we can mention his most representative pieces: “The Hunt of the Scorpion” (2005) for percussion ensemble, dedicated to the percussion ensemble of the EAFIT University; “Baba”, for string orchestra, a piece that was selected to be performed and recorded by the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, with Maestro Baldur Bronnimann on the baton in 2010. This last piece was also published by UiTM University Press in Malaysia, in 2011.
He graduated with a double masters degree in Piano Performance and Orchestral Conducting from the University of Toledo, Ohio in 2009, under the tutelage of Maestros Michael Boyd, Lee Heritage, Jason Stumbo, and Rico McNeela.
He has been the recipient of several international prizes. He was awarded the first place (Golden Baton) in the "Concurso Internacional de Direccion 3.0" with the National Symphony Orchestra of Paraguay - 2016. He also got the "Jury Special Mention" at the "II Black Sea International Conducting Competition" held in Constanta - Romania in May 2016. In July 2017, he got the third prize at the "Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition" in Bulgaria, the prizes from this competition include professional engagements with opera houses in Hungary, Romania, and Cairo. In 2019 he was awarded the "BOH Cameronian Arts Award" for Best Music Director, one of the most prestigious awards in Malaysia.
He earned a Doctoral Degree in Orchestral Conducting and Opera under the guidance of Maestro Thomas Cockrell, at the University of Arizona in 2018. Apart from his several international engagements, he was the resident conductor of the “KLCO – Kuala Lumpur City Opera,” in Malaysia from 2014 until 2022, and the Director of Orchestral Studies at UiTM University in Malaysia from 2010 until 2022.