Colombian conductor Juan Montoya has been the recipient of several international prizes, and his career includes various invitations as a guest conductor around the world.
His most recent opera engagements have included productions with the Rousse Opera House (Bulgaria), Hungarian Opera House de Cluj-Napoca and the Cairo Opera House (Egypt). In Colombia he has worked with the two biggest opera companies in the country the Prolírica de Antioquia (Medellín) and the Opera de Colombia (Bogotá). Adding to this, we can mention the productions of L’Elisir d’Amore (2014), La Bohème (2016), La Fille du Regiment (2017), The Marriage of Figaro (2017), Hansel and Gretel (2018), Madama Butterfly (2018), La Traviata (2019), The Magic Flute (2019) andLa Voix Humaine (2022) with the KLCO - Kuala Lumpur City Opera (Malaysia), where he served as Music Director from 2014 until 2022.
His symphonic concert engagements have included performances with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia, the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Bentley Repertoire Orchestra, and UiTM Symphony Orchestra (Malaysia), EAFIT Symphony Orchestra and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín (Colombia), Surabaya Symphony Orchestra (Indonesia), Orquesta Sinfónica de Michoacán and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco (Mexico), the National Symphony Orchestra of Paraguay, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra (Egypt), and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra (USA).
As a composer, his piece Baba, for string orchestra, was recorded at the "New Composer Series" with the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia in 2010, conducted by Baldur Brönnimann. His piece Parábolas, for mezzo, viola, cello, and piano, written together with composer Andrés Posada, with a text by Juan Manuel Roca and visuals by artist Michael Longstaff, was premiered with huge success at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, Churchill College, UK in 2019.
He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral and opera conducting from the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music, as a student of Dr. Thomas Cockrell. He also works under the tutelage of Vance George of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Earlier, Montoya earned a double master’s degree in piano performance and orchestral conducting from the University of Toledo, Ohio in 2009, and a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the EAFIT University, in Medellín, Colombia in 2006.
Montoya’s awards include Order of Merit “Don Juan del Corral – Silver Category (2019),” one of the highest civilian distinctions, given by the government of Colombia and the City Council of Medellín for his outstanding international performance career. In April of 2019, Montoya got nominated and won the “Best Music Director” award at the 16th BOH Cameronian Arts Awards in Malaysia, the most important art awards of this country. A third place and all the jury special awards at the prestigious “Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition” in Rousse, Bulgaria in 2017. First Prize (Golden Baton) at the “International Orchestral Conducting Competition” with the National Symphony Orchestra of Paraguay in 2016 and a special mention from the jury at the “Second Black Sea Opera Conducting Competition,” in Constanța, Romania in 2016.