Venezuelan born musician Orlando Cela is committed to engaging audiences with lively performances that open new worlds of experience. Known for his engaging performances using imaginative programming, Orlando has premiered in over 100 works, both as a flutist and as a conductor. In concert, Cela regularly offers short lively introductions to selected works, offering audiences entry points into unfamiliar works, to easily connect the music with other life experience.

As a conductor, Cela has recently been awarded second place in the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the performance of American music, and second place in the London Classical Soloists Conducting Competition for his rendition of Beethoven’s Seventh and Eighth Symphonies. His experience includes launching the orchestral department at Ningbo University in China and conducting the inaugural concert of the Ningbo City Symphony Orchestra. In the US, his conducting positions include work with orchestras and choruses at Randolph College (VA) and UMass Dartmouth (MA). Guest conducting credits include the Marquette Symphony Orchestra (MI), the Northern Michigan State University Orchestra (MI), Brandeis New Music Ensemble (MA). He is currently the music director and conductor of the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra, and the orchestra of the Governor’s School of North Carolina, with which he has performed world and American premieres by composers like Salvatore Sciarrino, Chen Yi, Hector Parra, Rebecca Saunders, Ashley Fure and many others.

As a flutist, Cela has performed at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian (Washington DC), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston MA), and at the Center for New Music and Technologies at UC Berkeley. His credits abroad include concerts at the Zentrum Danziger (Berlin), the Espace des Femmes (Paris), and at the Musikverein (Vienna). As a collaborative artist, Cela has concertized with flutist Paula Robison, tabla player Samir Chatterjee, harpsichordist John Gibbons, and shen (mouth organ) virtuoso Hu Jianbing.

To help expand the flute repertoire further, Orlando recently launched FluteLab, an online forum in which he answers composers’ questions about writing for the flute, posting answers and commentaries through  engaging video clips to help the entire field and share the latest approaches and technical wizardry.

As the former Music Director of the Boston-based Willow Flute Ensemble, Cela arranged over a hundred works for the ensemble, from Baroque to contemporary, including folk music from five countries. His world music arrangements were highlighted on the ensemble’s 2009 album, “World Winds.” A dedicated music educator, Cela is known for his dynamic workshops and lecture demonstrations. Popular and effective as a guest lecturer and clinician, he has presented sessions on contemporary music topics at Tulane University (LA), Berklee College of Music (MA), and Brandeis University (MA), as well as at the Central Conservatory of Music in China, the  Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart (Germany), and the Charlotte New Music Festival (NC). Cela has also lectured on general performance practice issues at flute festivals in Ithaca and Syracuse NY, and at Dulwich College (Beijing) and Shanghai Normal University. He currently is assistant professor at Berklee College of Music, where he teaches conducting, and at Middlesex Community College, where he teaches world music.

Cela received his undergraduate degree from DePauw University, and holds two master’s degrees (flute and conducting) from New England Conservatory. His teachers included Glenn  Michael Egner, Anne Reynolds, and Paula Robison, and he has performed in master classes for Raymond Guiot, Alan Marion, Shigenori Kudo, Leone Buyse, and Trevor Wye.


Ashes to Impulse

Release Date: December 8, 2023
Catalog Number: RR8097
21st Century
ASHES TO IMPULSE is an extroverted, highly expressive album of redemption and realization, where harmonies become metaphors and dissonance transforms into catharsis. Conceived by Berklee music professor Gregory T. Glancey, these compositions delve into the core of human struggle, mirroring the very process of creation – a journey from the ashes of doubt to the ignition of artistic impulse. A glimpse into Glancey's labyrinthine mind, ASHES TO IMPULSE unearths emotions as if from a hidden wellspring. These are all chamber music pieces, but they are almost symphonic in their profundity. As a flicker becomes a flame, these musical landscapes transcend with unbridled energy and fiery candor.

Shadow Etchings

Release Date: February 9, 2018
Catalog Number: RR7982
21st Century
Solo Instrumental
Orlando Cela demonstrates his ingenious ability to navigate complexities of postmodernism in chamber music and the avant garde with this rich recording of flute and piccolo treasures for the curious ear. Operating with a creative vision inspired by Frederic Chopin that “simplicity is the final achievement,” Cela invites the listener on a journey of experimental music beginning with Besingrand’s “Le soupir du roseau dans les bras du vent” in which the flutist explores the unexpected possibilities for creating sound with his instrument. Cela furthers the investigation with “Winter Variations,” by Lou Bunk (“featuring John Cage”), investigating, too, the possible extremes in lower dynamics.