During the 2022-2023 orchestra season Carlos Bastidas continues as Music Director of The Ontario Pops Orchestra in Toronto and Durham Chamber Orchestra in Durham region. His upcoming engagements, depending on the pandemic, will include concerts, in Canada and Cuba.
Since founding the Ontario Pops in 2014, Carlos has steadily built its following and developed one of the most diverse professional orchestras in Canada. Since taking over as Music Director of the Durham Chamber Orchestra in 2016, Carlos has contributed to the orchestra’s success such that they had to change venues to accommodate their increased audiences.
Critics and the media in Canada have been unanimous in their praise: Leanne Wright, VP Communications, The New Classical FM/Zoomer Media Limited as hailed Maestro Bastidas with the following comments: “Carlos is a leader on and off the podium. Not only does he program and conduct multiple orchestras, but creatively, he pushes the performance envelope with a vision of how to cultivate the next generation of classical music lovers.”
Music and video producer Earl McCluskie in Toronto commented: “The ensemble of 13 string players sounded fresh and energetic, and they responded to music director Carlos Bastidas with an admirable flexibility, and this in spite of the fact that for the past two months, rehearsal has not been possible during the lockdown.”
Born in Colombia, Maestro Bastidas studied bassoon, composition, conducting and chamber music at the University of Ottawa. His honours include playing as section bassoonist with National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada (1996) and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (2001).
- Maestro Bastidas received the arts and heritage award by the Transformation Institute in Toronto in 2019.
- He was also named, one of TD’s 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians 2019.
Maestro Bastidas has served as adjudicator for the Ontario Arts Council and the Ottawa Arts Council. His conducting appearances include Open Doors Toronto, Classical 96.3 FM, and the official opening of the “Canada 150” Celebrations at the Ajax City Hall.
In 2021-2022 saw the launch of the “Breaking Barriers Concert Season”, a series of three Ontario Pops Orchestra concerts featuring guest Black soloists from September 2021 to May 2022. The premiere in Canada of several compositions by Black, Indigenous and people of Colour Canadian composers and the livestreaming of an Ontario Pops Orchestra, from the magnificent Jeanne Lamon Hall, at Trinity-St Paul Centre in Toronto. The virtual season was streamed to audiences in the USA, Canada and the world.
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