Miguel Ángel Santaella
Composer & Conductor.           

the bio


Born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1971, he’s the first son of a military band conductor and arranger and a former choral alto singer, and with them he learned first hand how to listen to music. Now he's teaching his two children how to love music the way he did. 

During his 10-year tenure as bass singer of Orfeón Universitario UCV, one of Venezuela's most prestigious choirs, he received lessons on Composition and Choral Conducting with renowned composers and conductors on three continents. After that he went to study Composition at IUDEM, also in Caracas. He obtained his Master in Music, Jazz Composition at CODARTS/Rotterdamse Conservatorium  in the Netherlands, studying with Paul M. van Brugge, Rene Uijlenhoet and Hans Leenders, among others. 

He had conducted some of the most audacious choral projects of Venezuela at its time: Eduardo Plaza Aurrecoechea Chamber Choir, Diseño Vocal FAU UCV Choir, Sies Seis and Vocalia, the only Venezuelan vocal group nominated for a CARAwards for its sole recording 'Soñando a Venezuela' . Actually he founded and is conducting Caffeine, an innovative quartet which makes emphasis on the interactions between improvised and written vocal jazz music.

As a composer, he had been awarded several times in Venezuela and recently in The Netherlands for his symphonic, choral and jazz compositions and recompositions. Some works of his extensive catalogue are available through different publishers, such as Edition Ferrimontana (Choral Music), Donemus (Contemporary Jazz) and Cayambis Music Press (Chamber Music).

On recent years, his explorations on vocal jazz music gave him thew chance to be an authoritative lecturer on the field, with distinguished presentations, lectures and workshops being held in Latin America and Europe, especially during the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music of  Barcelona (Spain) in 2017.

He has been vice-president of the Choral Federation for Central America and the Caribbean and member of the Venezuelan Society for Contemporary Music. He's also a current member of the International Federation for Choral Music, Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) and the European Voices Association.