Juan Felipe Molano brings twenty years of vibrant teaching and performing experience to the position of SYSO Music Director. His career includes conducting positions with top professional and youth orchestras throughout Europe, the United States, Asia, South, and Central America. Since 2014, he has served as Conductor of Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), a program of the Los Angeles Philharmonic that puts the transformative power of music-making into the hands of young people who would not otherwise have access to it.
Molano has led the Los Angeles Philharmonic as guest and cover conductor. In 2016, Mr. Molano was also appointed as Conductor of the Claremont Young Musicians Orchestra, and between 2015 and 2018, he served as Resident Conductor of the prestigious American Youth Symphony.
Mr. Molano’s passion for working with youth and music education is evidenced by his positions as the National Director of Orchestras at the Batuta Colombia System of Youth Orchestras. He has been also the conductor of the National Take a Stand Festival Orchestras 2016 (Aspen Festival and Bard College), the Colombian Youth Philharmonic, Wolfgang Sinfonietta in Singapore, Youth Orchestra Salinas and ELM San Rafael Youth Orchestra in California.
In 2017, Mr. Molano received an award by the Colombian Foreign Affairs Ministry and the TV station RCN in Washington D.C. as one of the more prominent and outstanding Colombians in the United States. In recognition of his vast artistic career, the Medellin City Council in Colombia granted him the Juan del Corral Order. In 2016, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District honored him with the Stairway to Stars Recognition for his commitment in music education.
He served five years as Music and Artistic Director of the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra, conducting an eclectic symphonic repertoire from early music to contemporary works and a list of opera productions including Rigoletto, Madame Butterfly, Orpheus and Eurydice, L’Elisir d’Amore, and Bastien und Bastienne. He has collaborated with artists such as Plácido Domingo, Gustavo Dudamel, Ilya Gringolts, Bing Wang, James Conlon, Leon Botstein, Min Lee, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Chris Martin (Coldplay), Eric Aubier, Joseph De Pasquale, Ryu Goto, Los Tigres del Norte, and others.
A graduate with special honors, Mr. Molano studied orchestral and opera conducting at the Vienna Conservatory in Austria. He also studied clarinet and piano performance at the University of Antioquia in Colombia.