Enluis Montes Olivar
ENLUIS MONTES OLIVAR was born in 1996, in the city of Guanare (Portuguesa), Venezuela. He began his music studies at the age of eight on the recorder with Norwis Pérez and trumpet with Carlos Mínguez, continuing his training on this instrument with Rafael Zambrano, all of them teaching in Guanare.
Enluis comes from the new generation of young conductors of El Sistema. He took part in international seminars held in the city of Acarigua-Araure on nine occasions from 2008 to 2016, led by instructors from the New England Conservatory and other music schools from the United States, Canada, Italy, and Venezuela. In 2011, he took part in the trumpet seminar led by Max Sommerhalder in Guanare and was a founding member of his Brass Ensemble of the Plains (Ensemble de Metales de los Llanos).
He was also part of the trumpet section of the Guanare Youth Symphony Orchestra. He entered the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Plains and the Brass Ensemble of the Plains, under the tutelage of Raquel Castillo de Zambrano, Roberto Zambrano, and Henry Zambrano. He auditioned and joined the National Children’s Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela in 2010, when it was directed by Gustavo Dudamel and Simon Rattle.
Montes made his podium debut in 2007 at the age of 11, leading the Guanare Youth and Children’s Symphonic Orchestra and Choir. He later began formal studies in orchestral conducting with Teresa Hernández. José Antonio Abreu likewise assumed an important role in his training, making him part of the academic training program for young musicians, teachers, and conductors in El Sistema. Enluis also attended orchestral conducting workshops with Gustavo Dudamel, Dick van Gasteren, Eduardo Marturet, Diego Matheuz, Jhon Farrer, Leonardo Panigada, Tarcisio Barreto, Leif Bjaland, Mark Churchill, Luis Mauricio Carneiro, and David Cubek.
In November 2012, he captivated audiences and critics when he conducted the Cantata Criolla by Antonio Estévez at the Simón Bolívar Hall of the Center for Social Action for Music, leading some 250 members of Youth Symphonic Orchestra and Choir of the Plains, as part of the inaugural Festival of Young Conductors of Venezuela, a triumph which led to the concert being repeated at the request of José Antonio Abreu as Olivar’s showcase for Gustavo Dudamel.
In October-November 2015, Enluis had the honor of conducting the Aragua Symphony Orchestra at the Maracay Opera Theater for the revival of Moliere’s Tartuffe, staged by Reynaldo Hidalgo. That December, he led the official reopening concert of all the El Sistema orchestras in the state of Aragua at the same venue, leading some 350 musicians. In May 2016, he became the first orchestra conductor in the world to include Venezuelan sign language at a performance of a Mozart mass, fostering the inclusion of the hearing-impaired and special-needs communities, a project that featured the Franco Medina Youth Symphony Orchestra and the White Hands Choir of the Special Education Program based in Barquisimeto.
In a magnificent tribute to the late José Antonio Abreu, on April 7, 2018, Montes led the largest orchestra and choir in the world, totaling 10,771 musicians, who performed a concert of varied repertoire at Caracas’ Polyhedron Arena.
Enluis Montes Olivar made his first international tour in November-December 2018, traveling to Japan, where he led a concert at the Tokyo Metropolitan Arts space that marked the first joint performance of the various branches of El Sistema Japan, along with the White Hands Choir of Tokyo, and the Ensamble Lara Somos from Venezuela.
Enluis was awarded the Honor of Merit in 2012 and 2013 by the Municipal Council of the city of Guanare and the Order of Juan Fernández de León by the Mayoralty of Guanare. In recognition of his social and artistic work within the El Sistema Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs in the state of Lara, he received the Order of Merit AFIVEL in June 2014 from Barquisimeto’s Ítalo Venezolano social center; the emblem of the Bolivarian Army, presented by its general commander, Alexis Asención López Ramírez during the concert marking its 193th anniversary that same month; and was decorated with the General Order of the Juan Jacinto Lara Division in May 2015, presented by the governor of the state, as well as being awarded the Order of the City of Barquisimeto pin by the municipal executive office.
Montes was Musical Director of the Franco Medina Youth Symphony Orchestra between 2014 and early 2017, as well as the Lara’s Children’s Symphony Orchestra in 2015. Enluis was also Assistant Director of Lara’s Youth Symphony between 2016 and 2017 and was concurrently Chair of Orchestral Conducting at Barquisimeto’s Vicente Emilio Sojo Conservatory of Music.
He is currently Deputy Musical Director of the Orchestral and Choral Management Department of the Simón Bolívar Musical Foundation, where he serves as guest conductor for the various professional and regional orchestras of Greater Caracas. He is a student at El Sistema’s Inocente Carreño Itinerant Conservatory, under the tutelage of Dick van Gasteren.