Miguel Ángel Santaella

(b. 25 April 1971, Caracas).

Venezuelan composer of mostly choral works that have been performed in the Americas and Europe; he is also active as a conductor.

Mr. Santaella studied choral conducting with Belén Ojeda and music theory and solfège with José Marín at the Conservatorio José Ángel Lamas in Caracas from 1990–92. He studied analysis, composition and musical forms privately with César Alejandro Carrillo in Caracas from 1993–2003 and has studied composition with Beatriz Bilbao and Federico Ruíz at the Instituto Universitario de Estudios Musicales (IUDEM) in Caracas since 2004. In addition, he was awarded an honorary degree by East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana in 1992.

Among his honours are First Prize in the 100 Años Electricidad de Caracas competition (1995, for Domine Exaudi, Op. 11), the Premio Municipal de Música Vocal (1996, for Yambambó Yambambé, Op. 18), the Premio Municipal de Música Sinfónica Larga (1996, for Atmospheria, Concierto para Orquesta, Op. 15), and the Premio Municipal de Música Sinfónica Breve (1997, for Novilunium, Op. 21). Among his honours as a conductor are the Premio por Excelente Desempeño (1999, 2002, both for his work with the Diseño Vocal FAU–UCV) and the Premio al Mérito Estudiantil (1999, for founding the Diseño Vocal FAU–UCV), both from FAU–UCV in Caracas.

As a conductor, he has led numerous choruses in Venezuela, including the Diseño Vocal FAU–UCV, which he founded in 1998 and of which he has since served as principal conductor. He also founded the Athenaeum Grupo Vocal in Caracas in 2000 and the Cantoria Monteavila of the Universidad Monteavila in Caracas in 2003 and has since served as principal conductor of both. Moreover, he has conducted the Sies Seis Sexteto Vocal Jazz in Caracas since 2000.

Mr. Santaella is also active in other positions. He sang as a bass-baritone with various choruses from 1987–2000, notably the Cantarte Coro de Cámara in Caracas from 1995–97 and the Orfeón Universitario UCV in Caracas from 1990–2000. He served as artistic director of the choral festival Encuentro de Coros Ucevistas in Caracas and the Festival Música Nueva in Caracas in 2000 and has served as chairman of the board of the Encuentro de Coros Ucevistas in Caracas and Maracay since 2002.


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Fausta y la Casa del Sol (text by Francisco Herrera Luque), soprano, mezzo-soprano, female actor, 2 male actors, mixed chorus, large orchestra, Op. 14, 1995


Palazzi e Castelli, large orchestra, Op. 13, 1995

Atmospheria, Concierto para Orquesta, large orchestra, Op. 15, 1995

Carpe Diem!, small orchestra (20 players), Op. 17, 1996

Novilunium, 3 violins, small orchestra (2 French horns, harp, strings), Op. 21, 1996

Laudi (Choral Variations), large orchestra, Op. 26, 1997

Intrada, Op. 30, 1998

Roroimá, Op. 32, 1998

Sinfonía Uno, orchestra (9 winds, 4 French horns, 3 percussion, 12 cellos, 8 double basses), Op. 33, 1998

Sinfonía Dos, large orchestra, Op. 39, 1999

Scherzo Concertante, large orchestra, Op. 49, 2001


Lhasa, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, violin, viola, cello, piano, 2 percussion, Op. 23, 1997

A, per quattro strumenti, oboe, bassoon, violin, cello, Op. 35, 1998

B, per grupo strumentale, flute, oboe, bassoon, 2 French horns, trombone, 4 violins, double bass, 3 percussion, Op. 38, 1999


Ayer (text by Noel García), mixed chorus, Op. 1, 1988

Quédate (text by Leopoldo Márquez), 3 male voices, Op. 2, 1988, revised 1989

Déo Véro (text by the composer), 3 male voices, Op. 3, 1989, revised 1990

El Sueño (text by Pablo Neruda), 3 male voices, Op. 4, 1990

Der Blasse Abelknabe Spricht (text by Rainer Maria Rilke), mixed chorus, Op. 5, 1990

Alleluia, mixed chorus, Op. 6, 1990

Salve Regina, mixed chorus, Op. 7, 1991

Ave Maria, 8 mixed voices, Op. 8, 1991

Ave Maria, 4 male voices, Op. 9, 1991, revised 1992

Ave Maria, mixed chorus, Op. 10, 1993, revised 1996

Domine Exaudi, 8 mixed voices, Op. 11, 1994

MeskuiciaiHill of Crosses (vocalise), mixed chorus, large orchestra, Op. 12, 1994

Yambambó Yambambé (text by Nicolás Guillén), mixed chorus, Op. 18, 1996

Primer Nocturno (text by José Antonio Calcaño), mixed chorus, Op. 19, 1996

Así (text by José Antonio Calcaño), mixed chorus, Op. 20, 1996

Ave Maria a Quattro Voci, mixed chorus, Op. 24, 1997

Magnificat, 8 mixed voices, Op. 25, 1997

Perdón (text by Simón Bolívar), 8 mixed voices, Op. 27, 1997

Morena (text by Luis Edgardo Ramírez), mixed chorus, Op. 28, 1997

Gag (vocalise), mixed chorus, Op. 29, 1997

Missa, 6 mixed voices, Op. 31, 1998

País (text by Pablo Neruda), 6 mixed voices, Op. 34, 1998

Tres Mantras (texts from Hindu mantras), mixed chorus, Op. 36, 1998

Hallelujah (text by Maya Angelou), mixed chorus, Op. 37, 1999

Siéntelo (text by the composer), 6 male voices, Op. 40, 1999

Bitácora (text from phonemes), 6 male voices, Op. 41, 2000

Missa Brevis, mixed chorus, Op. 42, 2000

Alleluia a Sei Voci, 6 mixed voices, Op. 43, 2000

Laudate Dominum, 8 mixed voices, Op. 44, 2000

Chansons pour la Douche (vocalise), mixed chorus, Op. 45, 2000

Haiku Suite (texts by Matsuo Bashō, Yosa Buson, Shinohara, Takako Hashimoto), mixed chorus, Op. 46, 2001

Madrigal (text by the composer), 6 mixed voices, Op. 47, 2001

Sinfonía Tres (vocalise), mixed chorus, orchestra, Op. 48, 2001

Aguinaldo (text by the composer), 6 mixed voices, Op. 50, 2001

Diablosuelto con Pajarillo (text from phonemes), 6 mixed voices, Op. 51, 2002

Deconstructio (text from phonemes), 6 male voices, Op. 52, 2002

Missa Hispanica (text from the Misal Latinoamericano), mixed chorus, Op. 53, 2002

BoJoTaL (text from phonemes), mixed chorus, Op. 54, 2002

Invitación (text by Francisco Lazo-Martí), 3 mixed choruses, Op. 55, 2003

Yadrigal (text from a traditional story of the Yanomami people), mixed chorus, Op. 56, 2003

Tendrá que ser (text by the composer), 6 male voices, Op. 57, 2003

Ave Maria, 4 male voices, Op. 58, 2003

Sinfonía Cuatro (texts from religious texts in Latin, Russian, Yiddish, Arabic, Simón Bolívar, Miguel Torga, Katri Vala, phonemes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Latin text Improperiæ proprium tempus paschali, Dante Alighieri, Rainer Maria Rilke), 24 mixed voices, Op. 59, 2004

Polo (text from a folksong from Venezuela), 4 female voices, Op. 60, 2004

Dos Canciones Corales (text by Gaius Valerius Catullus), mixed chorus, Op. 61, 2005


Hasta Mañana (text by Mario Benedetti), tenor, guitar, cuatro (plucked instrument from Latin America), violin, viola, cello, Op. 16, 1995

Præludium (vocalise), soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, percussion, Op. 22, 1997