Felipe Tristán, one of the most sought-after conductors from Mexico, has shown musical excellence and has delivered powerful performances worldwide. He has performed shows in China, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Panama, and cities throughout the US and several of the main stages in New York, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Merkin Hall, DiMenna Center, and the Brooklyn Museum.
In 2017, the Mexican musician toured China and presented a TEDx talk about music education benefits. His passion for music led him to be recognized in the year 2018. Felipe was awarded the 1st Prize at the International Conductors Workshop & Competition in Atlanta. A year later, he won another 1st Prize at the Klangkraft Dirigierwettbewerbs Conducting Competition, in Germany.
His outstanding career as a musician did not happen without his efforts and sacrifices to become better as an artist. Following over 15 years of arduous studies in music, Felipe was trained in aesthetic education, creativity, imagination, and arts in the classroom as a Kenan Fellow at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. After receiving this training, he took various roles in NYC, from teaching artistry at the El Sistema-inspired organization Corona Youth Music Project, a robust music program in Queens, New York, to arts administration, and arts entrepreneurship.
What makes him excel and maintain his recognizable yet outstanding musical skill is his enthusiasm for cross-genre and multimedia projects. He always aspires to bring music to all music lovers and let his music turn into someone’s home. His collaboration with several Broadway, pop, and jazz artists made Felipe Tristan achieve uniqueness. He has blended these genres with orchestral music and pushed the canon to cater to an inclusive, new, and diverse audience. Also, he is known for honoring and performing the music works by Mexican and Latin-American composers.
Besides knowing what music fits for the audience to make music as their home, the Mexican musician believes that digital and social media play a vital role in music nowadays. “It is very important to be conscious of the impact that social media and all digital media has on the performing artist of our time,” he says. “Long gone are the days when an artist should solely focus on his or her craft, now, an artist must wear many hats—and be excellent in all of them. Perfection in music is not an option, but the starting point.”
Felipe believes in adapting to the changing times and how technology can help people celebrate art and music. This has motivated him to continuously build his brand and represent Mexican and Latino music through classical music worldwide. “I want that to be part of my legacy,” he added.
Besides his experience as an Associate Conductor of the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra (BSO), where he previously served as Assistant Conductor from 2015-2018, he also hosts and produces the BSO Podcast, a program of interviews & music talks featuring the BSO musicians and guest artists.
Felipe is also the Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra of the Americas, a semi-professional ensemble created in partnership with Mexico’s New York Consulate. He also served in the New York City Mexican Cultural Institute that promotes American concert music intercontinental dialogue and cooperation.
He also works at the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance—a six-time Grammy Award®-winning orchestra and nonprofit in NYC. He is also the Conductor of the Repertory Symphony Orchestra at the Manhattan School of Music’s precollege division—one of the leading conservatories in the US.
Aside from his plans to make guest conducting appearances worldwide and represent Latino musicians in classical music, Felipe also wants to create education initiatives that give underserved communities opportunities and fair representation.
“I would like to help expand the typical or expected target audience of the performing arts—reach new audiences, especially the younger ones,” he says as he narrated his plans as a musician. “I think it is essential that all artists help with this cause, help change the different stereotypes that classical music isn’t welcoming or that it is only for a few. Classical music as well as all performing arts are very much for everyone and made of everyone, thus they reflect all peoples. Ultimately, the arts are a reflection of our human nature.”
Tristán is a proud alumnus of the Escuela Superior de Música y Danza de Monterrey, in Mexico, the University of Houston, and the UNC School of the Arts. Learn more about this outstanding Mexican musician through his website.