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About Sebastian Zinca

Sebastian Zinca completed his conducting studies at the Sibelius Academy as a student of Sakari Oramo. As part of his studies, he conducted nearly every major orchestra across Finland, making his guest conducting debut there with the Oulu Symphony Orchestra. In 2021, he received a silver medal at the Third International Antal Doráti Conducting Competition in Budapest. He has been a conducting fellow at the Lucerne Festival Academy where he worked for 3 weeks intensively on contemporary music, and at the Aspen Music Festival. He has appeared with orchestras in the United States, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Spain, Italy, and Czech Republic. 


Zinca is particularly passionate about opera. He has led productions of Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz, Frid's Diary of Anne Frank, and Handel’s Alcina, the latter of which was performed on period instruments. He has assisted at the Teatro Real Madrid working closely with Mark Wigglesworth on Barrie Kosky’s production of Shostakovich’s Nose. In 2022 he was one of four young conductors from around the world chosen to conduct an act of La Bohème in concert with the Orquesta Filarmònica de Gran Canaria, and at the European Music Academy Teplice, was awarded the President's Prize for his work on Così fan tutte.


During Zinca's time living in New York City, he assembled an orchestra comprised of top young players from Juilliard and Yale. Seeking to break the boundaries of how classic music is presented, the orchestra’s final concert featured several world premieres, a collaboration with young jazz virtuoso Vuyo Sotashe, a Mendelssohn Symphony, and culminated in a large-scale rendition of the civil-rights-era song We Shall Overcome, arranged by Zinca for orchestra, singer, spoken word poet, and full audience choir.


Zinca earned his bachelor’s degree in double bass at the Juilliard School. As an orchestral musician, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Mariinsky Theatre, Moscow Conservatory, and Suntory Hall, sharing the stage with such distinguished conductors as Valery Gergiev, Gianandrea Noseda, Fabio Luisi, David Zinman, Pablo Heras-Casado, and Thomas Adès. In 2017, Zinca and violinist Ariel Horowitz gave a recital tour of Europe culminating in a performance of Holocaust memorial music at the Altejudenramp in Auschwitz. He has played over 40 concerts in hospitals, nursing homes, and homeless shelters and has done extensive volunteer teaching and performing with underserved communities on the Navajo Reservation and in New Orleans.


Zinca's path into classical music began at the age of 13 when he first heard Bach’s unaccompanied violin Sonata No. 3. He felt instantly in love, listening to Bach’s music relentlessly for the next year. Only just having started to learn the double bass, he became committed to learning every note of the solo Cello Suites.


Zinca was born in Miami, Florida to Romanian and Peruvian parents. He currently resides in Berlin where he is completing his advanced studies with Steven Sloane and Harry Curtis at the Universität der Künste.


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