Starting today, streaming live across the globe from atop the Andes mountains in Chile, is the 5-day Portillo International Music Festival Academy –

Daily concerts, masterclasses, conversations and interviews with American String Quartet, Conductor Kent Nagano, President of the Mahler Foundation – Marina Mahler and much more.

The Portillo Festival in its 3rd year is the wonder of a team of three innovative and pioneering women – Conductor/Violinist Alejandra Urrutia, Culture Creator and Talent Curator Angelica Fanjul and Success Guide Caroline Ward.  Apart from this festival, this dynamic trio is also known for the social disruptor/healing initiative – The Great Concert for Siblinghood Facebook (Thank you Tyson Yunkaporta/SandTalk for the new inclusive word to replace brotherhood.)

The Portillo Festival this year will be offered online (like everything else in the known universe) and while there are some obvious minuses there are some phenomenal pluses.

Normally offers over fifty full scholarships for highly talented young musicians, with minimal financial resources to attend a 10-day immersion experience with teachers the likes of The American String Quartet in residence.

“The atmosphere is extraordinary during those 10 days”, says Ward from Australia unable to travel due to COVID. “I look after the Leadership and Coaching area of the Festival and although the students come to participate and learn from these amazing master teachers from around the world, they also have scheduled time each day with me learning about self-management, mindset and success.”

Video is in English: Caroline Ward short mindset coaching for the Portillo Festival

“We have taught at hundreds of festivals, the best of the best” says Daniel Avshalomov (Viola) of The American String Quartet. “The focus on the whole person at Portillo is not only what makes this festival unique, it is absolutely pioneering and foundational for a lasting career in classical music”. 

This year sees Portillo pioneer even further. The virtual arena means there are students and teachers from all over the world.

It still holds strong to it’s selected 52 scholarships for the ‘inner sanctum’ program, however there is an open program of Masterclasses by esteemed professionals from the Americas and from Europe. These are all free of charge and open to any student, of any age, from any place on the planet. All they need is internet access and they must register at

Festival Director, Alejandra Urrutia Streaming Live in The Andes Mountains, Portillo, Chile

Furthermore, there are fascinating conversations, interviews and dialogues with thought leaders, innovators, scientists, social change-makers, artists, researchers and industry leaders from across the world.

The idea is that music, and perhaps especially classical music, is not something separate from life and certainly not ever meant to die an elitist death. It’s part of the fabric of our humanity, our creativity, our capacity to be inclusive, to innovate, to recognize beauty in life, nature and in others. So this year there are wonderful guests who will bring to bear their own perspective, research and wisdom on the intersection of music, Life and the world.

And for the young musicians who want to, and maybe need to learn about what it takes to make it in the industry, there are seasoned professionals who will share experience, understanding, strategies and tips.

Festival Program 2021