Angélica Durrell is the founder and artistic Director of the Intake Organization (instrumentally Native Taking on the Classics). A violinist and social entrepreneur, Durrell belongs to the sixth generation of a family of musicians from Ecuador. Began her musical studies at the National Conservatory of Music in Quito at age six and continued her musical studies in the Norwalk Public Schools, in Norwalk, Connecticut under the direction of her father, David Durrell. Soon after, she became concertmaster in the Norwalk Youth Symphony and first violinist at the Chamber Music Institute for Young Musicians, in Stamford, Connecticut.
In 2003 she received the Roger Nierenberg Young Musician Commendation Award for outstanding young musicians granted by the Stamford Symphony Orchestra. And in 2007, the University of Connecticut awarded her the Louis and Sylvia Lazar Endowment for the Arts, a full scholarship to complete her undergraduate studies. Angelica holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of Connecticut. She has studied violin with Julie Rosenfeld, Theodore Arm, Asya Meshberg and Stephen Clapp, as well as conducting with James Sinclair and Kenneth Kiesler from the University of Michigan and the Conductor’s Retreat at Medomak, Maine.
Driven by creativity, Ms. Durrell performed a multimedia work by Latin Grammy award-winning composer Gabriela Lena Frank at von der Mehden Recital Hall in 2009 and travelled to Berkeley, California to perform Frank’s Duo for Violin and Piano with the composer at The Crowden School of Music. She was later invited to perform the Star Spangled Banner at the XL Center in Hartford, CT., during the 2010 NCAA UConn Women’s Basketball Championship season. That summer, she was featured as guest concertmaster of the Ecuadorian National Conservatory Symphony Orchestra and also performed along the National Symphony Orchestra of Ecuador under the baton of Andrea Vela.
In November 2010, celebrating the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City and Stamford’s UBS Parade, she was the guest conductor for the Latin Band Pedro Molina, the only performing band that came on tour from Coatepeque-Guatemala to participate in such parades.
UConn’s Center for Undergraduate Research and the United States Embassy in Quito, Ecuador funded her summer research in 2010, which would later lead to the first International Tour of the university’s Collegium Musicum Ensemble, where Durrell was the Artistic Assistant. Her commitment to promoting the arts and advocating for academic music from Latin America has led her to perform extensive musicological research in Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States.
She is an Alumna of the 2007 Sphinx Performance Academy, and in 2011, Ms. Durrell served as the Assistant Dean of the Sphinx Performance Academy at Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio and Roosevelt University in Chicago; organization whose President and Founder, Aaron Dworkin, 2005 MacArthur Fellow and President Barack Obama’s first nominee for the National Council for the Arts, has been Durrell’s mentor since 2007.
A faculty member of the Chamber Music Institute for Young Musicians in Connecticut, she has worked at the Palace Theatre of Stamford, Connecticut since 2009. In 2010, she co-founded a pilot strings project at the Hall Neighborhood House in Bridgeport, CT., where she taught violin, and then went on to work with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
As a social entrepreneur and upon envisioning and founding the INTAKE
Organization, she aims to promote classical music relevance, accessibility, and inclusiveness through the education and the use of native instruments from multiple cultures. Ms. Durrell’s leadership has been recognized by the National Assembly of Ecuador, in 2011, receiving the Immigrant Women Award and being named a cultural ambassador between the cities of Riobamba (Ecuador) and Norwalk (Connecticut), in the fall of 2012.
Angelica recently attended the American Express Leadership Academy in New York City, and in the spring of 2014, she became the first person from Connecticut to be accepted into the Advocacy Leadership Institute hosted by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) in Washington D.C.
Durrell’s artistic career and community impact during the 2014−15 season is being fostered, in part, by the Sphinx Organization through their inaugural MPower Artist Development Grant.