Juan Pablo Contreras (b. 1987 in Guadalajara, Mexico) is a Los Angeles-based classical music composer that incorporates Mexican popular and folk music into his works. Recognized as “one of the most prominent young composers of Latin America” (Milenio), his music has been performed by major orchestras such as the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, the UNAM Philharmonic Orchestra, and the orchestras of Boca del Rio, Mexico City, State of Mexico, and Jalisco in Mexico; the Salta and Cordoba Symphonies in Argentina; the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela; and the Victoria Bach Festival Orchestra and Waco Symphony Orchestra in the United States.
Contreras has won awards and grants including the BMI William Schuman Prize, the Presser Music Award, the Jalisco Orchestral Composition Prize, the Brian M. Israel Prize, the Pedro Sarquis Merrewe National Arts Award, the Arturo Marquez Composition Contest, the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, the Dutch Harp Composition Contest, the EtM Con Edison Composers’ Residency, the Nicolas Flagello Award, and the Mexican Endowment for the Arts and Culture Young Artist Fellowship. He has served as composer-in-residence at the Turtle Bay Music School and the Concerts on the Slope chamber music series in New York.
Contreras holds degrees in composition from the Manhattan School of Music (MM), the California Institute of the Arts (BFA), and is currently pursuing his DMA degree at the University of Southern California under the tutelage of Donald Crockett. His most influential teachers include Richard Danielpour, Daniel Catan, and Nils Vigeland. Contreras has been a guest lecturer at the Baylor University and the California State University of Fresno in the United States; and the Western Institute of Technology and the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. His music has been recorded on Albany Records, Epsa Music, and Urtext Digital Classics