The Ananta Duo was co-founded by clarinetist Cecilia Kang and pianist Ana Maria Otamendi.
The word, ananta means "infinite” in Sanskrit and the duo is committed to exploring eclectic music beyond borders to promote classical music and address contemporary social issues.
Cecilia Kang - Clarinet
Clarinetist Cecilia Kang is a recipient of top prizes and honors from the Canadian Music Competition, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Standard Life Competition, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington DC, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Metropolitan Arts Council.
She has performed at Thy Chamber Music Festival (Denmark), IMPULS Contemporary Music Festival (Austria), Grumo Music Festival (Italy), Castleton Music Festival (USA), Luzerne Music Center (USA), Bay View Music Festival (USA), Clarinet Colloquium (USA), Collingwood Music Festival (Canada), Banff Centre (Canada), International Clarinet and Saxophone Festival (China), Interflows Music Festival (Hong Kong), and at ClarinetFest.
As an adjudicator and reviewer, she has served on behalf of the International Clarinet Association, the Music Teachers National Association and the Nineteenth-Century Music Review Journal. She has also presented lectures and pedagogy clinics at conferences hosted by the College Music Society, the International Clarinet Association and the Midwest Clinic.
Dr. Kang obtained her degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of Southern California, and the University of Toronto. She currently serves as Assistant Professor of Clarinet at Furman University (USA). Cecilia Kang is a Vandoren and Buffet Crampon Performing Artist and Clinician.
Ana María Otamendi - Piano
Since her orchestral debut at age twelve, Ana María has performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist at important venues and with renowned orchestras in Austria, Panama, Brazil, the United States, Spain, Italy, and Venezuela.
After finishing her two-year tenure as Studio Artist at the prestigious Houston Grand Opera Studio, as well as the Merola Opera Program of the San Francisco Opera, she became the Head Vocal Coach of the Moores Opera Center at the University of Houston. Currently, she is the new Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano at Louisiana State University. During the summer, she is the Artistic Director of the Collaborative Piano Institute, an intensive three-week program devoted to collaborative pianists, that counts with stellar faculty, such as Rita Sloan, Kathleen Kelly (U. of Michigan), Marie-France Lefebvre (CCM), Howard Watkins (MET), and many more. In the summer of 2016, she returned as Head Coach and Conductor for the Franco American Vocal Academy in Salzburg (FAVA), where she conducted Don Giovanni by Mozart and coached singers in their roles and art song. She also founded the Octave Illusion Ensemble, a Houston-based two pianists and two percussionists quartet encompassing three continents and four countries. The ensemble is devoted to arranging, performing and promoting repertoire usually reserved for large orchestral settings, in an effort to bring contemporary music to a wider audience.
She has won First Prize at all the major Venezuelan piano competitions, as well as the University of South Carolina Concerto Competition and the Ouro Branco Festival Competition (Brazil). She is also a regular guest, as performer and teacher, at different Universities in the US such as the University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Bemidji State University and the University of South Carolina. Ana María holds a Master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Wisconsin, an Artist Certificate from the University of South Carolina, and a Doctorate in collaborative piano from the University of Michigan, where she studied with renowned pianist Martin Katz.
She was principal keyboardist of the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra (2007–08) as well as assistant professor at the University of Musical Studies in Caracas. Besides her musical training, Ana María is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Italian, and also a Geophysical Engineer. Her thesis was published in the prestigious journal Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors.