DePaul University School of Music > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Oto Carrillo

Oto Carrillo

BA DePaul University
MM Northwestern University

Courses Taught
Applied Horn


Oto Carrillo was appointed to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) horn section by Daniel Barenboim in 2000. 

A native of Guatemala, Carrillo grew up in Chicago, admiring the CSO and its wonderful horn section while receiving a bachelors degree in music performance from DePaul University and a masters degree in both music performance and musicology from Northwestern University. His teachers were Jon Boen, principal horn of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Gail Williams, former associate principal of the CSO. After graduating, he won positions with the Memphis and Cedar Rapids orchestras, and was able to continue playing in Chicago for two seasons as a member of the Civic Orchestra, coached by Dale Clevenger. He also has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Metropolitana Orchestra of Lisbon, Portugal as well as having had featured roles in Chicago based ensembles such as the Chicago Sinfonietta, Music of the Baroque, the Chicago Philharmonic, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In addition, Oto has played in various summer festivals with such orchestras as the National Repertory Orchestra, the National Orchestral Institute, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the Grant Park Orchestra, the Mostly Mozart Festival in Woodstock, Illinois, and the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra. Prior to his appointment to the CSO, Carrillo held positions in the South Bend and Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestras.  

Oto has collaborated with numerous chamber groups such as the Chicago Chamber Musicians, musicians from the MusicNow series, and was a member of the Millar Brass Ensemble whose performances have been recorded on the Delos and Koss labels. In addition, Carrillo has been a soloist with various groups in and outside the Chicago area performing works by Bach, Strauss, and Mozart, as well as giving the Chicago premiere of Augusta Read Thomas Silver Chants the Litanies for horn and chamber orchestra. He has collaborated with his colleagues in the CSO horn section to perform Schumanns Concertstucke for Four Horns with the Chicago Youth Symphony, the Civic Orchestra, and most recently, the CSO. 

As an instructor, Carrillo has given many master classes at various institutions. Currently, he is on faculty at DePaul University and the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific (SOAP), a unique summer training program for aspiring young orchestral musicians set in British Columbia. 

Outside of playing, Carrillo enjoys the company of his wife Sarah, a free-lance trumpet player, and their two children, Lucas and Isabelle.

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