Working alongside arts faculty at academic festivals, Caroline has the capacity to create confidence and a deep sense security that allows young artists make the most of their opportunity with master teachers.
We all know that self-belief, confidence and managing anxiety are fundamental to a successful life and more so a successful life as a performance artist. The nature of an academic festival is very intense, where the young artists are hungry to learn and at the same time often feel vulnerable and 'on show' to the teachers and the other participants. 

The atmosphere of comparison and competition can often undermine the learning environment. We often hear the words 'healthy competition' thrown about, however, Caroline believes there is a better way than leaving fragile nervous systems pitted one against another. What she does is create a community of excellence where everyone can thrive and celebrate the success of others without feeling their own success is threatened. Everyone becomes the best version of themselves. 

Some Testimonials from Students and Teachers
With talented, motivated students and fantastic artistic leadership from Alejandra Urrutia, the Portillo Festival has already established itself as an important training ground for young musicians.  Gaining inspiration from the incredible landscape of the Andes, Portillo is a place that musicians can go to work on their chamber music and orchestral skills, and immerse themselves in that study undisturbed from daily life.  The approach at Portillo is also very holistic, with classes in yoga and leadership to ensure that young musicians are good citizens, as well.  It was an honor to be part of the inaugural Portillo Festival, and I am looking forward to returning for another wonderful experience.

Stephen Miahky, 
Joseph Joachim Professor of Violin, First Violin, Blair String Quartet
The Portillo Festival helped me enormously to grow as a musician and as a person. The master classes really helped me to grasp a better understanding of chamber music and to enjoy it a lot. All the teachers were very helpful. Additionally, the coaching helped me to give an ideological turn to my life, to see things in a different way, and to be able to give a new direction to my goals and dreams.

Sebastián Ramírez, Chile (Violin)
...The classes of chamber music were spectacular, with teachers extremely eager to draw the best from us. We also had coaching sessions where we learned about our minds and the importance of controlling our thoughts to achieve all our goals, and how to connect with ourselves and control our breathing in order to achieve better results in our musical performance. I tried this in the Festival’s recitals and concerts and it helped me, and has continued helping me to control my nerves when facing a performance. I also met beautiful people and created ties of friendship. It’s a festival that I would definitely live again, and I hope to have the chance to do so. Thank you very much to the artistic director, the teachers and all the people who accompanied us during the whole festival. It was beautiful!

Francifé López, Venezuela/Chile (Viola)

The Portillo Festival was one of the most enriching experiences I’ve lived so far within my artistic discipline. The high technical and musical level of all the students and teachers was very inspiring, and the gradually growing intensity and pressure of the classes were well balanced with the coaching activities. All this produced results of very good musical quality and lots of ‘good vibe’. I have never had such a good time playing in an orchestra. For me, the coaching was vital for enduring all the pressure of those ten highly demanding days. Personally, I feel that each coaching activity helped me to enjoy the whole Festival experience, as well as giving me a starting point to organize my goals and dreams.

Ignacio Valenzuela, Chile (Cello)
For me, the Portillo Festival was a space of limitless opportunities where people didn’t just make good music—I was also taught to chart a course towards my dreams and goals in the coaching and leadership sessions. There were days of much learning with the Blair String Quartet, each one of its members sharing their love for and knowledge of music. It was not just music—it was a festival where humility and companionship prevailed. And we also had an excellent maestra conducting the orchestra: Alejandra Urrutia. It was very gratifying for me to be a part of this first festival, and I’m happy because I feel as if I never really left.

Marlly Palacios, Venezuela/Chile (Violin)

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