Mercedes Otero was born in Caracas, Venezuela, growing up in a family of artists. Her mother, Mercedes Pardo, was a painter, and her father, Alejandro Otero, was a sculptor. She grew up within a very motivating cultural atmosphere where musicians, painters, sculptors, writers, philosophers, playwrights, dancers, actors, composers, performers, and poets gathered regularly at her home.
Her musical career commenced in her home country. As a classical guitarist, she initially studied with Gilbert Biberian and John Duarte in London, England. She then went on to enroll in the Instituto Viotti, Vercelli, to study with Angelo Gilardino and Giuseppe Rosetta. Returning to Venezuela, she studied Choral Conducting at the Choral Conductors’ School of Caracas and composition with Hector Tossar. She undertook graduate studies at the California State University, in Northridge, where she studied with Aurelio de la Vega and Daniel Kessner and was awarded a Master’s Degree with Distinction.
As a choral conductor, she founded and conducted several choirs for children, teens, and adults. As a composer, Otero participated in Contemporary Music Festivals in Venezuela, Mexico, and the United States. Her music has been used as sound tracks for documentary films about art.
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