María Guinand, choral director, college professor, teacher and leader of national and international choral projects, has specialized in Latin American Choral Music of the 20th and 21st centuries. She was awarded the ‘Kulturpreis’ (1998) by the Inter Nationes Foundation (1998), the ‘Robert Edler Preis für Chormusik’ (2000) and the Helmuth Rilling Prize (2009). With the Cantoría Alberto Grau, she has received six awards in the competitions of Neuchatel and Arezzo (1989) and three gold medals with the Orfeón Universitario Simón Bolívar at the Choir Olympics held in Linz (2000). She currently directs the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela and Coral Fundación Empresas Polar, and is the Artistic Director for the FSCV and Advisor for the IFCM. From 1976 to 2009 she has been a close collaborator with ‘El Sistema’ as the Associate Conductor of Choral Symphonic Performances.