Was born in Calama City in May 1968. He completed his primary and secondary school at the Obispo Silva Lezaeta Institute in that city. His first music teachers were Carlos Pérez Rozas and Eduardo Cepeda. In 1985 he moved to Concepción to study music at the Universidad de Concepción, where in 1990 he gained the Bachelor degree in Music Education (distinction). In 1993 he started the Bachelor degree in Composition at the University of Chile. Then he was awarded the Master of Arts in Composition (maximum distinction).
He has studied orchestra conducting with Wilfried Junge, Guillermo Scarabino and Guillermo Rifo, contemporary music conducting with Aliocha Solovera, choral conducting with Mario Cánovas and composition with Miguel Aguilar, Gustavo Becerra, and Eduardo Cáceres. In 1998, 1999 and 2000, he attended the Composition Fields INJUVE in Spain, where he had lessons with Cristóbal Halffter and Mauricio Sotelo.
He created and conducted the chamber ensemble of the Silva Lezaeta Institute of Calama, the San Miguel of Talcahuano's children choir, and the Choir of the Artists of Steel Academy of Concepción. He was the Assistant Conductor of the Symphony and the Chamber Choirs of the Universidad de Concepción. In addition, he was an Assistant Lecturer at the Music Department of the University of Concepción, music teacher at the Conservatory of the University of Bío-Bío, a Lecturer at the University Mayor, the AIEP Institute and the Saint Thomas University, and was a member of the Ministry of Education’s Council, Jury of the Andes Foundation’s Scholarships, and consultant of the AcreditaAcción agency for universities accreditation. Furthermore, he has been Treasurer and President of the National Association of Chilean Composers. He was member of the Academic Management Committee of the Vicente Pérez Rosales University and head of the Music Department of the Universidad Tecnológica de Chile INACAP. In 2008 he created the School of Music of the Academia de Humanismo Cristiano University, where he was head of the Department of Music and later the Dean of the Faculty of Arts.
As a teacher, he has taught counterpoint, harmony, aural skills and solfeggio, and composition.
Since 2009 he has resumed orchestra conducting, having been invited to conduct the Symphony Orchestra of the University of Concepción, the Symphony Orchestra of Antofagasta, the Chamber Orchestra of the Austral University of Valdivia, the Marga-Marga Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Chile, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Temuco, the Chamber Orchestra and the Chimera Ensemble of the University of York, as well as several chamber ensembles. In March 2014 he conducted the premiere of his "Concerto for Saxophone and Strings" at the University of York. He also recorded the CD "Recorder Concertos by Chilean Composers" with the soloist Carmen Troncoso and the Marga-Marga Orchestra. Since 2016 he is the conductor of the Wind Orchestra of the University of York.
He has been invited to talk about his music at the International Choir Conference "La Plata Cantat" in Argentina, the Austral University of Valdivia, the University of Concepción, the University of Chile, the Catholic University of Valparaiso, the Catholic University of Santiago, the Technologic University INACAP, the Modern School of Music, and several conservatoires, primary and secondary schools in Chile among other institutions. Also, he has given presentations about Latin American, Chilean and his own music at the University of York, the University of Sheffield and the University of Huddersfield.
He has been a member of the jury of the Composition Competition "Luis Advis" of the Chilean Ministry of Culture three times, musical producer of the collection "Chilean Music of the XX Century" of the National Association of Chilean Composers, producer of the CD "Chilean Choral Anthology II" and of more than 20 compact discs and dvds. He has been producer of the VI Festival of University Choirs (Universidad de Concepción), and founder and producer of the Contemporary Music Festival of the Technological University of Chile. Additionally, he has been member of the committee of specialists of the Fund for the Promotion of Music of the Ministry of Culture on several occasions and member of the Council for the Promotion of National Music on behalf of the Academics of the universities of the Metropolitan Region.
He has received several awards: among others, the Grant of Artistic Creation of Andes Foundation; a Master's Scholarship from the University of Chile; first prize in the 1997 composition competition of the National Choir Federation for his work "Padre Nuestro Kunza"; first place with his work "Sikuris" in the 3rd version of new works by Chilean composers of the National Symphony Orchestra of Chile; the prize to the best composer of the Modern Orchestra of the Modern School of Music 2006; the Charles Ives Award 2010 of the Chilean American Culture Institute for his music career; the Award by the Chilean copyright society SCD and the Modern Music Prize 70 Years (2010) for its contribution to Latin American culture. He has also been awarded more than ten funds from the Ministry of Culture in the fields of creation and musical production. In the years 2015 and 2016 he was nominated for the PULSAR Awards of the Chilean Copyright Society SCD.
He was honoured at the "Concert Tribute to Composers from Concepcion" (Season 2005) of the Symphony Orchestra of the University of Concepción and in the "Tribute Concert to Carlos Zamora" of the 2008 Season of the Orchestra of the Universidad Mayor. At the same time he was included in the book "Cantus Firmus - Myth and Narrative of Chilean Music of the Twentieth Century" as one of the most important composers of the History of Chilean Music, in which his talent and his indigenous condition stand out, as Zamora belongs to the Atacamenian Culture of the Lican-Antay of San Pedro de Atacama.
He was invited as the representative of Chile to the General Assembly of the International Association for Contemporary Music at the Contemporary Music Festival 2000 in Luxembourg, 2008 in Hong Kong and the 2010 Biennial of the Americas in Denver, USA. Moreover, his music has been included in important concert seasons, among which stand out the Chamber Orchestra of the Berlin Opera, the National Orchestra of Ireland, the Caracas Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Antigua de Curitiba, the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, the YOA Symphonic Orchestra (young orchestra of the Americas) of the USA, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Medellin, the Orchestra of the Universidad Mayor of Cochabamba, the Symphony Orchestra of Mendoza, the Symphony Orchestra of Salta, the Caminos del Inca Ensemble, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Latin American String Quartet (Grammy Award winners), all the professional orchestras in Chile, and the National Youth Symphony Orchestra and several orchestras of the Chilean youth orchestra program.
His music has been performed in the five continents and he is currently the Chilean composer whose music is most frequently presented both in Chile and abroad, surpassing 50 concerts in 2011, which is why his music is now published by the North American publishing house Filarmonika, the German publisher Tre Fontane, and the Editorial Nacional of Chile.
Among his most outstanding works are "Sikuris" for symphony orchestra, "String Quartet Nº2", "Tenebrae Factae Sunt" for choir, "Concerto for 4 Guitars and Orchestra", "Symphony Víctor Jara", "Symphony Patricio Manns", the "Overture El Pukara" and the "Missa Brevis in Memoriam Mater Mei". Also, his music has been recorded and released on more than twenty compact discs.
His research has been published in the Chilean Musical Magazine and the FEDECOR magazine of the National Choir Federation of Chile. At the same time, musicologists have referred to his music in the International Bulletin of Choral Music, in the Journal of Musicology of Cuba and the Chilean Musical Magazine. Furthermore, undergraduate and postgraduate students have written about his music in their research.
He periodically writes opinion pieces about several topics, which have been published in the La Tercera and El Mercurio newspapers and currently he often writes at www.cooperativa.cl.
Since 2016 he is a Ph.D. student at the University of York, under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Simaku. In this period he has received two awards from the University: the "Sir Jack Lyons Award 2016" to compose a Concerto for Recorder and Chamber Orchestra, and the "Terry Holmes Commission Award 2017" to compose a Piano Concerto. Also, since 2016 he has conducted the Wind Orchestra of the University, and he has been invited by the Gilbert and Sullivan Society to conduct the opera "The Mikado".
Carlos Zamora is an artista of Fanjul&Ward.