Jorge Sarmientos studied in the National Conservatory of his country, where he obtained a diploma of Maestro Specialized in piano, composition and Orchestral Conducting. He won several awards in composition and he obtained a scholarship to study in the Normal Superior Music School, in Paris and later, in the Instituto Torcuato di Tella (Torcuato di Tella Institute), in Buenos Aires.
He took advanced courses with Pierre Boulez and Sergiu Celibidache.
Sarmientos was Artistic Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (National Symphonic Orchestra) of Guatemala from 1972 to 1991 and has performed as a guest conductor in numerous Latin-American countries, as well as in the United States of America, France, Israel and Japan.
As a conductor, he has performed a very wide repertoire, which besides of including the great European works and his own work, has offered to the public valuable works of Latin-American composers.
In May 1999, he organized the X Foro de Compositores del Caribe (X Caribbean Composers Forum), with the presence of 23 composers from: Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Chile, as a special guest.
On July 29th 1999, after many years, he performed in Guatemala his Concert for Marimba and Orchestra, which had been distinguished in New York on January 1958 with the First Prize. The concert was staged by the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (National Symphonic Orchestra) of Guatemala and as conductor the Japanese Maestro Kazuhiko Komatsu and on August 5th of the same year, the above mentioned conductor offered the first Guatemalan audition of Sarmiento’s symphonic work El Destello de Hiroshima (Hiroshima’s Sparkle).
Among the many awards Jorge Sarmiento has received, the most outstanding are the Orden del Quetzal (Quetzal’s Order), eleven distinctions in the Certamen Permanente Centroamericano “15 de septiembre” (Centro-American Permanent Certamen “September 15th” and the Academic Palms of France.
Since its creation in 2002, he is a Corporate Member of the Colegio de Compositores Latinoamericanos de Música de Arte (Collegium of Latin American Composers of Art Music).
From his catalogue, remarkable works are: Tres estampas del Popol Vuh (Three images from Popol Vuh) ballet-drama; Tres Conciertos (Three Concerts) for piano and orchestra; Concierto (Concert) for marimba; dos Sextetos (Two Sextets) for breath instruments and piano, and the works for orchestra Oda a la libertad (Liberty’s Ode), Ofrenda y Gratitud (Offering and Gratitude) and El Destello de Hiroshima (Hiroshima’s Sparkle).