Juan Carlos Peña was born in Honduras where he began his musical studies at the Victoriano López Music School. He holds a BM in double bass performance from the Curtis Institute of Music, a MM in double bass performance from Rice University, and a MM in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Maryland.
In Honduras he was Artistic/Technical Director of the Victoriano López School, and Music Director of the San Pedro Sula Orchestra and the Youth Chamber Orchestra of Tegucigalpa. In Cali, Colombia he was director of the Chamber Orchestra of the Antonio Valencia Conservatory, and in La Coruña, Spain he was Music Director of the Madrigalia Chamber Choir.
Peña served as Principal Bass with the Honduras National Symphony, the Orquesta Sinfónica del Valle (Colombia), and was Co-principal Bass with the Galicia Symphony Orchestra (Spain). Between 2003 and 2005 he held the position of Visiting Assistant Professor of Double Bass at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Juan Carlos has been Principal Bass with the Florida Grand Opera Orchestra since 2008 and with the Palm Beach Symphony since 2012, and performs regularly in the bass section of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra since 2006.