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Cello Fest - Santiago Cañón-Valencia

Santiago Canon Valencia

Born in Bogota in 1995, Santiago Cañón-Valencia has been praised as one of the most promising young cellist of his generation. His major musical mentors have been Henryk Zarzycki in Colombia, James Tennant in New Zealand and Andres Diaz in the USA. He will start his Masters Degree with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar in October 2016.

Santiago began winning major prizes in international competitions from the age of 11 including Carlos Prieto (2006), Adam (2009), Beijing (2010), Gisborne (2011), Johansen (2012), Cassadó (2013), Lennox, Lynn Harrel and Casals (2014). He has performed in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras throughout Australasia, South America, the USA, Canada, South Africa, Europe, China, Japan and Russia and has played as a soloist with Yuri Bashmet and the Moscow Soloists, and with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He has also collaborated with world-renowned musicians such as Alisa Weilerstein, Shlomo Mintz, Dmitri Berlinsky, Richard Young, Andres Diaz, Emmanuel Ceysson, Wendy Chen, Roberto Gonzales-Monjas and Katherine Austin among others. Santiago has also shared the stage with Maxim Vengerov, Li-Wei Qin and Phillipe Muller. Santiago has been a guest artist several times at the Cartagena International Music Festival and is one of eight cellists selected worldwide to attend the Verbier Festival Academy 2016.

His debut CD of solo 20th century works has been internationally acclaimed by the Strad magazineand others. Consecutively, he has just released two new recordings consisting of Russian cello sonatas and popular pieces of the cello repertoire with New Zealand pianist Katherine Austin. All of his recordings have been released under the Atoll label in New Zealand.

Santiago has been sponsored by the Mayra & Edmundo Esquenazi Scholarship through the Salvi Fundation since 2011 and is a recipient of the MPower ArtistGrants 2016 by the Sphinx Organization.

Santiago Cañon-Valencia will be giving the opening concert of the Waikato International Cello Fest 2016 at 4pm on Sunday 21 August with pianist Katherine Austin. Together, the pair has recorded two CDs and performed countless recitals; they will be offering a selection of spectacular works to launch the festival from Ginastera, Beethoven and Sarasate. Tickets are now on sale from the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts website: www.waikato.ac.nz/academy/whats-on/music.