Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura conducts the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra as it ushers in the New Year on Jan. 20 with Filipino violinist Diomedes Saraza, Jr. as guest soloist 8 p.m. at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).
The program includes W.A. Mozart’s Symphony No. 28 in C, E. Elgar’s Enigma Variations, and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.
At an early age, Saraza performed as a soloist of The Philippine Research for Developing Instrumental Soloists (PREDIS) and served as the concertmaster of the Children’s Orchestra in the Philippines. He soon became the youngest member of the Manila Symphony Orchestra II. At the age of eight, Saraza became one of the selected delegates of the 45th year Suzuki Music Convention held in Tokyo, Japan.
In 2002, he won first place in the National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) and later made his concert debut entitled “The Gift” at the CCP.
In 2005, he moved to New York to pursue his studies in violin at the Mannes The New School Preparatory Division under the tutelage of respected violin pedagogue, Dr. Chin Kim. In 2006, he joined the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival and played the Khachaturian Violin Concerto for the opening concert in Burlington, Vermont. In 2007, he won the Friday-Woodmere Young Artist Competition in Hewlett, NY and was featured in WQXR 96.3’s Rob Sherman’s “Young Artist Showcase.”
In 2008, Saraza won the Mannes Concerto Competition and performed with the Mannes Philharmonic under the baton of maestro Michael Adelson. Later that year, he became the concertmaster of the Mannes Philharmonic. In 2009, his chamber group called the Mannes Chamber Initiative won the American Teacher’s League Competition and was featured at Carnegie Hall in New York. Later that year, he had his homecoming concert in the Philippines entitled “Symphonic Virtuosity” playing the Paganini Violin Concerto with the Manila Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Christoph Poppen of the German Radio Philharmonic.
Today, Saraza continues to perform extensively around Asia especially in the Philippines. He completed both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School where he was also awarded the Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship and C.V. Starr Scholarship. In addition, he was recently admitted for Master of Musical Arts degree at Yale University with full-tuition scholarship and a stipend award for each semester.
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