Andrés Díaz, Cello
Since winning the First Prize in the 1986 Naumburg International Cello Competition, Mr. Díaz has exhilarated both critics and audiences with his intense and charismatic performances. He has earned exceptional reviews for his “strongly personal interpretive vision” (The New York Times) and his “bold and imaginative” playing (TheBoston Globe) and was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant as well as a generous grant from the Susan W. Rose Fund for Music in 1998.
Andrés Díaz’s numerous orchestral appearances have included return engagements with the Atlanta Symphony under the late conductor Robert Shaw; performances with the American Symphony at Carnegie Hall, the symphony orchestras of Milwaukee, Seattle, Rochester under Christopher Seaman, the Boston Pops and Esplanade Orchestras, the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival with Edo de Waart conducting, and the NationalSymphony Orchestra. Among the highlights of Mr. Díaz’s recent seasons are tours of Taiwan, Hong Kong,Korea, Japan, Hawaii, and Canada performing in recital and with orchestra; appearances in Chile, Venezuela, Argentina, the Dominican Republic; a series of concerts in the Soviet Union where he performed as soloist with Russia’s Saratov Symphony in the cities of Saratov and Moscow; and a tour of the major cities in New Zealand with the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra.
The young virtuoso is a sought-after recitalist and made his Alice Tully Hall debut in 1987 after winning the Naumburg International Cello Competition. He received critical praise for his second appearance at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in 1989 when The New York Times remarked that his musical views “always seemed deeply considered rather than superficial or manufactured.” His recital appearances have included the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., Jordan Hall and the Gardner Museum in Boston, the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, and the highly regarded San Francisco Performances Series. Andrés Díaz frequently performed with the late pianist Samuel Sanders. The Díaz/Sanders Duo performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall in New York, the Philadelphia Arts Museum, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall and other venues across the U.S. and abroad. They appeared in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Colorado Springs, Detroit, and Japan, where they appeared at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.
Among other renowned pianists with whom Mr. Díaz has collaborated are Judith Gordon, Margo Garrett, Richard Goode, Mischa Dichter, and Anne-Marie McDermott. During the summer of 2001, Mr. Díaz gave the world premiere of Gunther Schuller’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra at the Brevard Music Center with the Brevard Festival Orchestra. In February 2001, Mr. Díaz performed the American premiere of Frank Bridge’s Oration for cello and orchestra at Boston University. Mr.Díaz has also premiered Thomas Oboe Lee’s Cello Concerto (written expressly for Díaz) with the Boston Civic Symphony, and he gave the Boston and Washington, D.C. premieres of Leon Kirchner’s Music for Cello and Orchestra. In that Boston performance, the composer conducted the work. Díaz later performed the piece with the National Symphony Orchestra, James Paul conducting, where it received the First Prize Friedham Award. Andrés Díaz’s debut solo recording on MusicMasters of works by Manuel de Falla and Robert Schumann with pianist Samuel Sanders was acclaimed by The Boston Globe as “strong and subtle; everything Díaz does has personality and, better than that, character.” On the Dorian label, the two artists have also released Brahms’s Sonatas for Piano and Cello; Russian Romantics, a compilation of short Russian works; and most recently American Visions, featuring works of Barber, Bernstein and Foote. Mr. Díaz’s current orchestral solo release (also on the Dorian label) features the Villas-Lobos Cello Concerto No. 2 with the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and conductor Enrique Diemecke. This recording won a 1996 Allegro Music Award for Best Orchestral Release. His latest recording, in memory of his collaborator pianist Samuel Sanders — featuring the works of Martinu, Lutoslawski, and Rachmaninoff– won The Classical Recording Foundation 2003 Award. Mr. Diaz also recorded the six Bach Suites at the end of 2004.
Mr. Díaz’s summer festival appearances (including frequent return engagements) include the Santa Fe, La Jolla, Marlboro, Ravinia, Bravo! Colorado, Spoleto, Saratoga and Tanglewood festivals. His appearances at Tanglewood earned him the Pierre Mayer Memorial Award for Outstanding String Player. He has toured nationally with the Santa Fe and Spoleto festivals. Other festival appearances include the Victoria (B.C.), Steamboat (Steamboat Springs, CO), Musicorda (MA), Rockport (MA) and Cape & Islands festivals.
Andrés Díaz is very active with the Díaz String Trio, featuring violinist Andres Cardenes and violist Roberto Díaz. At Carnegie Hall in April 2003, the trio performed the world premiere of a string trio written for them by Gunther Schuller. The trio has performed in the cities of Pittsburgh, Washington, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami; at the Kuhmo Festival in Finland and the International Festival of St. Cypriene in France; and they have toured extensively in South America, Mexico and Canada. The trio was invited by Isaac Stern to play at Carnegie Hall’s Centennial Celebration, and from 1994-96 it served as Trio in Residence at the Florida International University. They released its first recording featuring the music of Paganini on the Dorian label. A second recording is due for release in 2003 featuring music by Penderecki, Dohnayi, Beethoven.
Andrés Díaz was born in Santiago, Chile in 1964, and began studying the cello at the age of five. Three years later he moved to Atlanta, Georgia and studied at the Georgia Academy of Music with Martha Gerchefski. Mr. Díaz graduated from the New England Conservatory where he worked with Laurence Lesser and Colin Carr, and currently plays an active role in chamber music performances with the Conservatory’s faculty. He served for five years as Associate Professor of Cello at the Boston University and Co-Director of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Quartet Program, resigning in September 2001. Mr. Díaz now lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife, Julie, and sons Peter Manuel and Gabriel Andrés. He plays a 1698 Matteo Goffriller Cello and a bow made by his father, Manuel Díaz.