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James Diaz

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James Diaz


James Diaz (b. 1990, Colombia) is a Colombian student and composer.

James studied composition with Moisés Bertrán, Harold Vázquez and Gustavo Parra at the National Conservatory of Music when he received his Bachelor of Music in Composition, Honor Grade, in 2015. He has attended master classes with several prominent composers such as Kalevi Aho, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, Steven Stucky, Ana Clyne, Cesar Camarero, Aylton Escobar, Flo Menezes and Gustavo Leone. He was a two-time composition fellow at International Winter Festival of Campos do Jordao - Brazil.

James is currently pursuing a M.M. in composition at the Manhattan School of Music, where he is studying composition with Dr. Reiko Fueting. He is sponsored by the Banco de la República de Colombia and is a recipient of the Young Artist Talents Scholarship by ICETEX and the MSM Scholarship.

Recently, James has been selected by the Nashville Symphony as a participant in the 2017 Composer Lab&Workshop for his latest orchestral piece Mirrors in the Void. Also, his orchestral work From Infinity was selected for the 2017 Underwood New Music Readings, hosted by the American Composers Orchestra in New York. James' string quartet Infrastructures has won the second place and Honorable Mention in the 2017 Manhattan Prize.

James is the winner of the 2015 National Prize of Music in Composition by the Ministry of Culture of Colombia for his 'concerto for percussion trio and orchestra, Saturn Lights. James is sponsored by the Banco de la República de Colombia. Also, James is a recipient of the Young Artist Talents Scholarship by ICETEX and MSM Scholarship.

As the winner of the 2014 Prize of Music in Composition for the reopening of the Teatro Colón, his orchestral piece Eclosion was premiered by conductor Claudio Cruz and the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia and recently has been recorded by the conductor Cecilia Espinosa and the EAFIT Symphony Orchestra for the upcoming CD New Colombian Music for Orchestra.

James has also won several composition prizes for his chamber and wind ensemble music, such as the 2015 Coral and Symphony Composition Award by the Bogotá Philharmonic, the 2013 Composition Prize of the International Winter Festival of Campos do Jordão for his string quartet Dynamics of Meteorite and the XV National Award for Musical Composition City of Bogotá by the Bogotá Philharmonic for his work Iron Curtains.

Other achievements includes a Mention of honor from the Premio Latino-Americano de Composiçao Piero Bastianelli, receiving a commission by MAB (Música da agora da Bahia) and Camará Ensemble, 2nd. place and Special Mention in the National Prize in Composition 2013 by the Bogotá Philharmonic for his Orchestra Concerto, The Ivory Tower.

In addition, James has been selected three times by the Colombian National Symphonic Music Association in the National Competition for Young Colombian Composers Platform 28, where Mirrors in the Void (2017), Reflections of a Radioactive Sky (2014) and Catarsis (2013) were conducted by Jose Luis Dominguez, Tomasz Golka and Alejandro Posada, respectively. Also his first orchestral work Reference was selected to be premiered in the Reading Sessions of New Colombian Composers where was conducted by Baldur Brönnimann in 2012.

His music has been performed by the leading professional orchestras and ensembles including the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, the Wind Ensemble of Pereira, the Camara Ensemble (Brazil), the Radamés Gnattali Quartet (Brazil), the Efferús Quartet, the New Music Ensemble of National Conservatory of Music, the Percutrom Duo, the Percussion Ensemble of the International Winter Festival of Campos do Jordao, among others.

Works for Winds