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Musical World

Roberto Diaz

  • Violist
  • Teacher


Some of Roberto Díaz’s recent and upcoming performances include the Kansas City Symphony with Michael Stern, Fort Worth Symphony with Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias with Krzysztof Penderecki, Orquesta Simfónica de Barcelona with James Judd, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra with Gabor Ötvös and the Bilbao Symphony with Juanjo Mena. Future recital dates include appearances at the Gardner Museum in Boston, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Bowdoin College. Mr. Díaz has also performed with the National Symphony, Boston Pops, New World Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Saarbrücken Radio Orchestra, and the Orquesta Simón Bolivar, among many others. He has collaborated with conductors such as Roberto Abbado, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Riccardo Chailly, Charles Dutoit, Christopher Hogwood, Yakov Kreizberg, Peter Oundjian, Michael TilsonThomas, Gilbert Varga, Hugh Wolff and David Zinman. In addition to Mr. Penderecki, Roberto Díaz has also worked with important 20th- and 21st-century composers, including Edison Denisov, Roberto Sierra, and Ricardo Lorenz whose viola concerto he will premiere in the Fall of 2010.

Mr. Díaz has several recordings on the Naxos label, including an April 2010 release of Brahms sonatas with Jeremy Denk and a 2006 recording of viola transcriptions by William Primrose, which was nominated for a Grammy Award. Mr. Primrose served on the Curtis faculty from 1942 to 1951 and owned the 1595 Amati viola on which Mr. Díaz performs. Upcoming Naxos releases include a recording of Jonathan Leshnoff's double concerto with Michael Stern, violinist Charles Wetherbee, and the Iris Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Díaz's other releases include a live recording of Jacob Druckman's Viola Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch (New World Records, 2001) and works by Henri Vieuxtemps for viola and piano (Naxos, 2004).

An active chamber musician, Mr. Díaz has performed with artists such as the Emerson String Quartet, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Christoph Eschenbach, Yo-Yo Ma, Mr. Sawallisch, and Isaac Stern. His festival appearances include Marlboro, Mostly Mozart at Lincoln Center, Spoleto, Kuhmo, and Verbier, among many others. As a member of the Díaz Trio, with violinist Andrés Cárdenes and cellist Andrés Díaz, he has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, and Chile. The trio appeared at the Banff Centre in the summer of 2009 performed at the Library of Congress in December of the same year.

In addition to his decade-long tenure as principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Roberto Díaz was principal violist of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich, a member of the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, and a member of the Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner.