And the GRAMMY goes to… a viola concerto! Last night’s GRAMMY awards for best contemporary classical composition went to Jennifer Higdon’s “Viola Concerto”, played by Roberto Diaz. You can learn more about Higdon’s wonderful new music here, but since this blog is about the viola, let’s talk more about the viola player who recorded Higdon’s viola concerto.
This is not Roberto Diaz’ first trip to the GRAMMYs. His 2006 recording of viola transcriptions by William Primrose previously earned him a nomination. In addition to performing and recording, he is the current dean of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he also teaches viola.
Born in Santiago, Chile, Diaz moved to the US with his family in 1966. In addition to teaching at Curtis, he has served as principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, principal viola of National Symphony Orchestra, and section player of the Boston Symphony and Minnesota Orchestras.
Roberto Diaz, viola
Born: Santiago, Chile, 1966
Lives in: Philadelphia, PA, USA
“As musicians, we never feel that we stop learning.” – Roberto Diaz
Fun Fact: One of three siblings born to musical parents, Roberto Diaz often plays in the Diaz String Trio, alongside one of his brothers.