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U. of I. opera program director to lead Bogotá Philharmonic


Melissa Mitchell, Arts Editor
217-333-5491; melissa@uiuc.edu

11/13/2006

Eduardo Diazmuñoz
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 Eduardo Diazmuñoz, the artistic director of the opera program at Illinois and director of the U. of I.’s New Music Ensemble, has been named artistic and music director of the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra, effective January 2007. 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Eduardo Diazmuñoz, the artistic director of the opera program at the University of Illinois and director of the U. of I.’s New Music Ensemble, has been named artistic and music director of the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra, effective January 2007.

In his new role, Diazmuñoz – who came to the U. of I. in 2004 after establishing a 30-year career as one the leading orchestral conductors and music directors in Mexico and South America – will conduct the Colombian ensemble primarily during the summer months, while retaining his affiliation with the U. of I.’s School of Music.

Diazmuñoz said he was “thrilled” to learn that he had been selected for the dual post with the Bogotá-based orchestra, widely considered to be among the top orchestras in South America.

“Out of the several I have worked with since 1985, I do have my five favorite orchestras in Mexico and South America – from the Rio Grande to the South Pole,” he said. “This Bogotá Philharmonic is one of them.”

With a roster of about 95 full-time musicians, the orchestra is generally considered the No. 1 ensemble in Colombia, he added.

“The musicians and their commitment and quality is there, and their reputation is quite respected in Mexico, Spain, and South America,” Diazmuñoz said. “One of my goals is to spread that reputation beyond the boundaries of Latin America.”

The maestro’s own reputation already is well established throughout the Americas and beyond.

In addition to numerous guest appearances with some of the world’s top ensembles, Diazmuñoz has served in the role of conductor, artistic and music director for nine orchestras, including the Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra, which he founded; National University Philharmonic; State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra; Mexico City Philharmonic; National Conservatory Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras; Carlos Chavez Symphony Orchestra; and the Baja California Orchestra. He has conducted more than 85 ensembles during his three-decade career.

Known for his versatility as a composer, pianist, percussionist and educator, Diazmuñoz has earned a reputation for his work as a conductor with leading opera companies in Mexico and the United States, and for his collaborations with some of the world’s most celebrated musicians and singers, including violinist Henryk Szeryng, cellist Janos Starker and tenor Luciano Pavarotti.

Over the years, Diazmuñoz has amassed numerous accolades for his work, including two Latin Grammy Award nominations. He has been honored four times by the Mexican Union of Theater and Music Chronicles, and was named International Musician of the Year 2003 for his commitment to new music by the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, England.

U. of I. School of Music Director Karl Kramer said Diazmuñoz’s appointment to the Bogotá Philharmonic meshes well with the school – and the university – goals and efforts to become widely known as a global campus.

“This is a hugely visible position, which opens up all of South America to us,” Kramer said. “Eduardo will be carrying the flag for the U. of I. down there.”