Santiago Cañón-Valencia has been praised as one of the most promising young cellists of his generation. Born in Bogota in 1995, his major musical mentors have been Henryk Zarzycki in Colombia, James Tennant in New Zealand, and Andres Diaz in the United States. He is currently pursuing his Professional Studies degree with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Kronberg Academy for Young soloists.
Winner of the Silver Medal and “Audience Favourite” Award at the 2019 XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition and the 2018 Starker Foundation Award, Mr. Cañón-Valencia has been a fixture of the International Cello Competition scene for many years. He was awarded third prize at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth International Competition 2017 in Brussels. He is also a First Prize winner of the Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition, Beijing International Music Competition, Gisborne International Music Competition, and Lennox International Young Artists Competition. He was also a major prize winner of the Sphinx, Casals, Johansen, Cassadó, and Adam cello competitions.
Mr. Cañón-Valencia made his orchestral debut as a soloist when he was six years old with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá. Since then, he has appeared with all the major orchestras in his native Colombia and his international solo career has taken him around the world to perform with orchestras such as the Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev, Brussels Philharmonic with Stephane Deneve, St Petersburg Philharmonic with Nikolai Alexeev, Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with Janos Kovacs, Moscow Soloists with Yuri Bashmet, The Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie with Frank Braley, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Münchener Kammerorchester with Clemens Schuldt and Antwerp Symphony with Muhai Tang, among others.
Highlights of his 2020-2021 season include returning concerto performances in Colombia, Japan, South Africa, the United States, and Russia, as well as debuts as a soloist with Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Christoph Eschenbach, Prague Philharmonia and Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Passionate about new music, Mr. Cañón-Valencia was responsible for Carlos Izcaray’s world premiere of his Cello Concerto “Stringmaster” alongside Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Santiago also premiered Jorge Pinzón’s Cello Concerto “Rapsodia a los 4 Elementos” at the Cartagena Interational Music Festival 2019. He was also responsible for the Colombian premiere of Ginastera’s Cello Concerto No. 2 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia as well as premiering Gulda’s Cello Concerto in Auckland, New Zealand with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra.
Recording for the Atoll label in New Zealand, his debut CD “Solo” has been internationally acclaimed by the Strad Magazine. Recent recordings include Russian cello sonatas and popular pieces of the cello repertoire with pianist Katherine Austin. His next release will be sonatas by Beethoven and Schubert with pianist Andrea Lucchesini for the Egea label.
Mr. Cañón-Valencia has been sponsored by the Mayra & Edmundo Esquenazi Scholarship through the Salvi Fundation since 2011.