Born in Bogota in 1995, Santiago Cañón – Valencia has been praised as one of the most promising young cellist of his generation. His major musical mentors have been Henryk Zarzycki in Colombia, James Tennant in New Zealand and Andres Diaz in the USA. He is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar. Santiago is a First Prize winner of the Carlos Prieto (2016), Beijing (2010), Gisborne (2011) and Lennox (2014) International Cello Competitions, and is a major prizewinner of the Casals (2014), Adam (2009), Johansen (2012) and Cassadó (2013) Competitions.
He has performed in recital and as a soloist with orchestras throughout Australasia, South America, the USA, Canada, South Africa, Europe, China, Japan, Mexico and Russia and has played as a soloist with Yuri Bashmet and the Moscow Soloists and with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Santiago premiered Ginastera’s Cello Concerto No. 2 in Colombia with the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia and made the premiere of Friedrich Gulda’s Cello Concerto with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra in New Zealand. He has also collaborated with world-renowned musicians such as Alisa Weilerstein, Shlomo Mintz, Dmitri Berlinsky, Richard Young, Andres Diaz, Emmanuel Ceysson, Wendy Chen and Roberto Gonzales-Monjas among others. Santiago
has also shared the stage with Maxim Vengerov, Li-Wei Qin and Phillipe Müller.
Santiago has been a constant guest artist at the Cartagena International Music Festival and was part of the Verbier Festival Academy (Cello) in 2016.
His debut CD featuring 20th Century works has been internationally acclaimed by The Strad Magazine and other publications. Consecutively, he has just released two new recordings consisting of Russian cello sonatas and popular pieces of the cello repertoire with pianist Katherine Austin. All of his recordings are available under the Atoll label in New Zealand. Santiago has been sponsored by the Mayra & Edmundo Esquenazi Scholarship through the Salvi Foundation since 2011 and is a recipient of the MPower ArtistGrants 2016 by the Sphinx Organization.