Santiago Cañón-Valencia, a graduate student pursuing a Performer’s Diploma in cello at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, won the $2,500 second prize in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s annual Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition, held April 19 at the Meyerson Symphony Center. He won the award with a performance of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto.
“This year’s Lynn Harrell competition was incredibly exciting,” said Jamie Allen, director of education for the Dallas Symphony. “The judges agreed that the level of playing was outstanding and represented an enormous amount of both hard work and talent.”
The judges included Dallas Symphony Orchestra cellist Theodore Harvey, Dallas Symphony Orchestra first violinist Filip Fenrych and Meadows alumnus Andrey Ponochevny (Artist Certificate in piano performance, ’09), professor of piano at the University of Dallas.
Established in 2001 by world-renowned cellist Lynn Harrell, the Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition is open to students aged 18 and under from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Louisiana. The purpose of the competition is to identify and encourage the highest level of musical talent in the South Central United States.
Cañón-Valencia studies at Meadows with international concert artist and professor of cello Andrés Díaz and, at 18, has already won numerous competitions. He was named “Most Promising Young Performer” at the prestigious Adam International Cello Competition at age 13, won top prize at the Beijing International Music-Cello Competition at age 15, and at 16 won first prize at both the Gisborne International Music Competition and the National Concerto Competition in New Zealand. He won second prize in the 2012 Johansen International String Competition in Washington, D.C., and was named “Best Performer of Cassadó’s work” at the Third Gaspar Cassadó International Violoncello Competition in Hachioji, Japan in November 2013. In February 2014, he won first place in the Lennox International Young Artists Competition for Strings, sponsored by the Richardson Symphony Orchestra.
Read the full release on the Dallas Symphony's page.