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Diego Garcia

Diego Garcia

Music Artist Faculty

Music and Performing Arts Professions


Hailing from Colombia, Diego Garcia is a globally sought-after conductor, cellist, and educator who works with the most respected conservatories and universities such as Juilliard, Mannes, and Eastman Schools of Music. Diego’s approach to music making is full of dynamic passion, humor and a strong sense of collaboration. As a conductor, he has shared the stage with prominent artists such as Joshua Bell, Sharon Isbin, Anthony McGill, Steven Masi, Julian Schwartz, and Naomi O’Connell. He has conducted and performed in major venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Museum, and Vienna’s Rathauseplatz Concert Series. Diego has made appearances with contemporary artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Harry Connick Jr, and Jennifer Lopez. His first album as cellist and arranger was praised by All About Jazz: “… Diego perform[s] intricate counterpoint that enhances the overall beauty of the whole without being obtrusive, also playing arresting lead parts.”

An avid chamber musician, Diego was a founding member of a new music ensemble called “Gibbs & Main,” a group that regularly commissioned works from new composers, presented interactive children’s, and performed both in formal and community venues. Diego’s performances as soloist and chamber musician have been featured on NPR’s “Live from Hochstein”, WXXI-FM 91.5’s Backstage Pass, as well as broadcasts for Music for Montauk, the Eastman School of Music’s Washington Square Concert Series, and at the Spotlight Series, Keuka on the Lake.

Deeply committed to empowering the next generation of musicians, Diego is on the conducting and cello faculty at the Dwight-Englewood School in New Jersey, and he also directs the Thurnauer Symphony Orchestra in Tenafly. He enjoys performing in Bowstruck, a violin and cello duo he formed with his wife, violinist Annaliesa Place. Diego and Annaliesa are Co-Directors of String Society, a one-week summer festival in Englewood, New Jersey.

A strong advocate for the transformative powers of music, Diego strives to help students tap into their creative potential as young artists and professionals. He was most recently lead faculty on conducting and cello for Juilliard’s new international Summer Arts Program in Geneva, Switzerland. In the spring of 2019, Diego joined the conducting faculty of the Mannes School of Music Pre-College Division, and he received great acclaim as the music director and main conductor of the Eastman Youth Chamber Soloists.  

Diego is a frequent guest conductor at different festivals and workshops in the United States, South America, and Europe, including Parnu Symphony Orchestra (Estonia), Flanders Music Festival (Belgium), Hampton Roads Chamber Players, Traveling Notes Orchestra, Bard College Symphony Orchestra, and the Greece Symphony. Diego has also served as music director of the Finger Lakes Symphony Orchestra (New York) for several seasons, where he organized ongoing collaborations with the Ithaca Ballet.


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