1335 South Michigan Ave
Chicago IL 60605
Victor Santiago Asunción, Piano
Pianist Victor Santiago Asunción is recognized as an artist of innate musical sensitivity, spirited temperament, and superb technique. As a recitalist and concerto soloist, he has appeared in concert halls in Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Turkey, and the United States. He made is orchestral debut at the age of eighteen with the Manila Chamber Orchestra, and his New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in 1999. In addition, he has worked with conductors including Sergio Esmilla, Enrique Batiz, Zeev Dorman, Arthur Weisberg, Corrick Brown, David Loebel, Leon Fleisher, Michael Stern, Bobby McFerrin, and Mei-Ann Chen. A chamber music enthusiast, he has performed with artists such as Lynn Harrell, Zuill Bailey, Andres Diaz, Antonio Meneses, Joshua Roman, Cho-Liang Lin, Giora Schmidt, Susanna Gilmore, James Buswell, James Dunham, Ronald Leonard, Susanne Mentzer, H.K. Gruber, John O’Connor, Marc Neikrug, Liang Wang, and Catalin Rotaru; and the Dover, Emerson, Sao Paulo, Serafin, and Vega string quartets. He was on the chamber music faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Garth Newel Summer Music Festival. He also was the pianist for the Garth Newel Piano Quartet for three seasons. His recordings include the complete sonatas of Beethoven with cellist Tobias Werner, sonatas by Shostakovich and Rachmaninov with cellist Joseph Johnson, and Rachmaninov’s sonata and works arranged by Gregor Piatigorsky with cellist Evan Drachman. He also is featured in the award-winning recording Song My Father Taught Me with Lynn Harrell, produced by Louise Frank and Chicago’s WFMT. In addition to his active performing career, he is sought after as a piano, vocal, and chamber music coach. He received his doctor of musical arts degree in 2007 from the University of Maryland at College Park under the tutelage of Rita Sloan. Asunción is a Steinway Artist.
Diomedes Saraza, Violin
Born to a family of musicians, Diomedes Saraza first showed interest in the violin at the age of three and began his studies on the instrument with his father. He began formal lessons at the age of five, studying under Virna Valerio at St. Scholastica’s College of Music (Philippines), and later with Basilio Manalo and Arturo Molina.
Saraza made his solo recital debut at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and at the Pasig Music Festival, and in 2002, won first place at the National Music Competition for the Young Artists. In 2003, he made his concert debut “The Gift” at the CCP and was awarded to be one of the best performances for 2003 in the Philippines.
He moved to New York to pursue his studies in violin in the Mannes College Preparatory Division under the tutelage of respected violin pedagogue, Dr. Chin Kim. In 2008, He won the Mannes Concerto Competition granting him the opportunity to a performance with the Mannes Philharmonic under the baton of Mr. Michael Adelson. Later that year, he became the concertmaster of the Mannes Philharmonic.
Saraza has performed with the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble at Julia Richman Auditorium in New York and was a prizewinner of the Juilliard Schools’s William Schuman Competition and was also featured in Juilliard’s all-sonata concert “Sonatenabend”.
Aside from his achievements in music, Diomedes was the first Filipino chosen as a recipient of the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award for President Obama’s Education Awards Program. He was also a member of the National Honor Society throughout high school and was part of the Varsity Math team for three consecutive years. In addition, he was named one of the “11 Awe Inspiring People of 2011” by Inquirer Lifestyle, Philippines.