Paganini: La Campanella (trans. Primrose)
Denisov: Viola Concerto, II
Berlioz: Harold in Italy, I
“…in Bartók’s monstrously difficult violin concerto, Díaz…had the piece under his fingers as firmly and elegantly as Serkin had Mozart, or Heifetz had Tchaikovsky.”
A violist of international reputation, Roberto Díaz holds the prestigious position of President and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music. He follows thereby in the footsteps of renowned soloist/directors such as Rudolf Serkin, Gary Graffman, Efrem Zimbalist and Josef Hofmann. As a professor of viola at Curtis and former principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Díaz has already had a significant impact on American musical life and will continue to do so in his dual roles as performer and educator.
Some of Mr. Díaz’s recent and upcoming performances include the Kansas City Symphony with Michael Stern, Fort Worth Symphony with Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias with Krzysztof Penderecki, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico with Carlos Miguel Prieto, Orquesta Simfónica de Barcelona with James Judd, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra with Gabor Ötvös and the Bilbao Symphony with Juanjo Mena. Recent and upcoming recital performances include appearances at the Gardner Museum in Boston, Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Indiana at Bloomington, the Detroit Chamber Music Society, and the Festival Cultural de Mayo in Guadalajara. Mr. Díaz has also performed with the National Symphony, Boston Pops, New World Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Saarbrücken Radio Orchestra, and the Orquesta Simón Bolivar, among many others. He has collaborated with conductors such as Roberto Abbado, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Riccardo Chailly, Charles Dutoit, Christopher Hogwood, Yakov Kreizberg, Peter Oundjian, Michael TilsonThomas, Gilbert Varga, Hugh Wolff and David Zinman. In addition to Mr. Penderecki, Roberto Díaz has also worked with important 20th- and 21st-century composers, including Edison Denisov, Roberto Sierra, and Ricardo Lorenz whose viola concerto, Canciones de Jara, he premiered in October 2010.
Mr. Díaz has several recordings on the Naxos label, including an April 2010 release of Brahms sonatas with Jeremy Denk and a 2006 recording of viola transcriptions by William Primrose, which was nominated for a Grammy Award. Mr. Díaz's other releases include a live recording of Jacob Druckman's Viola Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch (New World Records, 2001), works by Henri Vieuxtemps for viola and piano (Naxos, 2004), and Jonathan Leshnoff’s Double Concerto double concerto with Michael Stern, violinist Charles Wetherbee, and the Iris Chamber Orchestra.
An active chamber musician, Mr. Díaz has performed with artists such as the Emerson and Tokyo string quartets, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Christoph Eschenbach, Yo-Yo Ma, Mr. Sawallisch, and Isaac Stern. His festival appearances include Marlboro, Mostly Mozart at Lincoln Center, Spoleto, Kuhmo, and Verbier, among many others. As a member of the Díaz Trio, with violinist Andrés Cárdenes and cellist Andrés Díaz, he has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, and Chile.
In addition to his decade-long tenure as principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Roberto Díaz was principal violist of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich, a member of the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, and a member of the Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner.