Santiago Cañón-Valencia
Colombia, °1995
Santiago Cañón-Valencia has been praised as one of the most promising young cellists of his generation. Born in Bogota in 1995, his major musical mentors have been Henryk Zarzycki in Colombia, James Tennant in New Zealand, and Andres Diaz in the United States. He is currently pursuing his Professional Studies degree with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Kronberg Academy for Young soloists.

Winner of the Silver Medal and “Audience Favourite” Award at the 2019 XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition and the 2018 Starker Foundation Award, Mr. Cañón-Valencia has been a fixture of the International Cello Competition scene for many years.

He was awarded third prize at the Queen Elisabeth International Competition 2017 in Brussels. He is also a First Prize winner of the Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition, Beijing International Music Competition, Gisborne International Music Competition, and Lennox International Young Artists Competition. He was also a major prize winner of the Sphinx, Casals, Johansen, Cassadó, and Adam cello competitions.

Mr. Cañón-Valencia made his orchestral debut as a soloist when he was six years old with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá. Since then, he has appeared with all the major orchestras in Colombia and his international solo career has taken him around the world to perform with orchestras such as the Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra with Christoph Eschenbach, Brussels Philharmonic with Stephane Deneve, St Petersburg Philharmonic with Nikolai Alexeev, Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with Janos Kovacs, Moscow Soloists with Yuri Bashmet, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Antwerp Symphony with Muhai Tang, among others.

Highlights of his 2021-2022 season include returning concerto performances in Colombia and Japan,
debuts as a soloist with SWR Symphonieorchester with Andris Poga, Prague Philharmonia and RTVE
Symphony Orchestra, and appearances at the Dresden, Casals and Moritzburg music festivals.

Passionate about new music, Mr. Cañón-Valencia was responsible for Carlos Izcaray’s world premiere of his Cello Concerto “Stringmaster” alongside Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Santiago also premiered Jorge Pinzón’s Cello Concerto “Rapsodia a los 4 Elementos” at the Cartagena Interational Music Festival 2019. He was also responsible for the Colombian premiere of Ginastera’s Cello Concerto No. 2 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia as well as premiering Gulda’s Cello Concerto in Auckland, New Zealand with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra.

Recorded for the Atoll label in New Zealand, his debut CD “Solo” has been internationally acclaimed by the Strad Magazine. Other recordings include Russian cello sonatas and popular pieces of the cello repertoire with pianist Katherine Austin. His next release will be sonatas by Beethoven and Schubert with pianist Andrea Lucchesini for the Egea label.

Mr. Cañón-Valencia has been sponsored by the Mayra & Edmundo Esquenazi Scholarship through the Salvi Fundation since 2011.


2016 - 2021 Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt
2013 - 2015 Andres Diaz
2010 - 2012 James Tennant
1999 - 2007 Henryk Zarzycki


2019 - 2021 Kronberg Academy
2016 - 2018 Masters Degree - Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar
2013 - 2015 Performers Diploma - Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist Universit;
2010 - 2012 Bachelor of Music - University of Waikato


2016 Metropolitan Club (New York City ) - Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
2016 Cartagena International Music Festival - Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
2015 Leon de Greiff Hall - Orquesta Filarmonica de Bogota, Shlomo Mintz (dir.)
2014 Rebecca Cohn Auditorium - Symphony Nova, Bernhard Gueller (dir.)
2014 Salvi Foundation , Julio Mario Santo Domingo Theatre - Moscow Soloists, Yuri Bashmet (dir.)
2014 Pablo Casals International Cello Competition, Franz Liszt Academy Great Hall - Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, János Kovács (dir.)
2013 Leon de Greiff Hall - Orquesta Filarmonica de Bogota, Daniel Raiskin (dir.)
2013 Durban City Hall – KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, Lykele Temmingh (dir.)
2013 Cape Town City Hall - Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernhard Gueller (dir.)


2016 Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition - 1st Prize
2014 Pablo Casals International Cello Competition - 3rd Prize
2014 Lennox International Young Artist Competition - 1st Prize
2013 Gaspar Cassadó International Cello Competition - Best Performance of Cassadó's Work
2012 Johansen International String Competition - 2nd Prize
2011 Gisborne International Music Competition - 1st Prize
2010 Beijing International Cello Competition - 2nd Prize (no first prize was awarded)
2009 Adam International Cello Competition - Most promising young performer
Relive the performances of Violin 2024
The Competition's CD's
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