Born in Cali Colombia, Diego A. Garcia entered the Antonio Maria Valencia Conservatory at the age of five, where he began his musical studies in piano, cello, and conducting. This set the stage for a multifaceted career as performer, conductor, and educator. At the age of fifteen, Diego won a cello position with the Orquesta Sinfonica del Valle where he performed for six seasons. Simultaneously, he routinely conducted the AMV String Chamber Orchestra as conducting assistant to his teacher, Alexander Korjenko. Three years later, Diego came to New York City to pursue musical opportunities outside his native country. A cello prizewinner in the 1996 Carolina Oramas Competition, Diego received his Bachelor of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music as a student of Alan Stepansky. During this time, he toured extensively in Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Central America as a chamber musician, recording artist, orchestral player, and soloist.
In 2000, Diego continued his studies on cello with Alan Harris and conducting with William Wienert at the Eastman School of Music. Soon after, he began teaching cello at Eastman in the pre-college division. In 2004, he was named Music Director of the Eastman String Fellowship Orchestra. In addition to his work in the pre-college, he began conducting other orchestras including the New Horizon Symphony Orchestra, Greece Symphony Orchestra, Eastman Kaleidoscope Community Orchestra, and Finger Lakes Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Garcia was also a guest conductor at Parnu Symphony Orchestra (Estonia), Hampton Roads Chamber Players, and the Traveling Notes Orchestra throughout the Dominican Republic and Belgium. During the summers, Diego studied conducting at Bard College as a conducting fellow working closely with Harold Faberman, Marin Alsop, and Leon Botstein. He also worked closely with Markan Thakar and Larry Rachleff.
An avid chamber musician and composer, Mr. Garcia was a founding member of Gibbs & Main, a string quintet that promotes classical music of all styles including his original compositions and arrangements. Over the past decade, Diego has become a sought after composer for instrumental and choral works. His music has been broadcasted several times on NPR’s ‘Live from Hochstein’. Recent commissions have included the original score to the independent film Heart of Tango, Rochester Oratorio Society, and Gibbs & Main.
Currently, Diego is Conductor and Resident Composer at the Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood, New Jersey. The 2014-2015 season marks his first year as Orchestra Director of the Thurnauer School of Music Symphony Orchestra. He is the co-director of String Society, a one-week summer festival for string students. Bowstruck, a violin/cello duo he formed with his wife, Annaliesa Place, creates a unique voice with original compositions and arrangements of the classics.