'Now to Him Who, by in consequence of the action of His power that is at work within us,
is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly,
far over and above all that we dare ask or think, infinitely
beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams."
Ephesians 3:20

Public accountant to promising composer

Although his passion was always music, when James Diaz had to choose preferred to study public accounting career, a profession which, he supposed, would provide better opportunities and greater economic stability. And so he did, he became an accountant and worked as an assistant in an office full time. But something was always missing: the music, or rather the joy that engage in what one really likes.

In the end he left everything and enrolled at the Conservatory of the National University , where he graduated with honors in 2012; He has since forged a career full of awards that positions it today as “one of the most promising composers of the country.” A few days ago the Bank of the Republic announced as James Diaz Scholarship winner Talent , an opportunity that will allow you to pursue a master ‘s degree in composition at  the Manhattan School of Music in New York.

The history…

The first instrument that James Diaz had in his life was a organeta that his father gave him when he was 13, he did not know how to play, had never received music lessons yet learned to play “by ear” some songs to present in church on Sundays.

As it does not come from a family with musical or artistic tradition when it came time to choose a career thought of something that would allow him to “make a living” without much trouble, then chose public accounting arrived.

“At 18 he worked as a Best online bookkeeper Xero in an office, still there Internet downloading books on music theory and harmony, which he read while doing accounts. I read many books, sometimes not understand them all, but restlessness and desire to know how music was made were so big, still another and another book. That’s when you make the decision to leave the job and completely into music, so I started taking private piano lessons, which enabled me to introduce myself to reach the necessary level to college. ”

James undergraduate study in music, with an emphasis on composition at the National University under the guidance of teachers Moises Bertran, Harold Vasquez and Gustavo Parra; in 2015 he graduated with honors. He also took master classes with such renowned as John Corigliano, Kalevi Aho, Christopher Rouse, Steven Stucky, Anna Clyne, Matthias Pintscher and Aylton Escobar composers. In addition, on two occasions, he was a Fellow at the International Music Festival of Cartagena .

“I was fortunate to have only teachers who have been vital in every moment of my career as a musician. However one of them was decisive: the teacher and director Hugo Riaño , who took my first piano and harmony. Thanks to him, passion and professionalism with regard to music, I made the decision to abandon forever accounting and devote myself to this adventure called composition. ”

Thus began a promising career, full of applause and awards. With just 26 years, James has won some of the awards in major composition of the country , including: the National Music Award in the category “composition” that gives the Ministry of Culture (2015), the XV Composition Prize ” city of Bogotá “awarded by the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra (2012), and recently the scholarship Young Talents in the category music that gives the Bank of the Republic, recognition that will allow you to pursue a master ‘s degree in composition at the  Manhattan School of music in New York.

What does being a Fellow of the Bank of the Republic?

“The scholarship Bank met her while still in college, because several Conservatory students have earned it; I think from there take the decision to run and do everything possible to win. ”

The scholarship “Young Talents” Bank of the Republic is awarded annually since 1986 in two categories that are interleaved: plastic arts and music. The aim is to encourage the improvement of young musicians and artists from Colombia , in order to raise the levels of excellence of these arts in the country. The scholarship is aimed at young people who have not done graduate studies abroad and who have some kind of experience and recognition in regional or national level. Who accesses it ensures full coverage of tuition fees, housing, maintenance, airfare, medical and dental insurance, as well as help books, educational materials and expenses thesis.

“The day I knew I had won was a day of great excitement in my house, we all jumped and hugged. This expertise will be a great addition to my training as a musician and creator. ”

In September this year James travel to New York and will begin graduate studies in composition, perhaps what most excited about is that the program offered by the Manhattan School of Music gives insight into two areas that are of its total interest: music electro acoustic and mixed music. Besides the city itself, the musical and cultural scene offering.

This is the first of many dreams that I have: my music dream is interpreted by major orchestras and ensembles in the world and my name is a reference of Colombian music internationally. I also hope someday to be a teacher and help others find their own voice, like my teachers did for me. “