Santiago Cañón Valencia
*1995 in Colombia

Kronberg Academy Professional Studies
Studies with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt
funded by the Sodalitas Scholarship

Santiago Cañón Valencia


Born in 1995 in Colombia, cellist Santiago Cañón Valencia started playing the cello at the age of four with Henryk Zarzycki. In 2010 he began his bachelor’s studies under James Tennant at the University of Waikato in Hamilton (New Zealand). From 2013 to 2015 he completed postgraduate studies with Andrés Diaz at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, for which he gained a Performer’s Diploma. His master’s studies then led him to Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar in 2016.

A glimpse into my world: Santiago Cañón Valencia

Santiago Cañón Valencia is the is winner of the Silver Medal and “Audience Favourite” Award at the 2019 XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition. He is the winner of the Leyda Ungerer Musikpreis 2019, and also, he is the recipient of the János Starker Foundation Award 2018. His biggest competition successes include third prize in the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 2017, first prize in the 2016 Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition, third prize in the 2014 Pablo Casals International Cello Competition in Budapest and second prize in the 2012 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players. At the Gaspar Cassadó International Cello Competition in 2013, he was awarded a prize for the best interpretation of a work by Cassadó. 

As a soloist, he has performed with the Moscow Soloists under the direction of Yuri Bashmet and has appeared on stage with the Brussels Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He has been a guest performer at the Cartagena International Music Festival and Verbier Festival Academy.

His debut album, Solo, featuring 20th century solo works was released by New Zealand label Atoll in 2014. In 2016, he subsequently made a recording of Russian sonatas entitled Diable vert together with pianist Katherine Austin under the same label.

2014 and 2019 he was part of the Kronberg Academy Festival where he was awarded the Leyda Ungerer Prize in 2019. 2018 he performed alongside Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Steven Isserlis and Sir András Schiff in Chamber Music Connects the World. In the same year he was an active participant in the Cello Masterclasses at Kronberg Academy. Since October 2017, Santiago Cañón Valencia has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt. These studies are funded by the Sodalitas Scholarship.

Santiago Cañón Valencia in concert

Last updated: November 2020