New Jersey Symphony Youth Orchestra Artistic Director
The Anna P. Drago Chair
Diego García, a multi-talented musician from Colombia, has established himself as a fierce advocate for music education and a reputation for cultivating young talent. As a conductor, cellist, and educator, he has collaborated with renowned institutions including The Juilliard School, Mannes School of Music, and the Eastman School of Music.
García is currently the Music Director of Orchestras at the Dwight-Englewood School and the Thurnauer School of Music. This fall, García will be joining the Cello Faculty and serving as Guest Conductor at the NYU Steinhardt School of Music. He was most recently Lead String Director for Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard in Geneva, Switzerland. From 2019–2022, García was on the conducting faculty of the Mannes School of Music Pre-College Division. He previously held the position of Music Director of the Eastman Youth Chamber Soloists.
As a conductor, he has shared the stage with prominent artists such as Joshua Bell, Sharon Isbin, Anthony McGill, Philippe Quint, Julian Schwartz, Steven Masi and Naomi O’Connell. He has conducted and performed in major venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Metropolitan Museum and Vienna’s Rathauseplatz Concert Series. García has made appearances with contemporary artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Harry Connick Jr and Jennifer Lopez. His first album as cellist and arranger was praised by All About Jazz: “… García perform[s] intricate counterpoint that enhances the overall beauty of the whole without being obtrusive, also playing arresting lead parts.”
García is a frequent guest conductor at different festivals and workshops in the United States, South America, and Europe, including Parnu Symphony Orchestra (Estonia), Flanders Music Festival (Belgium), Hampton Roads Chamber Players and Bard College Philharmonic Orchestra. García has also served as Music Director of the Finger Lakes Symphony Orchestra (New York) for several seasons, where he organized ongoing collaborations with the Ithaca Ballet. An avid chamber musician, García was a founding member of a new music ensemble called “Gibbs & Main,” a group that regularly commissioned works from new composers and presented interactive children’s concerts in formal and community venues. García’s performances as soloist and chamber musician have been featured on NPR’s “Live from Hochstein”, WXXI-FM 91.5’s Backstage Pass, as well as broadcasts for Music for Montauk, the Eastman School of Music’s Washington Square Concert Series, and at the Spotlight Series, Keuka on the Lake.