Juan Diego Florez

©DR
Juan Diego Florez, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

Juan Diego Florez was born in 1973 in Lima, Peru. From 1990 to 1993, Juan Diego attended the Peruvian National Conservatory, entering the world of classical music and singing. After that, he won a scholarship to study at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, which he attended between 1993 and 1996. It was in Lima, in 1994, that Juan Diego met the former Peruvian tenor, Ernesto Palacio, who took him under his wing and became his mentor.  

Early in 1996, Juan Diego auditioned for the Rossini Opera Festival (Pesaro) in Italy and was immediately cast to sing a small role. Shortly before the Festival’s opening night, the tenor who was due to sing the leading role of Corradino in the opera Matilde di Shabran, had to pull out because of illness. It was then that Artistic Director, Luigi Ferrari, offered the part to the twenty-three-year-old Juan Diego. The tenor accepted and the rest is history.  

Other than his singing exploits, Juan Diego also has established a Foundation in Peru named Sinfonia por el Peru, which encourages the creation of children’s and youth orchestras and choirs at a national level. The project’s greater objective is to transform society through music. Orchestral and choral practice give children and youth important values that make them better citizens, helping them stay away from drugs and crime.  

In spite of his international career and constant travelling, Juan Diego maintains a close relationship with and attachment to his native country which has, in return, honoured its prodigy by awarding him its very highest distinction: the Order of the Sun, Grand Cross.

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