Adrián Varela 1ST VIOLIN

Adrián, 1st violinist in the Philharmonia since 2001, is an artist of great social awareness, a successful composer, conductor and pedagogue of orchestral technique and of practice techniques.

Adrián is an unique violinist, conductor, pedagogue and composer. His distinctive approach is brought about by a fusion of three main cultural 'roots': Classical (Philharmonia), Latin (South America) and Popular (Detroit), and by a passion for connecting music with people.

Adrián was the youngest violinist ever to have been appointed concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra of Uruguay. During his time as leader he also pioneered new concert formats & venues, as well as composing his own cadenzas for his solo-concerto appearances, some of which were broadcast on live national radio. He left the Royal Academy of Music, London, in 2000 with an MMus specialising in performance theory & popular music, an LRAM and DipRAM in Postgraduate Performance.

Adrián is the Conductor and Artistic Director of the Lutoslawski Youth Orchestra, Poland’s national youth orchestra, co-founded by Philharmonia 2nd violinist Jan Regulski, under the aegesis of Jeunesses Musicales Poland. In London Adrián occupies the same roles in the One Tree Hill Sinfonia, a symphony orchestra with charitable objectives of which he is one of the founders.

As a composer Adrián counts Vladimir Ashkenazy, James Ehnes, Philharmonia Orchestra, Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin and The Cellos of the Philharmonia as artists who have performed his music live.

In recent years the Philharmonia, particularly under Ashkenazy, have regularly featured his compositions and/or arrangements on overseas tours to South America, the Far East and Poland.

Adrián's solo-instrument arrangements of Orff's 'O Fortuna' from Carmina Burana, available commercially, are published exclusively by Schott, Germany. His music has been broadcast by the BBC World Service, BBC Radio 3 live, National Uruguayan TV and radio and National Polish radio.

Adrián organised two tours to South America of Philharmonia chamber ensembles, including his own works. His independent debut album 'Odyssey' was released in 2011.

As a teacher of orchestral technique Adrián combines his violinistic, conducting and compositional experience to bring an all-encompasing view to his workshops, be they in Poland with the LYO, Orquesta Jose Artigas (Sistema) in Uruguay, or in a number of educational entities in London and around the UK.

His sense of social awareness led him to join thousands in tearing down the Berlin Wall on New Year's Eve in 1989, two years later witnessing the toppling of Lenin statues in recently-independent Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. In 1995 he met Fidel Castro. Adrián has put together concerts, videos, live streams and contributed compositions supporting a number of wide-ranging causes including victims of famine, conflicts in Siria and Kashmir and earthquake victims in Japan & Nepal, and for the Soldier of Orange appeal.

Adrián's facility with languages (he speaks 6 and is learning more) and effortless assimilation of different instruments (he is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist) and of different cultures has led to a wide range of collaborations including Henri Oguike Dance Company, Benjamin Till, Placebo, Yoga (Hollywood’s top Tamil singer  -‘Eyes Wide Shut’), Rene Marino Rivero (who premiered Piazzolla's Double Concerto), Ramiro Guzmán, Shivanova, Shruti Arts, Niquel and a string of soundtracks for short student films. His ground-breaking solo-Bach 'Talking concerts' series sold out in Uruguay, leading Uruguay's greatest theatre director, the late Antonia 'Taco' Larreta to dub him 'el duende; music's answer to Shakespeare's Puck'.

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