Adrián Varela 1ST VIOLIN

Adrián, 1st violinist in the Philharmonia since 2002 and an important figure in his native Uruguay, is an artist of great social awareness, a successful composer and pedagogue of orchestral technique and of practice techniques.

Adrián is uniquely positioned as performer, composer and pedagogue. His distinctive approach to the three areas is brought about by a fusion of three main cultural 'roots' embodied by the Philharmonia (Classical), Latin (Uruguay and Argentina) and Detroit (popular).

As a composer Adrián counts Vladimir Ashkenazy, James Ehnes, Philharmonia Orchestra, Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin as artists who have performed his music live. Adrián's solo-instrument arrangements of Orff's 'O Fortuna' from Carmina Burana are published exclusively by Schott, Germany. His music has been broadcast by the BBC World Service, BBC Radio 3 live and national Uruguayan TV and 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 works with Uruguay's top 'Sistema' orchestra, as well as with youth orchestras in the UK. He is unique in being the only working professional musician member of a major symphony orchestra working to bridge the approaches and techniques of European and Sistema orchestras.

His sense of social awareness led him to join 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 and Lithuania. In 1995 he met Fidel Castro. In 2012 he recorded a short film from Tiannanmem Square on the impoverishment of societies which curtail civic and artistic freedom through cuts in the Arts. In the UK 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 (Tokyo Symphony Orchestra).

Adrián's facility with languages (he speaks 6 and is learning more) and effortless assimilation of different cultures has led to a wide range of collaborations including Henri Oguike Dance Company, film director Benjamin Till, rock band Placebo, Rene Marino Rivero (who premiered Piazzolla's Double Concerto), poet Ramiro Guzmán, Indian artists Shivanova and Shruti Arts and a string of soundtracks for short films. His ground-breaking solo-Bach 'Talking concerts' series sold out in Uruguay during his tenure as youngest-ever leader of the National Symphony Orchestra, leading Uruguay's foremost theatre director, Antonio Larreta, to dub him 'el duende; music's answer to Shakespeare's Puck'.

Adrián's solo-instrument arrangements of 'O Fortuna' for both violin and viola are now available to buy.

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