Ivan Valbuena Paez

Clarinetist Ivan Valbuena Paez who performs with the San Antonio Philharmonic has been awarded the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture’s Fund for the Arts grant for 2023. Valbuena was selected for the A Dos Music Project, a clarinet duet he co-created with his wife, Luz Sarmiento, DMA, to expand the horizons of Latin music.

The grant carries a prize of $10,000. The 2022-2023 arts awards attracted nearly 800 applicants, of which 102 were selected for individual grants — 70 artists and 32 organizations.

“We are thrilled for Ivan to have been selected for this prestigious and sought-after grant,” said Brian Petkovich, president of the San Antonio Philharmonic. “It will be great for his career and celebrates the creativity that arises from cultural diversity. The Philharmonic shares the vision of new possibilities through cultural confluences.”

Valbuena and his wife, both from Colombia, perform traditional music with non-conventional instrumentation and demanding arrangements. By combining the technical and artistic possibilities of the clarinet with the distinctive sound of Latin rhythms, A Dos Music Project displays a virtuosic, improvisatory, and innovative manner of performance that reaches all kinds of audiences. More details are here: https://www.nalac.org/members/a-dos-music-project/

The ensemble’s mission is educational development and the promotion of music and art as a means of social transformation. They have performed in important venues in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Westborough, Washington D.C., and Austin, as well as in Syrian refugee camps in Germany and Sweden. Sponsored by the Presser Foundation and the Bolivar-Davivienda Foundation, they also have offered free concerts and workshops throughout Colombia, Peru, and Brazil, including Indigenous communities in the Amazon region and underserved communities.

In addition to the San Antonio Philharmonic, Valbuena has appeared with the Boston Philharmonic, Boston Civic Orchestra, Central Texas Philharmonic, Simon Bolivar Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, the Grammy-winning Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Americas, Bogota Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony Pro Musica, among others.

Valbuena earned a Doctor of Musical Arts program in clarinet performance with Professor Jonathan Gunn at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was appointed as the clarinet assistant instructor for three years, teaching college students, conducting master classes, and serving as collaborate faculty.

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