Juan Diego Flórez (born in Lima, 1973) began singing and playing Peruvian folk and pop music at a very early age. At 17, he began to study at Peru’s National Conservatory of Music and three years later, he won a scholarship to study voice at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
In 1996, he made his professional debut at the Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro, stepping in at the last minute to sing the leading role of Corradino in Matilde di Shabran. In spite of the brief preparation time, his debut was a huge hit and marked the start of his stellar career.
His expressive voice and astonishing vocal agility made him an overnight sensation and led to his debut that same year, aged only 23, in the opening of the 1996/1997 season at La Scala conducted by Riccardo Muti. Since then, he has appeared regularly in all major international opera houses under the world’s leading conductors, gaining particular acclaim in the leading roles of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini.
Juan Diego Flórez has been an exclusive Decca artist since 2001, recording numerous solo albums and complete operas on CD and DVD. He has been recognized as one of the best tenors in history by the BBC and has received numerous accolades and awards, including Peru’s highest distinction, the Gran Cruz de la Orden del Sol, and was appointed Kammersänger by the Austrian government in 2012.
In 2011, Juan Diego Flórez founded Sinfonía por el Perú, an inclusive social project inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, which runs orchestras and choirs throughout his native country to help the most vulnerable children and adolescents. In recognition of his foundation, he was appointed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2012 and he received the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum in January 2014.