The power of music: Juan Sebastian Delgado

Argentinian cellist Juan Sebastian Delgado (UWC Adriatic 2005-2007) is pursuing a Doctoral degree in music performance at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, focusing on contemporary music. He is also the current principal cellist of Pronto Musica Chamber Orchestra in Montreal, as well as a member of the BIK Ensemble, an unconventional trio that specializes in the commissioning of new instrumental theatre and tango works.

Driven by a passion to share the power of music with others, Juan Sebastian has played in more than 20 countries, researched and created initiatives with leading composers charting new directions in sound and technique, and travelled to remote communities teaching music to disadvantaged youth.

Juan Sebastian talks fondly about his UWC experience and how it has contributed to foster his passion for music and make him reflect on his role as an artist in our society.

When I was 17 years of age, I was accepted into UWC Adriatic in Italy to finish the last two years of high-school in a unique and highly stimulating environment. Acquiring new socio-linguistic skills was a basic necessity; the full implications of mutual respect, international cooperation, and social responsibilities were more apparent to me, and were further developed when I performed chamber music as a music scholar at the International Music School of Trio di Trieste sharing the power of music with students from remote corners of the world (Albania, Mongolia, Hong Kong, etc.).

In a world that is rapidly changing, where the social and cultural values are constantly being challenged by a hyper-materialistic and individualistic society, UWC Adriatic provided me with a deep sense of community, forging long-lasting relationships based on mutual understanding and empathy regardless of any social beliefs and cultural barriers.

Now, after having lived abroad and having been gone from my native Argentina for the past eleven years, I have come to realize the essential role of social and cultural exchange during a person’s formative years. Cultural dialogue allows us to listen, express, and exchange opinions, and is a vital process of social integration and positive change.

Ever since I left the wonderland of UWC Adriatic, and as I continue to grow and evolve as a person and a musician, I have never stopped questioning my role as an artist in this society. This same idea has drawn me irresistibly to initiate positive change through music outreach. As a result, I embarked on a series of socially-oriented projects in Brazil, Colombia, Armenia and Central America in which I have witnessed firsthand that music has the power to transform people’s lives. The highly positive experiences in all of these projects have supported my artistic aspirations and strengthened my professional skills realizing, at the same time, the incredible force of music, not as a pure entertainment, but as a creative platform in which to reflect about ourselves and to connect with others around us”.

To learn more about some of Juan Sebastian’s projects, you can read a recent article here.