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Alejandro Drago, D.M.A.
Hailed by music critics as “a superb musician” with the “classical virtuosity of a Heifetz or Perlman,” the “suave café style of Florian Zabach” and the “jazzy insouciance of Stephane Grappelli,” Alejandro Drago has “crisscrossed the line between concerto virtuoso and jazz soloist.” His versatile musicianship has allowed him to be successful with many diverse styles and genres. Highlights of his 2006-2007 season include performances of the Six Sonatas for Solo Violin by Eugène Ysaÿe, Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto with the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, as well as premières of Arthur Barbosa’s Violin Concerto in the United States, and his own arrangement of Piazzolla’s The Four Buenos Aires Seasons in Austria.
A native of Argentina, Alejandro Drago frequently performs as a recitalist and soloist in major Argentinean cities and with the leading orchestras of Argentina. He has performed in Russia, Paraguay, the United States, Haiti, Austria, Ecuador, Lithuania, Panama, Belarus, Colombia, France, Brazil, Yugoslavia, Mexico and Portugal. He has performed in such prestigious concert halls as the Great Hall at the Moscow Conservatory, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Hall (with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra), Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires, The Kennedy Center and the Kolarac Zal of Belgrade.
As a conductor, Dr. Drago began his training with the CCBA Chamber Orchestra in Buenos Aires. In 1991 he assisted in the preparation of Handel’s Messiah with the Chamber Orchestra of the Argentine-American Cultural Institute. Dr. Drago’s string expertise has allowed him to work regularly with a number of youth and professional ensembles, including Guayaquil Symphony Orchestra in Ecuador and the MERCOSUR Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has been a guest conductor with the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Tandil Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of the Argentine Library of Congress and the MERCOSUR Academic Camerata. From 2005 to 2008 he was the Assistant Conductor of the Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the Southern Mississippi Chamber Orchestra.
He maintains strong connections with the music of his homeland through his career as a performer, researcher, lecturer, and arranger. Dr. Drago’s scholarly works have become important references in English language scholarly studies of Tango music. His symphonic and chamber arrangements of Argentine music have been performed extensively in Europe and Latin America, as well as in the United States by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Reviews of Dr. Drago’s arrangements include:
The foundation of Alejandro Drago's life in music began in his native Argentina where, as a small child, he accompanied his mother to see her perform as a tango dancer. His mother introduced him to Antonio Agri, who spent many years as a violinist with renowned tango composer and bandoneón player Astor Piazzolla. Agri recommended him to a member of his string ensemble who instructed him in the basics of music theory. Later, as a scholarship recipient from the Russian government, Dr. Drago attended Moscow State Conservatory under Marina Yashvili, where he obtained his Master of Fine Arts in Violin Performance and Pedagogy. In 2006 he attended the University of Southern Mississippi where he received a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance and a D.M.A. in Orchestral Conducting.
Dr. Drago’s many awards include special prize in the Rodolfo Lipizer International Competition (Italy, 1992), third prize in the Petar Konjovich International Young Musicians Competition (Yugoslavia, 1993) and the first prize in the "New Talents in Classical Music" Competition (Buenos Aires, 1997).
Dr. Drago lives with his wife, Ligia, and their son Mirko.