Colombian pianist, Santiago Bertel, is a graduate from the Music Conservatory of the National University of Colombia from the studio of the teacher Ángela Rodríguez. He was selected for the “Jóvenes Intérpretes 2016” concert season from the Luis Ángel Arango Library, with the Unuma Duo and was the winner of the soloist competition of the Symphonic Orchestra of the Conservatory 2016. In addition he participated in the PYPA’17 Piano Festival and the
I Philadelphia International Piano Competition at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, PA, as well as the VII Ibagué International Piano Festival. In 2017 he made arrangements and performances for the first two seasons of visual concerts "The Music of Cosmos: Tribute to Carl Sagan” in the Dome at the Bogotá Planetarium in partnership with FOSBO, while working as an accompanying pianist at the Conservatory and the music department of Los Andes University. During his career he has received master classes from Gary Graffman, Stefan Vladar, Ching-Yun Hu,
Harold Martina and Blanca Uribe.
In 2021 Santiago graduated from Berklee College of Music being a recipient of a scholarship award from the college and from the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation in Boston, MA pursuing a Professional Music diploma in
Jazz Composition and Arranging, Production and Performance. In 2020 Santiago received the “Barrie Nettles" Award from the Harmony and Jazz Composition Department at Berklee, as well as other achievement recognitions from the Piano Dept. and the Professional Music Dept. He performed around the city in several projects and collaborating with artists in the area and also attended other diverse Jazz programs/workshops such as the Paquito d’Rivera Latin Jazz Workshop in 2014 and the Five-Week Summer Performance Program in 2011.
As part of his future endeavors Santiago is now consolidating his own original music and arrangements that aim to display the Latin American folk music from Cuba, Brazil and the Andes in South America mixed with the classical and jazz language traditions. He has learned under the guidance of accomplished pianists in Boston such as Alain Mallet and Leo Blanco, who among others have given inspiration and tools for further exploration of the African Diaspora, the both western and middle eastern traits in what we consider now as our Latin American folk music and also why is important first to preserve, then to explore and later to pass on to the next generations our roots and our culture, understanding that every kind of music has it’s own purpose and place in history.