Ricardo Araujo, Colombia
Ricardo Araujo was born in 1978 in Bogota (Colombia). Since his very youth, he evolved in the abstract universe of painting and music. He began his musical studies in 1989 with pianist Lile Tiempo, and in 1990, as Marie-Louise Toupouzien's student, he was awarded by Belgium Superior Jury in the excellence category. At 12, he gave his first piano recital in Brussels, playing Bach and Mozart. Seven months later, he made his debut with Brussels' Royal Conservatoire chamber orchestra, when Martha Argerich noticed him.
In 1991, back in Colombia, he simultaneously went on with his pianist, music director and composer training. He quickly became Dimitr Manolov's assistant, then second music director of the Colombia Symphony Orchestra. Before leaving Colombia in February 1998 to settle in Paris, Ricardo Araujo chose to dedicate himself exclusively to music writing and orchestras' direction.
As a musician, he has favoured reflexion and search for a union between the composer's thoughts and his own identity. Through the years, he has tended to put aside immediate virtuosity in favour of discovering colours and thoughts in order to modernize works. "Music from the past should help us to understand our present because great men's work must be looked at with contemporary eyes to be reborn and to talk to us plainly".
Since 1993, Ricardo Araujo has given many concerts in Latin America: Bogota, Caracas, Vina del Mar, Santiago, Buenos Aires, as well as in Europe: Brussels, Namur, Paris, Chartres, Dijon, Vienna, Bonn, Dresden, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Lausanne, London, Rome, etc.
As a conductor and besides his part in the Colombia Symphony Orchestra, he was in charge of creating several works during the 1997 Bogota contemporary music festival. He then has directed Mozart concertos from his piano with Rome's Santa Cecilia Orchestra.
Ricardo Araujo has worked with keys figures such as Michel Merlet, Vladimir Askenasy, Marek Janovski, Henri Dutilleux and Mstislav Rostropovitch. He has performed in Brussels Royal Conservatoire, Caracas Teatro Teresa Carreno, Santiago de Chile Teatro Municipal, Buenos Aires Teatro Colón, in Paris Salle Corbot, Bamberg Bayerische Steetsphilharmonie, Lausanne Salle Metropole, Vienna Wiener Konzerthaus, etc. He has directed Colombia Symphony Orchestra since 1996, and since 1998, Paris Opera Orchestra, Stuttgart Radio-Sinfonieorchester, Bayerische Staatsphilarmonie and many more. In 2003, he became William Christie's assistant during the Paris National Opera creation of J.P. Rameau's Boréades and then, Armin Jordan's with a new interpretation of Mozart Così fan tutte. The very same year, he has been invited to play two recitals in Colombia. Both have been unanimously greeted by the national press. Since February 2004, he has been a regular guest at Paris Cercle de l'Union Interallié.
As a committed artist, Ricardo Araujo has been actively offering his help to Colombia Rotary Club supervising the "Mecenazgo Rotario" project which promotes young talents and offer them the opportunity to perform several concerts and to record a CD. In 2005, the Rotary Club has invited Ricardo Araujo to play Mozart's concerto n°23 to celebrate the International Rotary centenary.
In March 2005, he was named as musical director of Cartagena de Indias New Opera and Festival, and has been in charge of musical programming.
As a composer, some of his works came into being during events such as Colombia Contemporary music festival in Bogota, or Gerberoy festival in France. Some of the interpreters were Eduardo Herrera, Oscar Hernandez, Dimitr Manolov, and Anne-Julie Kerkhello.
In 2001, he has worked for the IRCAM, when he composed two works of electronic music which would be re-arranged for symphony orchestra afterwards.
In 2007, willing to gather Latin American young talents, he has founded with the help of Latin American diplomatic missions the New Latin American Philharmonic Orchestra and became its musical director. Under his influence, the Orchestra has aimed to promote his continent symphonic repertoire.