Humanities Institute lecture: Sonia Marie De Leon de Vega “Transforming Lives Through Music”

Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Time: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Scripps College – Garrison Theater

Santa Cecilia Orchestra is the only symphony orchestra in the nation with a specific mission to take classical music to Latino communities. Founder and conductor Sonia Marie De Leon de Vega speaks of the founding of Santa Cecilia Orchestra and how it has touched Latino communities and numerous lives through its programs and music.

The Los Angeles Times has described her performances as “conducting with sweep and energy.” Sonia Marie De León de Vega has achieved distinction as a creative and consummate musician, as a woman in a groundbreaking career role, and as a leading influence in the growing Latino culture in the United States. She was the first woman in history to receive a Vatican invitation to conduct a symphony orchestra at a Papal Mass. Univision and Target named her Outstanding Latina of the Year in 2000.  Hispanic Business Magazine voted her one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States in 2001 and 2005. September 2006 also brought Ms. De León de Vega her first national award from the prestigious Washington, D.C. organization, Dialogue in Diversity. She has been featured internationally on the Spanish network Univision on a profile titled “Orgullo Hispano” (Hispanic Pride) an honor reserved for the most well known Hispanic artists in the world. She becomes the first classical artist ever featured in Orgullo Hispano. De León de Vega’s accomplishments have been recognized in a variety of media venues, including La Opinion, Vista Magazine, Latina Style, and People Magazine. Most recently Ms. De León de Vega was profiled in a CNN segment, Vista L.A., American Latino and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

Her graduate studies lead her to love and specialize in conducting studies with her mentor, David Buck.  She also trained at the Herbert Blomstedt International Institute for Instrumental Conductors and at various American Symphony Orchestra League workshops with Otto Werner Mueller, Maurice Abravanel, Pierre Boulez, Andre Previn, Zubin Metha and Ricardo Muti. She resides with her husband and son in Los Angeles.