Luis Diego Montero Hernández, clarinet
Luis Diego Montero Hernández (clarinet), 17, was born in San José, Costa Rica. He began playing the clarinet at the age of 10, in the National Music Education System (SINEM) in Limon, on the Caribbean coast of the country. He was principal clarinet of the Carmen Lyra National Children’s Symphony Orchestra in 2014 and 2015. Luis Diego continued his clarinet studies in the pre-college program at the University of Costa Rica, Caribbean Campus, with Roberto Henry. Subsequently, Luis Diego moved to San Jose, Costa Rica, where he studied at the National Institute of Music with Lenín Izaguirre and Adrián Sandí. He was principal clarinet of the National Intermediate Symphony Orchestra in 2020, 2021, and 2022. At that same time, he was also selected as a member of the National Youth Symphony Orchestra, assigned as an assistant player due to his age. Since 2022, Luis Diego has been studying at the Interlochen Arts Academy (Michigan, USA), with Bryan Conger, Emil Khudyev, and Karen Benda. Luis Diego participated in the Luzerne Music Center Summer Camp in 2021 and the Interlochen Arts Academy Summer Camp in 2022. He participated in the Clarifest International Clarinet Festival in Guatemala in 2017 and 2019. He also participated in the 2019 Costa Rica International Clarinet Festival and the 2019 Costa Rica Caribbean Clarinet Festival. Luis Diego has had the opportunity to take masterclasses with Sócrates Villegas, Gabriel Campos Zamora, Juan Ferrer, Romy Bischoff, YaoGuang Zhai, Gervasio Tarragona Valli, Andrés Ramírez Villarraga, Sergio Reyes, Jérôme Comte, Luis Moscoso, Luis Víquez, Lin Ma, and John de la Paz.
Receiving the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award will allow Luis Diego to continue his studies at the Interlochen Arts Academy through his senior year of high school.