Diego Peña

Southlake, Texas

Curtis Institute of Music, Bachelor of Music, 2026

Diego Peña started playing the bassoon at age 11. Since then, he has received numerous awards and honors such as the winner of the Interlochen Arts Academy Concerto Competition, making it to the second round of the 2023 Muri Competition, and playing principal bassoon with the National Youth Orchestra of America on their 2022 European tour. Diego's most influential teachers have been Ryan Morris, Eric Stomberg, and Daniel Matsukawa, who he is currently studying with at the Curtis Institute of Music.

What inspired you to become a musician?
Attending the Interlochen Arts Camp in 2019 and meeting such an inspiring pool of musicians.

Who are your all-time favorite composers and/or pieces? Why?
Duke Ellington. He is, in my opinion, the greatest composer of all time. His music connects with the soul in ways that others don’t even come close to.

What is an interesting fact about you and/or your instrument?
My great uncle is a fusion composer in Mexico, Gerardo Batiz.

When taking a break from music-making, what is your favorite thing to do?
I love to travel and explore new places!

Why did you choose the NRO?
I loved the appeal of so much focus on orchestral playing. The type of environment that is fostered at NRO, as well as great things about the program told to me by friends, made it an easy decision.