Luciano Valdes

Artist Picture

Luciano Valdes


African American Orchestra Fellow

Luciano Valdes is a percussionist and timpanist from Miami, Florida. He currently serves as Principal Timpani of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and is an African American Orchestra Fellow with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Valdes is pursuing his Master of Music at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music studying with Joseph Pereira and Jim Babor.

Valdes holds a Bachelor of Music from New York University (NYU) and has studied under notable teachers including Jonathan Haas, Eriko Daimo, Sean Statser, Joshua Quillen, Valerie Naranjo, Javier Diaz, and James Saporito. He was awarded the Ida Bodman Service Award upon graduation from NYU in recognition of his leadership qualities.

Valdes has been recognized as an emerging young instrumentalist by the New World Symphony and has performed on the side-by-side New World Symphony concert series under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. He has also served as Principal Percussion of the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) under Maestro Michael Repper. In addition, Valdes contributed to the album Works by Florence Price, Jessie Montgomery, Valerie Coleman as part of the NYYS. This achievement marked a significant milestone, as the NYYS became the first youth orchestra to win a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance in 2023.

In addition to his classical music pursuits, Valdes has also played the marimba chair for Players Theatre, Beauty and the Beast Off-Broadway Show. He is an alumnus of the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Texas Music Festival.