Born to a family of musicians, Mr. Saraza started playing the violin at the age of three with his father. He received a full-scholarship from St. Scholastica’s College of Music to study under Virna Valerio, Prof. Basilio Manalo, and Prof. Arturo Molina.
Mr. Saraza was a frequent soloist of The Philippines Research for Developing Instrumental Soloist (PREDIS) and also served as concertmaster of the PREDIS Children’s Orchestra in the Philippines. At 8 years old, Mr. Saraza was selected to represent the Philippines in the 45th year Suzuki Music Convention in Tokyo, Japan. At the age of 13, Mr. Saraza became the youngest member of the Manila Symphony Orchestra.
In 2002, Mr. Saraza gained attention and became a prominent violinist in the Philippines after winning first place at the National Music Competition for Young Artists eventually performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. He performed all-over the Philippines as a recitalist, chamber musician and was featured soloist by the Manila Symphony Orchestra and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2003, he made his concert debut at the Cultural Center of the Philippines entitled “The Gift” which was later awarded as “best performance of 2003” by the Manila Bulletin.
In 2005, Mr. Saraza moved to New York and was awarded a full-scholarship to pursue his violin studies at the Mannes School of Music Preparatory Division under the tutelage of Dr. Chin Kim. From 2006 to 2008, Mr. Saraza attended the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival and was featured at the opening ceremony performing Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto. In 2007, he won the Friday-Woodmere Young Artist Competition in Hewlett, NY and was featured in WQXR 96.3’s Rob Sherman’s “Young Artist Showcase.” In 2008, he won the Mannes Concerto Competition and performed with the Mannes Philharmonic under the baton of maestro Michael Adelson. Mr. Saraza also served as concertmaster of the Mannes Philharmonic from 2008-2009. In 2009, Mr. Saraza led his chamber group called the Mannes Chamber Initiative to win the top prize of the American Teacher’s League Competition and was featured at Carnegie Hall in New York. In 2009, Mr. Saraza graduated from Mannes School of Music with class distinction and visited the Philippines to have his sold-out homecoming concert entitled “Symphonic Virtuosity” playing Paganini’s Violin Concerto with the Manila Symphony Orchestra and maestro Christoph Poppen of the German Radio Philharmonic.
Mr. Saraza received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School in 2015. He studied with Stephen Clapp, Lewis Kaplan and Joseph Lin. During his time at the Juilliard School, Mr. Saraza was the recipient of the Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship, Ruth Katzman Scholarship, Juilliard Alumni scholarship and the C.V. Starr Scholarship. He was also featured in Juilliard’s highly esteemed events such as the Chamberfest, Sonatenabend and the Focus! festival. Mr. Saraza served as assistant concertmaster of the Juilliard School Orchestra and was a member of the Juilliard Lab Orchestra. Outside the school, Mr. Saraza was featured as soloist of the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble for three consecutive years performing Paganini’s violin concerto, Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto and Mendelssohn’s violin Concerto. He was also invited by Sichuan Philharmonic Orchestra in Chengdu, China for a performance of Sibelius Violin Concerto.
Mr. Saraza was accepted at the Perlman Music Program, Aspen Music Festival, and Bowdoin International Music Festival. Mr. Saraza also received guidance and has worked with major classical figures such as Glen Dicterow, Cho-liang Lin, Sarah Chang, Itzhak Perlman, Vadim Repin, Christian Tetzlaff, David Finckel, Joseph Kalichstein, and members of the Emerson Quartet, Brentano Quartet, Ying Quartet, Orion Quartet, Juilliard String Quartet, Miro String Quartet, and Shanghai Quartet.
In 2015, Mr. Saraza was accepted to pursue Master of Musical Arts degree from the Yale University studying under Prof. Hyo Kang. Mr. Saraza was the recipient of the Brodus Erle Prize 2016 best violinist of the school year and the Alumni Association Prize 2017 for community work. During his time in Yale, Mr. Saraza served as concertmaster of the Yale Philharmonia and violin teacher of Yale’s secondary lesson division. He was featured in New Music New Haven performing Joan Tower’s Second String Force and was also featured in Martin Bresnick’s premire performance of Passions of Bloom in Norfolk, Connecticut.
Mr. Saraza’s recent engagement include a performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in Carnegie Hall. The concert was a historic event for both Mr. Saraza and the Philippines because it was the first time that the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra performed in the United States. Mr. Saraza was also invited to be a member of International Sejong Soloists and to join their concert tour in Korea and Russia. Mr. Saraza performed with International Sejong Soloists in venues such as Busan Cultural Center, Seoul Arts Center, Concert Hall of Krasnoyarsk Philharmonic Society, Arnold Kats State Concert hall, and Tchaikovsky Concert hall. Other notable performance venues include Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, Woolsey Hall, Sprague Concert Hall, Paul Recital Hall and Studzinski Recital Hall,
Today, Mr. Saraza is an avid educator on top of being a performer.. He was offered a Professor in-Residence position in St. Scholastica’s College Manila and became faculty of Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra. Mr. Saraza is also the new concertmaster of the Manila Symphony Orchestra. He has been a scholar of Standard Insurance Inc for ten years and is now working with them in developing young talents of thr Philippines. Mr. Saraza is looking forward to further himself as a musician by engaging himself in an intensive solo, chamber and orchestral playing that is not solely attached to classical music. Outside music, Mr. Saraza is a recipient of President Obama’s Outstanding Academic Achievement Award. Mr. Saraza was also a TV commercial model for Promil’s gifted child when he was 8 years old and was featured in Town & Country Philippines magazine, Lifestyle Inquirer, and Fringe Magazine.