Pianist and composer Orlando Diaz faces setbacks with resilience.
"A big theme in my life is handling rejection like a boss because I applied to Julliard for a collaborative piano program for my Master's degree, and I got in! But I didn't respond to their e-mail on time, so they gave my spot to somebody else. I had to decide whether I would wallow in my own filth for a year or come up with something that would make that year even better than if I had gone to the city."
How did he thrive? Listen to a long interview with him below.
Diaz grew up on Puerto Rico and went to high school in Florida. When he arrived as an undergraduate at the Eastman School in Rochester, he was assigned a twelve page paper about the German composer Richard Wagner.
"I got the music and I listened to it non-stop and I fell in love for the first time with Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Stravinsky once said that Wagner has beautiful moments but tortuous half hours. I learned that you have to be patient; that my job as an audience (member) isn't just to sit there and say 'Show me,' but it's actually to interact and to put my heart into what I'm experiencing."