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Colombian Harpist, Composer, and Entrepreneur Nicolás Castañeda Lozano embodies a new wave of Latin American musicians adept at seamlessly integrating innovation with tradition. His burgeoning career has been marked by a dual pursuit: expanding the horizons of Colombian harp performance and forging a contemporary musical identity through composition. Born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1989, Castañeda commenced his musical journey with Colombian percussion instruments, clarinet, and the llanera harp, delving deep into his country’s rich musical heritage. From his earliest performances, Castañeda garnered acclaim in national and international competitions, establishing a reputation for exceptional artistry.

In 2013, Castañeda was awarded a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. During his tenure, he represented the university at various events and enriched his musical palette through collaborations with diverse music traditions.

In 2015, Castañeda was honored by the BMI Foundation for his outstanding academic and artistic achievements in jazz composition and music production at Berklee College of Music. His educational journey culminated in 2016 with a degree in Jazz Composition, setting the stage for his future endeavors.
 

In 2022, Castañeda received a full tuition scholarship to pursue his master’s studies at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki – UNIARTS in Helsinki, Finland. Throughout his program, he focused on intercultural studies, engaging in on-site collaborations with peers from diverse cultural backgrounds. His artistic research project, “Beyond Tradition: An Intercultural Music Notation Proposal,” explored innovative musical notation systems facilitating intercultural musical collaborations while preserving individual artistic identities. In 2024, Castañeda earned his master’s degree in Global Music with minors in Improvisation and Sound Recording and Production, consolidating his expertise and vision in the music landscape.

It is worth mentioning that Castañeda is among the first harpists from the Colombian tradition to graduate from world-renowned universities.

During his time in Europe, Castañeda actively engaged in the artistic scene, participating in prominent events such as the 2024 Helsinki Experimental Series (HES), the 2023 Nomads Festival, the 2023 and 2022 Music Heals Festival, and the 2023 International Music Festival Sonamos Latinoamerica in Copenhagen, Denmark. He also made multiple appearances with “Con Sabor Colombiano” at the 2022 Nomads Festival and the 2023 Caisa Global Club Nights, along with various artistic performances and collaborations at the Embassy of Colombia in Finland.

Currently based in the United States, Castañeda is immersed in creating diverse musical productions both as a solo harpist and as a leader of ensembles for his upcoming second album. Additionally, he is actively contributing to academic publications as a researcher and composer. His focus lies on advancing traditional Colombian music through instrumental performance, musical compositions, and educational materials in various formats, blending traditional and contemporary musical elements.