Student Spotlight: Juan Saavedra

Juan Saavedra
Juan Saavedra in the library

Juan Saavedra is a graduate student pursuing the MM in Conducting in the Department of Music.  Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, he previously studied at the National University of La Plata, where he co-founded and co-conducted the Fine Arts Orchestra, a student ensemble, before graduating with distinction.  He later founded two more groups: the Jacarandá Guitar Ensembles, which focused on classical guitar repertoire and commissioned compositions, and the Lux Sonora Ensemble, which specialized in Baroque chamber music.  Before coming to Wayne State University, he conducted several additional orchestras and served as an instructor of violin, music theory, and contemporary chamber music in Argentina.

"I applied for the MM (conducting) program by recommendation of my former orchestral conducting professor," Juan explains.  "As soon as I arrived in Detroit for my auditions, I was amazed by Wayne State.  As a music major, I chose Wayne State because of its faculty members (professors at the Music Department have the highest credentials in their respective fields), its infrastructure (a lot of new buildings, excellent equipped-libraries, informatic sources, and rehearsal and studying rooms), and the wide possibility of scholarships and awards offered to help me support my studies.  Although settling in a different country is always stressful, I felt welcomed and supported by all the community from the very beginning."

His study of conducting is off to a great start, Juan says.  "The best part of my studies at Wayne State is the possibility to keep growing in my conducting and musical skills in an unbeatable environment while being steps away from professional theaters and recital halls."

Photo by Serena Vaquilar