Jorge Martín was born in Santiago de Cuba in 1959; his family settled in the U.S. in 1965. At age 4 he began piano lessons; he attended Yale College and earned master’s and doctoral degrees in music composition from Columbia University. He writes in all major genres: opera, orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, and solo works. Concert Artists Guild, Close Encounters With Music and the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble have been among those commissioning his music. He won the 2003 Vermont Music Teachers commission award; in 2001 he was one of the featured composers in New York City Opera’s “Vox: Showcasing American Composers.” In 1999 and again in 2012 he received a generous Cintas Fellowship for creative artists of Cuban descent, and also the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ prestigious Academy Award in Music in 1998. In 2005 Mr. Martín was awarded a fellowship by the Bogliasco Foundation in Genoa, and artist’s residencies at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs in 1993 and again in 2003. He was named Composer-in-Residence for Close Encounters With Music for their 2010-11 season. The Fort Worth Opera Festival presented the World Premiere of Martín’s first full-length large-scale opera, Before Night Falls, in the spring of 2010. Having acquired the musical-dramatic adaptation rights to Reinaldo Arenas’s superb memoir Before Night Falls in 1995, Martín began work on the opera in earnest in 2003, having written the libretto himself with the help of the translator of the book, Dolores M. Koch, who knew Arenas personally. The recording will be released in the fall of 2010 on Albany Records. His one-act opera Tobermory won first prize in 1993 in the National Opera Association’s Fifth Biennial Chamber Opera Competition and has been performed in Eugene, New Orleans, Kansas City and at the Lake George Opera Festival. Beast and Superbeast, a full-length set of four one-act operas based on Saki’s short stories with libretti by Andrew Joffe, was presented in March 1996 in Washington D.C. (Bethesda) by The Other Opera Company and in June 1996 in New York by the American Chamber Opera Company to critical acclaim. His chamber music has been featured in festivals in Europe, as well as the U.S.
The Vermont Symphony Orchestra commissioned “Romance” from Mr. Martín for its “Made In Vermont” tour of ten towns throughout the state in the fall of 1999; the orchestra revived the work in an expanded orchestration to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2009. In the spring of 2000, baritone Sanford Sylvan toured the premiere of The Glass Hammer, an hour-long song cycle on poems by Andrew Hudgins, with pianist David Breitman; Carnegie Hall presented Mr. Sylvan in May of 2000 at Weill Recital Hall in a performance of that work. The duo has recorded the cycle and is available on the Koch International Classics label. Also available on CD is his piano music on “Steps” (on the Albany label) performed by Jeanne Golan. Mr. Martín is a member of A.S.C.A.P. Visit jorgemartin.com for more information.