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Torres-Santos, Raymond

Puerto Rican born Raymond Torres-Santos, has received international accolades for the breadth and quality of his musical compositions and great talents as a pianist, arranger, producer and conductor. He studied at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music and the University of Puerto Rico and completed graduate studies at UCLA from which he earned M.A. and PhD. degrees in music composition, music theory and literature. In addition, Torres-Santos completed post doctoral studies in Europe.

Torres-Santos was formerly a professor at Hunter College in New York City, Chancellor of the Conservatory of Music in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and professor at the University of Puerto Rico and California State University.

As a composer, his catalog of compositions range from orchestral and chamber music, to electronic, ballet, and popular music for film, theater, television and radio. Many of these were commisioned, such as the “1898 Overture” commissioned by the Puerto Rico Government’s 1998 Centennial Commission, “Conversations with Silence”, commissioned for the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, “Jersey Polyphony”, commissioned by the American Composer Forum Continental Harmony Project and “Juris Oratorio” commissioned by the University of Puerto Rico.

These and other compositions, have been performed by major orchestras around the world, including the American Composers Orchestra, Boston Pops, Pacific Symphony, Bronx Arts Ensemble, New Jersey Chamber Music Society, Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and the orchestras of Mexico City, London and Vienna. His works have been also been featured at the internationally famous Casals Festival, in his native Puerto Rico. Torres-Santos’ prolific talents have also been duly recognized through the various awards he has received from many organizations, including ASCAP, BMI, Meet the Composer, American Composers Forum, the American Music Center in New York.

Among his major works and recordings are La Canción de las Antillas, recorded by the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra in 1990, Fantasia Caribeña, recorded by the San Juan Pops Orchestra in 2000, and his most recent, Requiem, released in 2002 and featured the noted Puerto Rican opera singers: mezzo-soprano, Ilca López and baritone, Rafael Cotto. The Requiem consisted of nine parts, including this example, the closing prayer, In Paradisum.

Demonstrating talents that reach far afield from composer of classical works that he is best known for, Torres-Santos was producer, arranger and conductor of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra in special concert presentation: “50 Years of Salsa”, performed in 2002 with the special appearance of salsa superstar, Ricardo Ray. The concert presented orchestral arrangements and medleys of salsa favorites of the last 50 years, made famous by artists such as Pete Rodriguez, the LeBron Brothers, Ray Barretto, El Gran Combo, Isamel Rivera, Willie Colón, Marc Anthony and others. This special performance was a fitting tribute to the salsa music so dear to the Puerto Rican people as well as testament to the creative talent of Torres-Santos.

“Sinfonía del Milenio” is another major and notable work of composition in the style of classical music. First performed in 2002 by the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Guillermo Figueroa, the symphony is a melodic tour of history from creation to the present in four movements. The novel work included natural sounds of Puerto Rico recorded in the Yunque Rain Forest that is part of the US National Park system.

In addition, many other works were recorded as compositions that were part of film or other projects. His music for films has been featured on US and Puerto Rico television, and at the Venice Film Festival, which earned him a Henry Mancini Award.

Torres-Santos is also an accomplished arranger, conductor and pianist. He has arranged for top artists including Frank Sinatra, Julio lglesias and Plácido Domingo. Recipient of the Frank Sinatra Award in jazz composing and arranging, he has also worked with film composers in Hollywood, including such notable composers as Leo Schifrin, Ralph Burns, Ron Jones and Ry Cooder.

As a studio and jazz pianist, he has worked with the likes of Maynard Ferguson, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Sham, and Tito Puente. He has conducted the American Symphony Orchestra, New York Virtuosi Ensemble, Mexico City Philharmonic, the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and others, including Hollywood studio orchestras for films.

Discography

Requiem (2002)

Fantasia Caribeña (2000)

Imagnes (1999)

Cantata Antillana (1992)

La Canción de las Antillas (1990)

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