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 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 Cintas Fellowship 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. The recording was 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.
Jorge is one of our favorite composers and we were proud to produce his CD. We met when he was one of the composers on the Five Borough project and fell in love with his music then and there.
Martín's Opera: Before Night Falls
If you’ve been curious about the state of new music in Cuba, Sequitur offered an answer of sorts in its program at Merkin Concert Hall on Monday evening. But it was an answer with an asterisk, for although the six composers on the program were all born in Cuba, and most began their musical training there, they live elsewhere now.
Still, most of the music keeps its Cuban roots clearly in focus, even when techniques and textures are as eclectic as can be. In ”Conjuration” (2003), Jorge Martín begins with an alternation of slow, tolling sections and bursts of manic energy, but the score melts into an essay in transformed folk melody. Lyrical clarinet lines and rustic violin themes are accompanied by piano and cello figures steeped in Latin rhythms, yet the more acerbic writing of the opening section is always close at hand…..
Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
The Cuban-born Addison composer achieved an amazingly beautiful sound despite using rather complex harmonic language to reflect the text. He did this by focusing on the lyricism as well as a consciousness of vocal blending. [As does] the poem, Martín offered an outward layer of traditional lyrical beauty while the inner machinations — including clashing harmonies and rhythms — reflected a deeper truth. He also built and varied the flavor, bringing drama to the work, coming to a climactic finale. But it always sounded beautiful.”
The Rutland Herald
The New York Times
“Mr. Sylvan’s performance was a shattering tour de force. . . . Martín’s music had tensile strength, declamatory sweep and often poignant lyricism. . . . At a time when so many song composers are placating audiences, Mr. Martín’s ambitious and challenging cycle stands out.”
City of Orgies from Five Borough SongBook