Assunta “Sunny” Carballeira: 1925-2019

Assunta “Sunny” Carballeira has died at the age of 93. Sunny was a great patron of Spanish music, especially the music of Catalonia, and was a friend to the Foundation for Iberian Music. 

Sunny was a pianist and singer, but she ultimately left her career as a performer and concentrated on arts patronage. Herself Italian-American, she married Manuel Carballeira, a Spanish-American throat doctor for the Metropolitan Opera who was decorated by King Juan Carlos I for his service to Spanish diplomacy. She hosted many events at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute, on whose board she was a member, as well as at her homes in Flushing and Long Island. She never failed to support Spanish musicians and composers in New York City, including Frederic Mompou, Carmen Bravo, Xavier Montsalvatge, Alicia de Larrocha, José Carreras, Victoria de los Ángeles, Juan Pons, Ernesto Halffter, Plácido Domingo, Montserrat Caballé, and Carlos Suriñach.

The legacy of Spanish music in New York is immeasurably richer thanks to the loving support of Sunny Carballeira. We offer our condolences to her family and friends.

Services will be held January 23 and 24 in Flushing, NY. Please see her obituary for information.