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Piano Masterclass with Josep Prohens: Time and Location

Photo of Josep Prohens and Andreu RieraAs previously announced, we are holding a masterclass in conjunction with our upcoming Josep Prohens retrospective concert, with the composer himself and pianist Andreu Riera, who is one of the foremost interpreters of Prohens’ piano works.

The masterclass will be held the day before the concert, November 11, at 12:30, at City College’s Shepard Hall.

This class is free and open to the public; no registration is required to observe.

Until then, enjoy the album whose launch we’re celebrating with this concert and masterclass:


Josep Prohens’ Piano Music: A Retrospective Concert

On November 12, the Graduate Center’s Segal Theater will host a retrospective concert of Josep Prohens’ piano works, as well as a masterclass with Prohens himself and pianist Andreu Riera.

Photo of Josep ProhensProhens was the first recipient of the Foundation for Iberian Music’s Composer’s Commission in 2005, for which he wrote Dreams/Somnis for solo piano. (Click on the above link to listen!) Prohens has been composing since 1978 and is the author of Ensenyament de la música a Felanitx (The Teaching of Music in Felanitx), about music education in his hometown. He has lectured at Conservatori Professional de Música de Felanitx since 1972 and has served on the composition faculty at conservatories throughout the Balearic Islands. He is also president of Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Sebastián of the Balearic Islands. 

Prohens and Riera both teach currently at the Conservatori Superior de Música de les Illes Balears. Riera recently released an album of Prohens piano works, Ficció, and he also appeared on the 2017 album Impressions. Riera has won numerous piano prizes, including the Infanta Cristina (Madrid), Caja Postal in Madrid, Alonso Competition in the city of Valencia, Frederic Mompou (Barcelona), Jacinto Guerrero and the Mozart Competition, Salzburg Mozarteum. He has performed throughout Europe and North America, including right here in NYC, with our own Perspectives Ensemble

Riera and Prohens will host a master class on November 11 at 12:30 at City College’s beautiful Shepard Hall.

A concert of Prohens’ piano works will be held on November 12 at 6:30. The concert will include Prohens’ commission, Somnis, “La Llum” from Ombres, and his new work Ficció, among many more.

Attendance is free. 

Co-organized by the Foundation for Iberian Music and Institut Ramon Llull.

New Interview with Pizà and Upcoming Talks

The magazine Codalario has published a new interview with Antoni Pizà about his work with the Foundation for Iberian Music (en español). They discuss some of the Foundation’s history, our ongoing projects, and Pizà’s work on Literes. You can read the full article here.

On a related note, Pizà will be giving a free lecture on Literes and Los Elementos  in Palma de Mallorca at the Caixa Forum. The lecture is May 10 at 8:00 pm; Teatre Principal will be performing Los Elementos the following week, May 17 and 18, with Forma Antiqva.

literes lecture invitation




While in Mallorca, Pizà will also be doing a presentation with Francesc Vicens on their edition of Baltasar Samper’s 1935 jazz lectures, at the book store Drac Màgic. Guests will be treated to a live performance of some of the music, by Honey Pie Swing Quartet. The presentation is May 14 at 7:00 pm.

Jazz book presentation invite

Final Rodrigo Concert at the Hispanic Society

Just as a reminder, next week, May 2, we will have our final concert in the series co-sponsored by the Hispanic Society!

The final concert will feature classical Spanish dances for guitar, flute and voice. Anna de la Paz will be dancing, with mezzo-soprano Anna Tonna, Graduate Center guitarist Federico Díaz, and flutist Svjetlana Kabalin. The program will include:

For solo guitar- Invocación y Danza[Invocation and Dance], Junto al Generalife [By the Generalife],En los trigales [In the wheat fields] and Entre Olivares [Within the Olive Grove]

For flute and guitar- Dos poemas de Juan Ramón Jiménez [Two Poems by Juan Ramón Jiménez], Coplas del pastor enamorado[Ballad of the Shepherd in Love] and the Cuatro canciones sefardíes[Four Sephardic Songs]

Anna de la Paz will join for Pequeña Sevillana [Small Sevillian Dance] Tres canciones españolas[Three Spanish Songs] and the exquisiteAranjuez ma pensée[Aranjuez in my thoughts].

As with the previous events, Douglas Riva will present a pre-concert lecture at 6:30. The concert is at 7:00. Admission is free but you must RSVP with the Hispanic Society. Please visit their page to RSVP.

6:30 PM lecture
7:00 PM concert
American Academy of Arts and Letters
632 West 156 Street New York, NY 10032

New York Andalus Ensemble Spring Concert, May 1

Our resident New York Andalus Ensemble‘s annual spring concert with the full ensemble is upcoming at La Nacional May 1st.

The title of their spring concert is “Ya Qalbi” (Oh my heart). Join them for a musical celebration of inter-cultural unity!

For five hundred years, Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived side by side in medieval Iberia, sharing their arts and sciences to create a scintillating, multicultural tradition of music and poetry. Singing in Arabic, Hebrew, and Ladino to reflect this cultural pluralism, the New York Andalus Ensemble presents spiritual texts and songs of love and everyday life in Al-Andalus, emphasizing the expressive quality of the region’s shared tradition even as it respects the individual cultures that comprise it. Meticulous attention is paid to authenticity of style and pronunciation as ensemble members, hailing from Algeria, Syria, Israel, Morocco, and the United States, pool their linguistic and musical expertise.

Advance tickets are $20 ($16 student/senior) and available through Eventbrite. Get your tickets early! Space is limited and NYAE shows always sell out.

$20 ($16)
7:30 PM, 1 May 2019
La Nacional
239 W. 14th St, NYC

Niño de Elche Residence at the Graduate Center

Spanish cantaor and sound artist Niño de Elche has a short residency upcoming at the James Gallery at the Graduate Center, from 30 April to 2 May. He will present his work “En un cuartito los dos,” which was specifically conceived for the James Gallery, in a project organized by Daniel Valtueña and Katherine Carl. About the work:

The notion surrounding the Spanish term cuarto –partially translated for “room” in English– is the main premise for this project. The cuartos flamencos used to be marginalized performing spaces where dissident bodies and practices used to take place in fin-de-siècle Spain. Related spaces such as cafés cantantes contributed to articulate traditional imaginaries on Iberian culture which ignored the individuals who inhabited them. Niño de Elche aims to explore the non-normative practices spaces censor by working on sound experimentation and performative actions in the gallery space. By calling on other cuartos such as black holes and dark rooms he will explore notions such as tradition, intimacy, and queerness.  

The artist’s residency will open on May 1 with a roundtable discussion, “Towards a Desanctification of the Gallery Space,” with curator Regine Basha and architect Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco (Princeton University), moderated by Daniel Valtueña. 

The performance of the work will be May 2 at 6:30.

Niño de Elche is a multi-disciplinary artist who combines flamenco singing with poetry, minimalism, electronic and rock music. He has collaborated with philosophers, poets, dancers, and Spanish pop/rock artists. The residency is co-sponsored by the Foundation for Iberian Music with the James Gallery, the Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures Department, the Theater and Performance Department, the Lucille Lortel Chair, and the Doctoral Students’ Council.


1 May, 6:30 PM – Opening Discussion

2 May, 6:30 PM – Performance

The James Gallery, The Graduate Center

1 April 2019: Music in the Soul: The Fairy-tale Life of Hans Christian Andersen

HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN: Tales Real and ImaginedMonday, April 1, 2019, 5:30 - 7:30 pm, at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave., Skylight Room, 9th floor

Music in the Soul: The Fairy-tale Life of Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen needs no introduction. His fairy tales have been delighting children and adults alike for almost two centuries, and have become ingrained in our collective consciousness. The seminar reflects on the particular nature of Andersen’s sensibility, his love of music, his ambiguous sexuality, and his fairy-tale life as a mirror of his literary imagination. Storyteller Laura Simms will discuss aspects of Andersen’s fairy tales and will perform “The Little Match Girl” as a demonstration of Andersen’s feel for narrative and emotional expression.

Laura Simms, writer, storyteller, and Artistic Director of The Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center, New York City

James Melo, Musicologist for the Ensemble for the Romantic Century and Senior Editor at RILM


Presented by the Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation, CUNY, and the Ensemble for the Romantic Century in connection with ERC’s theatrical concert, Hans Christian Andersen: Tales Real and Imagined. To find out more about ERC’s theatrical concerts, visit our website:

Laura Simms is an award winning performer, writer, and educator advocating storytelling as compassionate action for personal and community transformation. She performs worldwide combining ancient myth and true life story for adult and family audiences.  She is the Artistic Director of the Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center in NY and the founder of The Center for Engaged Storytelling (new).   She has been  a Senior Research Fellow for the International Peace institute at Rutgers University Newark under the auspices of UNESCO.  As a spokesperson for storytelling she presents keynotes and workshops in conferences, villages, schools, universities and community events. She is a member of the Therapeutic Arts Alliance of Manhattan, and a senior teacher of Shambhala Buddhist meditation.  Laura received the Brimstone Award for Engaged Storytelling, CHOICE award for best story collection and Sesame Street’s SUNNY DAYS award for work with children worldwide. In 2011, she received a Life Time Achievement Award from the National Storytelling Network.  She is co-faculty with Terry Tempest Williams’ at University of Utah, consults with ETSU’s CANCER STORIES project, and is spoken word consultant for Foundations, NGOS working in post disaster and conflicts. She recently appeared at the Newark Peace Summit and the Conference on World Peace and Values in Monterrey, Mexico. Her Most recent book is OUR SECRET TERRITORY: The Essence of Storytelling (Sentient Publications, June 2011).  She is completing a new work:  THE SANCTUARY OF A STORY (TBA).  Laura is the mother of best selling author Ishmael Beah.

James Melo has written extensively for scholarly journals and music magazines in Brazil, Uruguay, the United States, and Austria, and has been invited to participate as a panel discussant in conferences in Indiana, New York, and Canada. He is the New York correspondent for the magazine Sinfónica in Uruguay, reviewer of music iconography for the journal Music in Art, and senior editor at RILM (Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale) at CUNY. In March 2005, he chaired a session in the conference Music and Intellectual History, organized by the Barry Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation (CUNY), and presented a paper on the history of musicological research in Brazil. He received a grant from the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel, Switzerland, where he conducted research on the manuscripts of Anton Webern. Mr. Melo is the program annotator for the recording of the complete piano music of Villa-Lobos and Camargo Guarnieri on Naxos, and the program annotator for the National Philharmonic in Strathmore, MD. He has been the musicologist for the Ensemble for the Romantic Century since 2001, where he is responsible for the musicological and academic backing of all musical and theatrical productions, in addition to writing some of the scripts for ERC’s theatrical concerts.

Rodrigo Discussion Panel at Harvard

Portrait of Joaquin Rodrigo, 1935Friends in the Boston area, we have added a discussion panel at Harvard to our Joaquín Rodrigo Festival calendar! 

The panel will be April 11 at the Harvard Instituto Cervantes, at 5:30 pm. It follow the same format as the one upcoming April 9 at the King Juan Carlos I Center at NYU, on Rodrigo’s life and works. 

Both panels will include Walter A. Clark, Antoni Pizà, Douglas Riva, and Javier Suárez-Pajares, moderated by our festival director, Isabel Pérez Dobarro. Mezzo-soprano Anna Tonna will perform with guitarist Hermelindo Ruiz. (The NYU panel will feature Graduate Center guitarist Federico Díaz.)

Read the event announcement (español and English) here.

5:30 pm
April 11
4th Floor, 2 Arrow St.
Cervantes Observatorio, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

Or join us in NYC April 9!

Rodrigo’s Piano Music, April 4

We are delighted to announce the details of the next concert in our Joaquin Rodrigo: The Guitar and Beyond chamber music series, co-sponsored by the Hispanic Society.

The April 4 concert will feature music for piano, performed by Douglas Riva and Isabel Pérez Dobarro, including Cuatro piezas (4 Pieces), A l’ombre de Torre Bermeja (In the Shadow of the Torre Bermeja), Juglares (for four hands), the ironic Gran marcha de los subsecretarios (Grand March of the Under-Secretaries), and more.

There will be a pre-concert lecture with the performers, Douglas Riva and Isabel Pérez Dobarro, plus Cecilia Rodrigo, daughter of the composer, and her daughter, Patricia León Rodrigo. You can read the text of the lecture here.

You can also view the full program with notes here.

Admission is free but RSVP is required. You may RSVP by visiting the Hispanic Society’s event page or by emailing

4 April 2019
Lecture: 6:30 pm
Concert: 7:00 pm

American Academy of Arts & Letters
632 West 156 Street New York

You can view the program and pre-concert lecture for the first concert in the series here. The third and final concert will be May 2.