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Classical pianist opens Roche Visiting Artists Series

Friday, October 9, 2015

Pianist Jose Ramos Santana opens presents a dynamic recital of classic piano music and Spanish keyboard delights on Oct. 19 to open the 27th season of the Roche Visiting Artists Series at Mercyhurst University.

He’ll perform Monday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m., and return on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. to present a masterclass for students of the D’Angelo Department of Music. Both events are in Walker Recital Hall in the Hirt Academic Center and are free and open to the public.

A native of Puerto Rico, Ramos Santana is one of the most acclaimed pianists of his generation. Performing a diverse repertoire of traditional music, he is also an acknowledged master of Spanish music.

Ramos Santana was a top prizewinner of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and has performed extensively in the United States, Latin America, Europe and the Far East.

He has appeared as guest soloist with such major orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, the Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore and San Antonio symphonies, the Rochester Philharmonic, the 92nd Street Y Orchestra, The New York Virtuosi, the Casals Festival Orchestra, the Puerto Rico Symphony, and the orchestras of New Mexico, Sioux City, Utah and Syracuse, among many others.

He has collaborated with such distinguished musicians and conductors as Krzsztoff Penderecki, John Adams and Dennis Russell Davies, and was selected from more than 100 pianists to participate in the prestigious Xerox Affiliate Artist Program.

He has appeared in such music festivals as Spoleto, Caramoor, the Casals Festival, Grant Park Festival in Chicago, Festival de Musica Contemporanea in El Salvador, and Festival Bravissimo in Guatemala. A frequent performer on radio and television, he has been featured in documentaries including the 1986 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition on PBS, The 38th Annual Pablo Casals Festival (1995) on the Arts and Entertainment Channel, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Since its founding in 1988, the Visiting Artists Series has introduced local audiences to a unique mix of acclaimed traditional soloists and chamber ensembles, along with specialized performers in the areas of contemporary music, jazz, Renaissance, Baroque and world music. Through the generosity of the Terry and Margaret M. Roche Family, all the performances are presented to the Mercyhurst community – and the Erie region – at no charge.

The 2015-16 season will also feature an intimate evening of art song performed by rising young mezzo-soprano Emily Righter on Nov. 16; rare music by historical Jewish itinerant klezmer musicians in “Tartan, Baroque and Klezmer,” featuring FleytMuzik, on March 7, 2016; and a recital by violinist Jinjoo Cho, Gold Medalist of the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, on April 11, 2016, just prior to her official Carnegie Hall debut.

For information about the Roche Visiting Artists Series, contact series founder and director Dr. Albert Glinsky at aglinsky@mercyhurst.edu.