Raymond Torres-Santos has been described as the most versatile Puerto Rican composer active in the 21st century by Malena Kuss in her book, "Music in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Encyclopedic History." His multifaceted career encompasses an amazing wide range of musical talents as a composer, conductor, educator, pianist and arranger, equally at home in both classical and popular music. His works include orchestral, electronic and vocal music for the concert hall, ballet, film, theater, television and radio.
His works have been performed and/or commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, North Massachusetts Philharmonic, the symphony orchestras of Reading, Queens and Washington-D.C. Opera; the Bronx Arts Ensemble, Continuum, New Jersey Chamber Music Society, West Point Woodwind Quintet, North Jersey Philharmonic Glee Club, North/South Consonance, Quintet of the Americas, Gabrieli Quintet and Voix-Touche in the USA; the symphonies of Vancouver and Toronto as well as the Canadian Opera Orchestra in Canada; the Vienna Symphony, Prague Radio Symphony, Georgia Symphony, Soria Symphony, and Warsaw Conservatory of Music Chorus and Orchestra in Europe; the National Chinese Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony, Seoul Symphony, Kaohsiung Philharmonic and Taipei Philharmonic Orchestras in Asia; the Buenos Aires, Chile, Colombia and Mexico City Symphony Orchestras in Latin America; and the Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras in the Caribbean. Featured at the Casals Festival, World Fair in Seville, Venice Biennale and Op Sail 2000, his music has been used for television and radio programs, and choreographed by dance companies.
His compositions and arrangements have been recorded for Sony Music, OSPR and SJP record labels; published by RTS Music and ANCO; and distributed by commercial retailers. His scholarly work focuses on music education, creativity, multiculturalism, music criticism and inter-disciplinary studies. His recent articles and book chapters have appeared in peer-reviewed journals and books from Hofstra University, CUNY, and the Cambridge Scholar Publishing.
He is the recipient of awards given by ASCAP, BMI, Meet the Composer, American Composers Forum, the American Music Center, California State University and City University of New York. His music for film earned him a Henry Mancini Award, while his skills as a jazz composer earned him the Frank Sinatra Award, both given in Los Angeles.
Torres-Santos is an accomplished arranger, conductor and pianist. His arrangements have been written for the best opera and popular performers, such as: Plácido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Deborah Voigt, Angela Gheorghiu, Ana María Martínez, Anita Rachvilishvili, Rafael Dávila, and Juan Luis Guerra. He has also served as orchestrator for film composers in Hollywood, such as Ralph Burns (Phantom of the Opera) and Ry Cooder (Brewster's Millions). A jazz pianist, he has worked with Maynard Ferguson, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Shew, and Tito Puente.
As conductor he has led the London Session Orchestra, Taipei Philharmonic, Cosmopolitan Symphony Orchestra, Puerto Rico Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras, Dominican Republic National Orchestra, Queens Symphony Orchestra, Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Bronx Arts Ensemble Orchestra, and Hollywood studio orchestras in concerts and recordings. In addition, he has served as music director for pop and jazz singers Vikki Carr and Dianne Schuur.
Born in Puerto Rico, he studied at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music and at the University of Puerto Rico. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in composition from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and completed advanced studies at Stanford and Harvard University. He furthered his studies in Europe, at the Ferienkurse fur Neue Musik in Germany, and at the University of Padua in Italy. His major professors were Henri Lazarof and David Raksin. He has taught at the California State University, City University of New York, University of Puerto Rico, UCLA and Rutgers University.
In addition, his experience and skills have led him to administration posts, as well as to develop programs for the community in general. Recently, he was appointed as Dean and Professor of Music of the College of the Arts at the California State University, Long Beach. Previously, he was the Dean of the College of the Arts and Communication at William Paterson University and Professor of Music, where he provided leadership related to new curricular and program development, fostered faculty research and creative work, organized faculty/students studies and tours abroad, devised a budget and strategic plan, engaged in program assessment, prepared for re-accreditation, increased gifts, donations and grants, established centers, built up alumni relations, established articulation agreements, brought international and local partnerships, implemented global education and inter-disciplinary initiatives, and sponsored artistic and cultural festivals and contests.
He has also served as Chancellor of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music; Coordinator of the Music Technology Center and Chair of the Music Department, both at the University of Puerto Rico; and Coordinator of the Commercial/Electronic Music Program at the California State University, San Bernardino.
Furthermore, he is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (for the GRAMMYS) and the Council for Cultural Inclusion of the College Music Society for which he previously served as Chair of the Diversity Committee, Program Coordinator and member of the Professional Development Committee.
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