Composer Dr. Manuel Matarrita, Costa Rica
Costa Rican musician Manuel Matarrita is currently one of the most active pianists in his country as a soloist, collaborative artist and teacher. He has appeared as a soloist with Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil and Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Costa Rica), Orquesta Juvenil de El Salvador, Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín (Colombia), The LSU Philarmonia, The Washburn Symphony in Kansas, Sinfonietta of Costa Rica, The University of Costa Rica Chamber Orchestra and the Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal de Cartago. He has played recitals, both as a soloist and as an accompanist, in the most important concert halls of his native country, as well as in places such as Nicaragua, El Salvador, Cuba, Colombia, Perú and the United States. He has performed with the collaboration of conductors such as Irwin Hoffman, Giancarlo Guerrero, Martín Jorge, Agustín Cullell, Norman Gamboa, Alfredo Bonavera, and Alejandro Gutiérrez, among others. He performed the Costa Rican premiere of “Nights in the Gardens of Spain” by Manuel de Falla, as well as the revival in two ocassions of Costa Rican composer Carlos Enrique Vargas´ Piano Concerto, a piece which had not been performed in more than 50 years. He also performed the world premiere of Jerry Sieg´s “Toccata for piano and string orchestra”.
Since 2006, Matarrita has participated regularly as one of the official pianist of the “International Voice Competition Ciudad de Trujillo”, which takes place annually in Perú. In the year 2009, the University of Costa Rica Press released his anthology of arrangenments titled “Costa Rican Popular Songs”.
Manuel Matarrita holds a Bachelor of Music and a Licenciatura in Piano from the University of Costa Rica. He also obtained a Master of Music with emphasis in piano performance from the University of New Orleans and a Doctorate in Musical Arts from Louisiana State University. Among his teachers are Higinio Fernández, María Clara Cullell, Mary Ann Bulla, and Constance K. Carroll. He has recently completed postgraduate studies in Cultural Managment and Communications, given by FLACSO (Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences). Matarrita is currently a Professor of Music at the University of Costa Rica School of Musical Arts, where he also serves as Associate Chair.