Torres-Santos, Raymond, Puerto Rican composer, conductor, keyboardist, and music educator; b. San Juan, June 19, 1958. He grew up in a musical family; one of his grandfathers was a violinist, and the other played the German accordion. He was educated in P.R. at the Univ. (B.A. in humanities, 1980) and the Cons. of Music (B.A. in music, 1980); also had lessons with Ginastera (summers, 1977-78); continued his studies at the Univ. of Calif, at Los Angeles (M.A., 1982; Ph.D., 1986), where his mentors were Henri Lazarof, Paule Reale, and David Raksin; also attended new music courses in Darmstadt (1982). He was a visiting composer at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford Univ. (1984) and the Centro di Sonologia Computazionale at the Univ. of Padua (1988). From 1986 to 1991 he was a prof, at Calif. State Univ. in San Bernardino, where he also was director of the electronic and commercial music programs. After serving as chairman of the music dept. at the Univ. of PR. (1991-93), he was chancellor of the P.R. Cons. of Music (from 1994). His compositional style is eclectic and inclusive, and his craftsmanship applicable to virtually any genre; in some of his works, he makes effective use of indigenous Puerto Rican instruments. His more than 60 popular songs and over 300 arrangements have been performed by singers and orchs. throughout Latin America and in Los Angeles.
orch: Sinfonia Concertante (1980); Exploraciones for Strings (1980); Areytos: a Symphonic Picture (1985); El pais de los cuatro pisos (1988); La cancion de las Antillas (San Juan, Sept. 8, 1990). chamber: Flute Sonata (1975); Violin Sonata (1977); Un jïbarito en N.Y. for String Quartet (1977); Music for Brass and Percussion (1977); String Quartet (1978); Cordillera central for Clarinet and Cuatro (Puerto Rican stringed instrument; 1980); La guaracha del macho Camacho for Acoustic Piano and Electronically Modified Electric Piano (1983); Brass Quintet (1985); Epitafio for 6 Horns (1988); Descarga for Percussion Ensemble (1988); Danzas tropicales for Chamber Ensemble (1988). vocal: Esta es mi vida: A Cantata for Chorus and Orch. (1979); Elegia de Reyes: A Christmas Cantata for Narrator, Soprano, Chorus, Symphonic Band, and “Rondalla” (an ensemble of Spanish Guitars, Mandolins, Cuatros, etc.; 1981); Gwakia Baba for Chorus (1988). other: Numerous solo pieces; electronic and computer music; dance pieces; film scores; commercials; arrangements and orchestrations; popular songs; stage works.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire