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Antonio Espinal Biography

Antonio Espinal

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Living in: Mexico

Pianist, orchestral and choral conductor, Mr. Espinal has been recognized as one of the most talented young conductors, pianists and musicians in his native country of Mexico . Mr. Espinal moved to Los Angeles invited to work with Maestro Esa-Pekka Salonen as his Apprentice in 2000. He is also a regular guest conductor for orchestras in Mexico.

Mr. Espinal was granted Permanent Resident Visa as an "artist of extraordinary abilities" in year 2007 for his contribution to the development of the arts and his work with the youth in his now home, Los Angeles . This contribution was more than evident with his extraordinary achievements reached in a few years with his own organization: HARMONIES GIRLS CHOIR.

Los Angeles has become the place to expand his musical activities since then, becoming an indispensable "cultural ambassador" in this City. Not only his personals achievements has been widely recognized, but his talents as an educator and "discoverer" of new talents in the Angeleno Youth has been internationally admired, since he has toured internationally eight times to Mexico and Europe with Harmonies Girls choir.

Part of his mission as a "cultural ambassador" involves now his new project of bringing the best from Mexico to USA . In collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico in Los Angeles, Mr. Espinal has developed a serie of concerts where Mexican Opera singers will come to the best concert halls of USA to perform., with Mr. Espinal at the Piano. The first concert will take place at the ZIPPER HALL (The Colburn School) in September 2009, with extraordinary Mexican soprano Maribel Salazar, who made her opera debut in 2006 singing the role of Mimi in La Boheme, by Puccini, with great acclaim from the critics and audience.

Jose Antonio Espinal has received many international recognitions, awards and artistic grants. He has been recipient of the most prestigious Conductor's Award by the Mexico 's National Endowment for the Arts and Culture with an Annual Grant in 1996-1997 and for the second time in 2000-2001.

In November 2004, Mr. Espinal was appointed Music Director of the Spanish Choir at the CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS.

Maestro Espinal is now working in establishing an International Children's Choir Festival in AGUASCALIENTES (one of the most important colonial cities in MEXICO ), in collaboration with the Government of AGUASCALIENTES, (Through the Instituto de Cultura de AGUASCALIENTES ). The first edition of the Festival will take place in July 2010, with Antonio Espinal as an ARTISTIC DIRECTOR of the Festival, conducting the final concert with the AGUASCALIENTES SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.

His group HARMONIES GIRLS CHOIR was professionally hired to perform at the prestigious FESTIVAL-DE-SAINT-DENIS, in France ( Paris ) in June 18 and 19, 2007, with great acclaim from the audience with a standing ovation and received enthusiastic reviews from the critics. The concert was broadcasted nationally on RADIO FRANCE.

During his position as Dean of the St. Thomas School Of Sacred Music,(2002-2005) he founded an all-girls choir: HARMONIES OF ST THOMAS. After leaving his position in that church, the choir became an independent choral group (Mr. Espinal's own choir) changing the name to HARMONIES GIRLS CHOIR. On December 10 th 2004, Espinal was honored by the City Of Los Angeles, for his work with the community of Los Angeles and his work with children.

This choir has achieved an excellent level of musicality. The choir has toured on Summer 2006 Mexico , Vienna Salzburg and Prague (14 Concerts in total) with rage reviews. The tour included a full GALA CONCERT with orchestra with Mr Espinal as a conductor. Previously, on summer 2004 the group embarked in its first international trip to Germany participating at the Puericantores Festival. Mr. Espinal's vision for the group of expanding the girl's minds trough musical excellence and unique experiences trough international trips, was repeated with enormous success in the Summer 2006, when the group toured Mexico (giving 7 successful concerts over there), continuing with a tour to Austria and Prague (for the celebration of Mozart's 250 Anniversary.

Mr Espinal's Girls Choir has been selected for 5 consecutive years by the L.A. COUNTY HOLIDAYS CELEBRATIONS to perform at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on DECEMBER 24th.

Mr Espinal is strongly committed to promote music by rarely heard composers, with special attention to Latin American composers, along with high classical music. The quality of the sound of HARMONIES and its repertory has been extensively recognized, in newspapers like La Opinion, Vida Nueva, and Impulso, El Sol De Orizaba ( Mexico ) Bad Neustadt ( Germany ) etc.

At the Festival de Saint Denis, he presented an all-Mexican-Californian music program, from music from the mexican baroque and music from the Mission of California to the first performance of music by Christoph Bull (professor at UCLA) and music by film composer Joseph-Julian Gonzalez. The French critic praised the music selection for its originality and "Mr. Espinal's human and gentle conducting". The concert was a great success in a sold-out event at the magnificent Cathedral de saint-Denis.

Previous to his work in USA, Maestro Espinal worked for 12 years at the National Opera Company of Mexico, as vocal coach, Opera Accompanist (Repetiteur), stage Manager, Band and Choir conductor at the National Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio Nacional de las Bellas Artes) from 1991 to 2002, when he resigned to move to Los Angeles.

Mr. Espinal has conducted the most important major orchestras in Mexico , including the Symphony Orchestra of Veracruz , Symphony of Queretaro , the Classical Orchestra of Orizaba and the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico. In USA he has conducted the Carnegie Mellon Orchestra (in Pittsburgh, as an assistant conductor), the Contemporary Ensemble of Mexico (first performing a works by Esa-Pekka Salonen, in Mexico City ) and the members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic ensemble (with HARMONIES). Mr Espinal founded the OPERA COMPANY OF ATIZAPAN fully sponsored by the Government on January 2001.

He was awarded with a Grant given by the FONDARTE (National Endowments for the Arts) for recording a CD with works by American and Latin American composers, while working on his master degree in conducting, at Carnegie Mellon University.

Mr. Espinal worked as a member of the Piano Faculty at the Mexico 's National Conservatory of Music from 1989 to 1996, becoming the youngest teacher ever in that prestigious institution.

As a Pianist, he has performed Mozart's #21 Piano Concerto with the Teocuicani Symphony Youth Orchestra (Mexico City), the National Conservatory Symphony Orchestra and the Veracruz Symphony Orchestra (playing Beethoven's "Choral Fantasy for Piano, Choir, Soloists and Orchestra).

Espinal made his Conducting Debut, with the Carlos Chavez Symphony Orchestra on 1993. His Opera debut took place on 1994, conducting Verdi's "La Traviatta."

Antonio Espinal holds a Bachelors degree in Piano with Honors ( Summa Cum Laude) from the National University Of Mexico (Unam), and a Bachelor degree in Orchestral Conducting from the National Conservatory of Mexico. He received his Master Degree (MFA) in Orchestral and Choral conducting in year 2000 from Carnegie Mellon University , where he studied under Juan Pablo Izquierdo (Orchestral) and the legendary Dr. Robert Page (Choral Conducting). During these three years He was the recipient of the prestigious Andrew Carnegie Scholarship.

His future presentations include projects conducting Operas in his native Mexico along as giving recitals as an accompanist with Opera singers in Mexico, USA and Europe. On June 2009, He's traveling to Bulgaria.

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