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Miguel A. Roig-Francolí at the piano working on a composition

The Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands Premieres a New Work by a CCM Professor

Distinguished Teaching Professor of Music Theory and Composition Miguel A. Roig-Francolí's orchestral work Three Astral Poems will receive its world premiere on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 by the Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

The 35-minute long composition for large orchestra consists of three symphonic poems: Orion, Andromeda and Perseus, each of which can also be performed as an independent piece.

In a preview of the concert, which appeared in the Jan. 8 edition of the Diario de Mallorca newspaper, CUNY musicologist Toni Pizà wrote, "In their first subscription concert of the new year, the orchestra will perform Roig-Francolí's Three Astral Poems and Bruckner's Symphony No. 4, two monumental and ambitious works considering the instrumental forces involved, their durations and the technical rigor required from the performers."

"As a postmodern composer, Roig-Francolí achieves a perfect and seamless integration between present and classical musical elements, the same as architect Philip Johnson integrates Greek and Roman pediments into functional twentieth-century buildings," Pizà continued.

A member of CCM's faculty since 2000, Roig-Francolí was born in Ibiza, Spain. He studied in Madrid under the tutelage of composer Miguel A. Coria from 1976 though 1981 and went on to receive the Título Profesional de Piano (equivalent to a bachelor’s degree) from the Professional Conservatory of the Balearic Islands (Majorca, Spain, 1982), an M.M. in Composition from Indiana University (1985), studying under Juan Orrego-Salas, and the Título de Profesor Superior de Armonía, Contrapunto, Composición e Instrumentación (the highest conservatory diploma issued in Spain) from the Madrid Royal Superior Conservatory (1988).

By the early 1980s, Roig-Francolí's music was performed by virtually all of the major symphony orchestras in Spain, as well as in concerts in Berlin, London, Mexico and the U.S., and was broadcast in 24 countries. Major recognitions included First Prize in the National Composition Competition of the Spanish Jeunesses Musicales (1981) and Second Prize at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers (Paris, 1982).

In the late 1980s, Roig-Francolí began to shift his professional focus. After receiving a Ph.D. in Music Theory from Indiana University (1990), he quickly made a name for himself as a music theorist and musicologist. With a focus on Renaissance compositional theory, analysis of Renaissance music and various 20th century topics, including the music of Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti, he published numerous scholarly articles in major refereed journals in the U.S., England, Spain and Italy.

Roig-Francolí returned to composing in 2004, ushering in a second creative period that has resulted in over 20 new compositions. That same year, his career as a composer was lauded by the Superior Conservatory of Music of the Balearic Islands, the highest educational musical institution in his home region. He was named the third recipient of the conservatory’s Medal of Honor.

A monographic concert dedicated to Roig-Francolí's chamber music took place at Carnegie Hall on Nov. 17, 2013.

In addition to his work as a scholar, a composer and a pedagogue, Roig-Francolí is also a master at bringing music theory to life for young musicians. With a teaching career that has spanned nearly 30 years, Roig-Francolí has taught at Ithaca College, Northern Illinois University, Indiana University and Eastman School of Music before coming to CCM.

He has published over 20 articles in leading scholarly journals and collections of essays in the U.S., England, Italy and Spain, and is the author of two textbooks, Harmony in Context (McGraw-Hill, 2003) and Understanding Post Tonal Music (McGraw-Hill, 2007), widely used at universities and conservatories in the U.S., Canada and China.

At the University of Cincinnati, he is a previous recipient of the A.B. "Dolly" Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching (2007), the George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Creative and/or Scholarly Works (2009) and the Distinguished Teaching Professor Award (2013). Roig-Francolí is a member of the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy editorial board.