Harold Martina was born in Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles. He began to study music as a small child, first with the English teacher Newburn Patrick, and later with the Dutch pianist Teun Don. He furthered his training with the Italian pianist Anna Maria Pennella at the Fine Arts Institute of Medellin, Colombia, where he graduated Cum Laude. He completed his advanced studies in Europe with Professor Richard Hauser at the Vienna Academy of Music, and became the first student to graduate Summa Cum Laude by unanimous vote from the Academy. In conjunction with this distinction, he was awarded a prize by the Austrian Ministry of Culture.
In 1975, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands appointed him as a Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau for his outstanding contribution to music. In 1990, the National Committee of Honorary Membership of Sigma Alpha Iota, an international fraternity of music, selected Harold Martina as a National Arts Associate.
Mr.Martina has made several recordings: one in Holland, three in Belgium, four in Colombia, and two in the United States. He has been referenced in books such as “Hundred Years of Music Life in Curaçao”, “Encyclopedia of the Netherlands Antilles”, “Cultural Mosaic of the Netherlands Antilles”, “Music and Musicians of the Netherlands Antilles”, “New History of Colombia”, “Popayán”, “Changin Curaçao”, and “Holy Week in Popayán”.
Harold Martina has performed as soloist in the U.S. with the State Symphony Orchestra of New Jersey, the Boston Symphony Players, the East Texas State Orchestra, the Knox Galesburg Symphony, the Butler University Symphony Orchestra, and the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra. He toured with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra conducted by David Zinman. He has been soloist with orchestras in Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Ecuador and Curaçao. Mr. Martina is the founder and conductor of the Antioquia Chamber Orchestra, and has been guest conductor of several chamber orchestras.
Harold Martina has accompanied world renowned performers such as: violinists Eugene Fodor, Daniel Heifetz, Henryk Szeryng, Erick Friedman, and Ruggiero Ricci; cellists Christine Walevska, Leonard Rose, Pierre Fournier, Paul Tortelier, Andre Navarro, Antonio Janigro and Janos Starker; sopranos Maria Stader and Sheila Armstrong; flautist Gary Schocker, and bandoneonist Daniel Binelli.
His concerto repertoire consists of over 50 compositions. In Bogotá, Colombia, he performed an anthology of piano concerti with works by 13 composers, ranging from Bach to Shostakovich, in a period of two months. He has also performed the cycle of all Beethoven piano concerti on several occasions.
Harold Martina has performed in Europe, the United States of America, Latin America, Israel and Japan with extraordinary acclaim by both audiences and critics. Mr.Martina has performed at the Lincoln Center in New York, and at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. In 1993, he ended a tour in Belgium and Holland with a recital in the Great Hall of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. In 2001 College of Fine Arts of the University of Antioquia in Colombia named its music hall “Harold Martina Auditorium”. At present he is an Artist-in-Residence at the School of Music of the Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
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