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February 27, 2007

CUNY DOMINICAN STUDIES INSTITUTE, CCNY MUSIC DEPARTMENT HONOR FLORALBA DEL MONTE

NEW YORK, February 26, 2007 – The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute and the Music Department of The City College of New York will honor renowned Dominican concert pianist Floralba Del Monte at a tribute on March 2, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The event will take place at the Recital Hall in Room 95 of Shepard Hall, at West 138th Street and Convent Avenue, on The City College campus.  

The highlight of the event will be a lecture by Ms. Del Monte on the history of Dominican music, with attention given to how Dominican classical music has incorporated the Dominican folk musical traditions.  Ms. Del Monte, who will be traveling from the Dominican Republic especially for this event, will illustrate her lecture with film and video clips of some historic performances by the most salient Dominican interpreters and composers. After Ms. Del Monte’s lecture, pianist Damaris Morales-Alvarez will perform three short pieces by some of the most distinguished Dominican composers mentioned by Ms. Del Monte in her presentation.

The tribute will also serve as the hallmark occasion to announce the donation of Ms. Del Monte’s personal papers to the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute’s Archives. The preservation of Ms. Del Monte’s papers was made possible thanks to the generosity of the New York City Council and the leadership of the Honorable Miguel Martinez, who generously funded the facilities and staffing of the Archives so that collections like Ms. Del Monte’s may be cared for in a permanent repository in the United States.

Floralba Del Monte is one of the most accomplished female pianists of the Dominican Republic, with a long career as a performer and as a music education leader in her native land. Among her myriad of achievements, she is the first female Dominican pianist to present concerts in the United States and Europe (including New York and Paris). Ms. Del Monte was the first Dominican female pianist to perform in Carnegie Hall (1949) and to perform on a concert tour throughout the former Soviet Union (1982). 

She also was the first Dominican pianist to perform on a U.S. television show, and the first pianist to perform live on a coast-to-coast U.S. television show, “The Arthur Godfrey Show,” in October 1951.  In addition, she is a recipient of the Medal, La Orden del Mérito de Duarte, Sánchez y Mella, the highest civic honor given by the Dominican Government to any of its citizens.

Pianist Damaris Morales-Alvarez, born in Santo Domingo, was trained as music teacher under the guidance of Ms. Del Monte and composer and Professor Emeritus Manuel Simó in the Dominican Republic.  Between 1988 to 1995, she earned a Bachelors Degree and a Masters Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Miami in Florida. While at the University of Miami, Ms. Morales was mentored by renowned music professor Rosalina Sackstein.

She has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra of Santo Domingo, the Nevada Chamber Symphony, the Florida Chamber Orchestra and the Community College of Southern Nevada (CCSN) Studio Orchestra. In addition. she has taught myriad courses at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, University of Miami and the Community College of Southern Nevada, where she currently is Assistant Director for CCSN’s Piano Concert Competition. She also owns a successful piano teaching studio in Las Vegas and presides over the National Guild of Piano Teachers Audition Center for the Nevada Region.

The event is free of charge and open to the public. However, seating is limited and reservations are required. They can be made by calling Melissa Martínez at 212-650-7496.

About the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute (CUNY DSI)

Housed at The City College of New York, the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute is the only university-based research unit in the United States exclusively devoted to the gathering and disseminating of sound information about, as well as to the production of academic research on, the history, society and culture of the Dominican people. Established in 1992, it encompasses three different units: the Research and Administration unit, the Dominican Library, and the Dominican Archives. 

About The City College of New York

For 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Over 13,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Science, the School of Architecture, the School of Education, the Grove School of Engineering, the Center for Worker Education and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.

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