Marlene Urbay was born in Havana, Cuba; she is the founder and music director of the Florida Chamber Orchestra (1995) and former Music Director of the National Ballet of Cuba (1982-1991). Urbay completed elementary school at the Alejandro Garcia Caturla Conservatory in Havana and continued studying at Cuba’s National School of the Arts, graduating in 1980 specializing in piano and choral conducting. In 1980, Urbay entered the “Instituto Superior de Arte” in Havana, earning a degree in 1985 with exceptional high honors in orchestral conducting.
After immigrating to the United States in 1991, Maestro Urbay was Assistant Conductor of the University of Miami Symphony Orchestra, studied at the Manhattan School of Music and earned a Master’s Degree with excellence in orchestral conducting from the University of Miami School of Music in 1996.
In 1987, Urbay founded the Chamber Orchestra of the Great Theatre of Havana to rave national and international reviews. She developed seasonal concerts leading the Chamber Orchestra on a widely acclaimed 35-city tour of Italy in 1990.
Urbay has been guest conductor at the Philharmonic Orchestra of Lima, Perú, Symphony Orchestra of Mexico D.F., Symphony Orchestra of Puerto Rico, Philharmonic Orchestra of Tokyo and Osaka, Japan; Symphony Orchestra Betica of Sevilla,, Symphony Orchestra of Silecia, Poland, Opera and Ballet orchestra in Prague, Czech Republic, Teatro de la Zarzuela, Liceo de Barcelona, and all the symphony orchestras in Cuba.
She was “Director Huesped” with the National Dance Company in Mexico, D.F. at the famous “Bellas Artes” theatre from 2004 to 2007. In October 2012, she was invited to conduct the orchestra at the prestigious XII Violin’s Festival Orchestra, Lima, Peru. In December 2011 she was invited to conduct the Nutcracker season with Ballet Concerto of Puerto Rico. In December 2013 she conducted the Nutcracker season at San Jose Ballet, California with the Silicon Valley Symphony Orchestra.
She is the only Latin American woman conductor to earn a special award at Poland’s prestigious G. Fitelberg competition for international orchestra conductors and the first Cuban conductor awarded at an international competition.
Maestro Marlene Urbay has received numerous accolades including recognition at the Congress for her contribution and dedication to the advancement of Latin Music in the United Stated (April 2013) recognition by The National Association of Professional Women (2009), Yahoo Hispanic (2008) “Hispana Triunfadora” in Mosaico Hispano, Pregones magazine for the development of Cuban music. (2003), “Asociación de Mujeres Cubanas” (2003), proclamation by the City if Miami “ Marlene Urbay’s Day” (September 28, 2000), “Hispana Triunfadora, GEMS TV Women of the Year in the Music category (1999), First Annual Award. Miami, ACCA (1996) for the best performance of the year in the category of chamber music.
In 2000, she released her first CD, “Memories of Cuba” and in 2005, “Échale Salsita.” Maestro Marlene Urbay commands an extensive repertory of different genres, including symphonic and chamber music, ballet, opera, zarzuela, operetta and musical comedy.
Urbay has been a member of the faculty at Miami-Dade Community College and currently leads the Music Department, at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School and at Conchita Espinosa Academy of the Arts.
POSTER & CONCERT
Born August 2, is a Georgian Violinist.
Born in Tbilisi, the capital of then-Soviet Georgia, Liana Isakadze entered music school at the age of seven. Under her teacher, Professor Shiukashvili, she excelled and at the age of nine played with the State Symphonic Orchestra. In 1956 she played her first solo violin concert. In 1956 she took part in the MoscowInternational Festival Competition. While younger than the other participants, she performed the adult program. The chairman of the festival was the famous violinist, David Oistrach.
D. Oistrakh played a big role in her life. It is he who insisted that she graduate from the Central Musical School a year early because she was accepted in his class at the Moscow State Conservatory without having to take the entrance exam.
After the Conservancy, Liana worked as Oistrakh‘s assistant for two years. She played in his orchestra when he conducted Beethoven and Tchaikovsky concertos.
In 1965 she was awarded the „Grand Prix“ at the Marguerite Longand Jacques ThibaudInternational Competition (Paris). In 1970 she participated at the Tchaikovsky Competition(Moscow) and received third place. In 1970 she took part at the Jean SibeliusInternational Violin Competition (Helsinki) where she received first place.
From 1964 to 1981 Liana played a Stradivariusviolin which was a gift from the State Violin Collection in Moscow. Since 1965 she has played as a violin soloist with the orchestras of such outstanding conductors as Jiri Kout, Paavo Berglund, Vladimir Verbitsky,Jiří Bělohlávek,Valery Gergiev, Yehudi Menuhin, Eri Klas, Aleksandr Dmitriyev, Kurt Masur,Thomas Sanderling, Michail Jurowski,Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Hiroyuki Iwaki,Rudolf Kempe, Václav Neumann,Mariss Jansons, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Herbert Blomstedt, Gintaras Rinkevičius, Neeme Järvi,Dmitry Liss, Charles Dutoit.
Liana had an idea to create Festivals „Musicians are Joking“. From 1982 to 1989 she held these festivals, which became popular.
She has played chamber music with such noteries such as Gustav Rivinius,Alexander Slobodyanik, Maxim Vengerov,Barbara Hendricks, Gidon Kremer,Franz Hummel, Natalia Gutman, Grigori Zhislin, Alexander Rudin, David Geringas, Frida Bauer,Maria Yudina, Igor Oistrakh, Dimitri Alexeev,Ivan Monighetti, Eduard Brunner, Yuri Bashmet, Alexander Kniazev, Alexei Lubimov, Justus Frantz, Arto Noras, Dmitry Sitkovetsky,Viktor Tretiakovand many others.
In 1983 Mrs. Isakadze was Artistic Director of various International Festivals, such as Eichstädt(Germany), „Night Serenades“ in Pitsunda(Abkhazia/Georgia), Open Air Festival in Batumi(Georgia) and „Festival of Arts“ in Borjomi(Georgia).
After 2011, Liana formed an ensemble – orchestra „Virtuosi from Facebook“. The musicians who took part in this venture were famous musicians from various countries and they are Friends of Facebook. Its first performances took place at the Liana Isakadze Festivals of „Friends of Facebook” and „Night Serenades” in August 2011 in Batumi (Georgia).
From March 26, 1989 to December 26, 1991, Isakadze was also a People's Deputy of the Soviet Union Liana Isakadze has been awarded, inter alia, the title of People's Artist of the USSR(1988), Meritorious Artist of the Georgian SSR (1970), the State Prize of Georgia (1975, 1983, 2002), and the Order of Honour of Georgia(1998, 2002).