Puerto Rican born Jesus Maria Sanroma (1902-1984) was one of the leading pianists in the United States. After graduating from the New England Conservatory, he embarked on an enviable concert career as official pianist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as well as soloist with other leading American orchestras. He was an accompanist, a recording artist, and a teacher, and he also stimulated and commissioned composers to write new music, fueled by his eagerness to present it to the general public. Jesus Maria Sanroma: An American Twentieth-Century Pianist is the first biography of this talented performer and one of the first books written about a native Puerto Rican classical musician. The book depicts many facets of Sanroma's life: his youth in Puerto Rico; his training at the Conservatory and abroad; his amazing concert career and collaboration with first-class musicians, conductors, and composers; his historical performances and recordings; and the zenith of his musical life when he returned home. Alberto Hernandez provides abundant information about Sanroma's life, career, and professional relationships, uniquely documenting the pianist's close association and collaboration with Paul Hindemith, Serge Koussevitzky, Walter Piston, Nicolas Slonimsky, Vladimir Dukelsky, Mrs. Edward MacDowell, Arthur Fiedler, William Primrose, and many others. Two appendixes offer the complete sound archives and a list of Sanroma's impressive orchestra repertory, making this book a valuable reference as well as an informative read for music lovers and students of American and Latin American history.
Alberto Hernandez is the Humanities Research Librarian at the University of West Florida. He has published articles and entries in American Music Teacher, Psychology Education, and The Latino Encyclopedia (1996).