Raymond Torres-Santos has been hailed as the most versatile Puerto Rican composer of the 21st century by Malena Kuss in her book “Music in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Encyclopedic History.” He has a multifaceted career as a composer, conductor, educator, pianist, and arranger. He is equally comfortable in classical and popular music, and his works span various genres, including orchestral, electronic, and vocal music. He has composed music for the concert hall, ballet, film, theater, television, and radio.
His compositions have been performed and commissioned by various prestigious organizations worldwide. In the United States, he has worked with the American Composers Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, North Massachusetts Philharmonic, the symphony orchestras of Reading, QueensD.C., the Bronx Arts Ensemble, Continuum, New Jersey Chamber Music Society, West Point Woodwind Quintet, North Jersey Philharmonic Glee Club, North/South Consonance, Quintet of the Americas, Gabrieli Quintet and Voix-Touche. In Canada, his works were performed by the symphonies of Vancouver and Toronto and the Canadian Opera Orchestra. In Europe, his compositions were played by the Vienna Symphony, Prague Radio Symphony, Georgia Symphony, Soria Symphony, and Warsaw Conservatory of Music Chorus and Orchestra. In Asia, his music was performed by the National Chinese Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony, Seoul Symphony, Kaohsiung Philharmonic, and Taipei Philharmonic Orchestras. In Latin America, his works were featured at the Buenos Aires, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico City Symphony Orchestras. Finally, in the Caribbean, his music was played by the Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras. His works have also been showcased at various festivals, including the Casals Festival, World Fair in Seville, Venice Biennale, and Op Sail 2000. His music has been used for television and radio programs and choreographed by dance companies.
He has recorded his compositions and arrangements for record labels, including Sony Music, OSPR, and SJP. His work has been published by RTS Music and ANCO and distributed by commercial retailers. He has a scholarly focus on music education, creativity, multiculturalism, music criticism, and interdisciplinary studies. His recent articles and book chapters have been published in peer-reviewed journals and books from Hofstra University, CUNY, and Cambridge Scholar Publishing.
He has received awards from various organizations like ASCAP, BMI, Meet the Composer, American Composers Forum, the American Music Center, California State University, and the City University of New York. His film music has earned him a Henry Mancini Award. In contrast, his jazz compositions earned him the Frank Sinatra Award, both presented in Los Angeles.
Torres-Santos is an accomplished arranger, conductor, and pianist. His arrangements have been written for the best opera and popular performers, such as Plácido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Deborah Voigt, Angela Gheorghiu, Ana María Martínez, Anita Rachvilishvili, Rafael Dávila, and Juan Luis Guerra. He has also served as an orchestrator for film composers in Hollywood, such as Ralph Burns (Phantom of the Opera) and Ry Cooder (Brewster’s Millions). He has worked as a jazz pianist with Maynard Ferguson, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Shew, and Tito Puente.
As a conductor, he has led the London Session Orchestra, Taipei Philharmonic, Cosmopolitan Symphony Orchestra, Puerto Rico Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras, Dominican Republic National Orchestra, Queens Symphony Orchestra, Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Bronx Arts Ensemble Orchestra, and Hollywood studio orchestras in concerts and recordings. In addition, he has served as music director for pop and jazz singers Vikki Carr and Dianne Schuur.
He was born in Puerto Rico and received his education at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music and the University of Puerto Rico. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in composition from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He has completed advanced studies at Stanford and Harvard University. He furthered his studies in Europe at the Ferienkurse fur Neue Musik in Germany and the University of Padua in Italy. His influential professors were Henri Lazarof and David Raksin. He has taught at several universities, including California State University, City University of New York, University of Puerto Rico, UCLA, and Rutgers University.
In addition, his experience and skills have led him to administration posts and develop programs for the community. He was recently appointed Dean and Professor of Music at the College of the Arts at California State University, Long Beach. Previously, he was the Dean of the College of the Arts and Communication at William Paterson University and Professor of Music, where he provided leadership related to new curricular and program development, fostered faculty research and creative work, organized faculty/students studies and tours abroad, devised a budget and strategic plan, engaged in program assessment, prepared for re-accreditation, increased gifts, donations and grants, established centers, built up alum relations, established articulation agreements, brought international and local partnerships, implemented global education and inter-disciplinary initiatives, and sponsored artistic and cultural festivals and contests.
He has also served as Chancellor of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, Coordinator of the Music Technology Center, Chair of the Music Department at the University of Puerto Rico, and Coordinator of the Commercial/Electronic Music Program at the California State University, San Bernardino. Furthermore, he is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (for the GRAMMYS) and the Council for Cultural Inclusion of the College Music Society, for which he previously served as Chair of the Diversity Committee, Program Coordinator and member of the Professional Development Committee.