Cintas Foundation Presents The 2009 William B. Warren Lifetime Achievement Award In Music Composition To Cuban Composer Aurelio De La Vega 5/20/09


The Cintas Foundation ( will present the 2009 William B. Warren Lifetime Achievement Award in Music Composition to Cuban composer Aurelio de la Vega. The award is named after Cintas Foundation Chairman William B. Warren, who has led the foundation for the last 20 years as is its second president.

Aurelio de la Vega was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1925 and studied at the University of Havana (Ph.D. in Law), at the Conservatorio Ada Iglesias (Ph.D., Music Composition) and, independently, with Fritz Kramer (Havana) and Ernst Toch (Los Angeles). De la Vega settled in California in 1959 and became distinguished professor of Music and the director of the Electronic Music Studio at California State University, Northridge. His vast catalogue of works encompasses compositions in all media except opera. He has been very influential in the U.S. musical scene, promoting the contemporary classical music of Latin America. Throughout his teaching years and in the years since his retirement, de la Vega has been an active composer as well as a lecturer in the field of music. His list of compositions includes symphonic pieces, chamber music works, solo instrumental pieces, vocal works, piano, guitar and ballet music and electronic compositions. Major orchestras and prominent soloists throughout the world have performed his works. The composer has been the recipient of many prizes and distinctions, including the Friedheim Award of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which he has received twice. In 2000, de la Vega was honored by the Library of Congress when his graphic score, “The Magic Labyrinth,” was included in the library’s 733-page volume, “Music History from Primary Sources.” Among the music greats included with him were Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Gershwin, Handel, Liszt, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Puccini, Stravinsky and Verdi.

“As one of the best known Cuban composers of his generation, Aurelio de la Vega offers a dramatic, intense and expressive musical style,” said Hortensia E. Sampedro, president of the Cintas Foundation in announcing the award. “We are pleased to recognize the Maestro for a career that spans more than 50 years and includes recognition from around the world and most recently a nomination for a Latin Grammy for Best Classical Contemporary Composition for his piece Variación del Recuerdo (Variations of a Memory)”.

The award will be presented at a ceremony at the Frost Art Museum of Florida International University on May 20, 2009 at 7:00 pm. The public is invited.

About The Cintas Foundation
The Cintas Foundation was established with funds from the estate of the late Oscar B. Cintas (b. Sagua La Grande, Cuba 1887- d. New York City, 1957), a prominent industrialist and patron of arts. Since 1963, the Cintas Foundation has awarded more than 300 feelowships to artists of Cuban lineage who reside outside of Cuba. The first William B. Warren Lifetime Fellow in Music was granted to Bebo Valdes. Past music fellows have included Sergio Barroso, Mario Bauza (Known as the father of AfroCuban jazz), Jose Bernardo, Aldo Rafael Forte, Orlando Jacinto Garcia, Tania Leon and Julian Orbon, among many others.

About the Frost Art Museum – Florida International University
The Frost is an AAM accredited museum and Smithsonian affiliate. The museum is located at 10975 SW 17thSt across from the Blue garage and adjacent to the Wertheim Performing Arts Center on the University Park campus. Its hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. The Frost is closed on Mondays and most legal holidays. For more information, please visit or call 305-348-2890.