JOSÉ LUIS GRECO (b 1953 )
Born in New York City, José Luis Greco is the son of the Spanish dancers José Greco and Nila Amparo, and nephew of the great Metropolitan Opera star Norina Greco. As a youngster, he studied piano and guitar and performed as an actor and dancer. After years involved with rock and jazz, he obtained a B.F.A. in music from the City College of New York, where he studied with John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet, among others, and a master’s degree and doctorate (ABD) in composition from Columbia University, studying with Mario Davidovsky, Jack Beeson, Chou Wen-chung and George Edwards. Before moving to the Netherlands, he had transcribed and orchestrated Ravi Shankar’s Raga-Mala (Sitar Concerto No. 2), premièred by the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Zubin Mehta, and composed and conducted the production of his first opera, Aria Da Capo.
Greco first achieved recognition in the 1980s as composer, performer and co-founder of Cloud Chamber, an Amsterdam-based multi-media, dance, theater and music company specializing in site-specific projects, and supported by the Dutch Ministry of Culture for ten consecutive years. Commissioned by the same Ministry in 1992, his Spanish lyric opera Cuentos de la Alhambra (Tales of the Alhambra) received its world première in Haarlem and Amsterdam in February 1996.
Since 1994, Greco has lived in Madrid, Spain, where his symphonic works have been premièred by the major orchestras conducted by Sergiu Comissiona, Adrian Leaper, Andrés Salado, Miguel Romea and Enrique García Asensio, among others. His solo, chamber and choral compositions have enjoyed interpretations by some of Spain’s most distinguished performers and ensembles.
He has also composed for the Ballet Nacional de Espana and the Companía Nacional de Danza.