Faculty Name

Marchena, Martha Ph.D.

Faculty Department


Marchena, Martha Ph.D.

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Martha Marchena has been inspiring audiences worldwide with her unique repertoire, captivating performances and innovative discography for decades. Born in Cuba, she graduated with honors from the University of Miami’s doctoral program, where she wrote her dissertation on the piano works of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. A versatile artist, she has performed as a soloist with orchestras and chamber music ensembles worldwide. Noted for the originality of her programming, critics have praised the intensity of her interpretations as well as the emotional impact she brings to audiences. David M Greene, historian and critic has hailed her playing as “exquisite and breathtaking,” remarking on her impressive capability to understand and bring to life the great emotional range of her interpretations. Robert Schulslaper wrote in Fanfare Magazine “it’s her deep involvement with each work and her knack for finding and recreating its essence that establishes her as the formidable pianist she is.”

Marchena has gained recognition for her ambitious and refreshing repertoire in contemporary music, as well as her expertise in Latin American piano music, specializing in lesser-known and underrepresented composers. She has been invited to perform in major international music festivals including the Encuentros Festival in Buenos Aires, the International Contemporary Music Festival in San Salvador, Festival Internacional de Música Contemporánea in Havana Cuba, Festival Internacional de las Artes, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Fiesta Iberoamericana de las Artes, Puerto Rico, Latin American Music Festival in Caracas, and Opera Barga Festival in Italy.

Marchena has also kept a rigorous academic profile as a professor in the Department of Music at Kean University. She has participated in many residencies, given master classes, lectured and performed recitals worldwide, bridging Latin and South American music and women studies. She has been an adjudicator in international competitions such as the International Piano Competition Prize Jaen, was named President of the 1st Piano Competition in Santo Domingo in 2010, and was selected by the General Society of Authors and Editors of Spain to perform at the IV Iberoamerican Music Prize in Sao Paulo, Brazil. From 2007-2010 she was a panelist in the piano committee for the prestigious National Fulbright Award. In 2001, she was the recipient of the Hispanic Caucus Latino Cultural Arts Award from the American Association for Higher Education, and the Rockefeller Foundation for the National Endowment for the Arts recently awarded her a second grant from The Fund for U.S Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions.

Marchena’s recent CD release Casi una Pregunta, Casi una Repuesta, joins the Grammy-nominated Sonoric Rituals and acclaimed recordings The Complete Piano Works of Aurelio de la Vega, and Canción Sin Palabras. Marchena has been featured in international publications including Gramophone, Fanfare Music Magazine, The American Record Guide, Piano Magazine and The Latin American Music Review, and on NPR.

Degree Information:

D.M.A. (Doctor of Musical Arts), University of Miami

Piano, Performance, Pedagogy, Keyboard Studies, Chamber Music, Accompanying 

Courses Taught:

Piano, Accompanying, Piano Repertory Class, Piano Classes

Primary area of expertise:

Piano, Piano Performance, Pedagogy, Chamber Music, Accompanying

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