Title/Position: Associate Dean, Administration, Professor of Professional PracticeProfile:
What would you say are the outstanding highlights of your professional life?
Having been a founding member of and musical director for Miami Sound Machine
Receiving a Commendation from the Mayor of Miami in recognition of accomplishments in the arts and “…contribution to the enhancement of Miami’s cultural image”
Performing in this country and abroad before crowds as large as 80,000+, and specifically in venues such as Radio City Music Hall (New York City) and the Greek Theatre (Los Angeles).
Winning the national Abraham Frost Prize in Composition
Having written and produced more than 700 music cuts for more than 100 clients, earning numerous Gold, Silver, and Bronze Addy awards for music work in advertising
What advice would you give an aspiring young musician?
Listen, emulate, and create—all three, all the time.
What is the relevance of music in modern society?
Music elevates the nature of humanity and enriches the human experience; at its basest level it is a marketable commodity. Yet it can challenge the intellect, functionally complement socio-cultural events, serve as a vehicle for group participation, and, at its most sublime, bring the human spirit from “black-and-white” into “color.”
In 1975, Raúl Murciano, Jr., together with Emilio Estefan, became a founding member of the musical group Miami Latin Boys (renamed Miami Sound Machine the following year). He composed Renacer (Live Again), the band’s first international hit, and served as keyboardist and musical director for eight years.
He recorded seven albums with the group, the last three under the CBS Record label. Throughout 1983 he continued touring Europe, Latin America, and the United States as keyboardist with José Luís (El Puma) Rodríguez.
Murciano’s film scores include
* Love Bizarre
* The Victims
* Living Dreams
A collaboration with Mexican opera composer Daniel Catán led to the score for I’m Losing You, starring Rosanne Arquette and Frank Langella. More recently (2006) he scored the music for the feature-length summer comedy, Gringo Wedding, released concurrently in the US and South America.
His Octet for woodwinds garnered the national Abraham Frost Prize in Composition, prompting the Hon. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to make mention of this achievement in the United States Congressional Record.
Also, his original scoring and recording for the ballet Bernarda Alba (commissioned by Ballet Concerto of Miami) premiered at the Dade County Auditorium. For his collaboration, Murciano received a Commendation from the Mayor of Miami in recognition of his accomplishments in the Arts and his “...contribution to the enhancement of Miami’s cultural image.”
In 1992 Murciano completed his First Symphony (Celebración) for orchestra and narrator with original text by Carlos A. Díaz, and in 1993 finished La Caza, a large-scale work for soprano, tenor, full chorus and chamber orchestra.
1994 saw the completion of a series of etudes for viola (commissioned by Los Angeles-based violist Angel Lemus), and the electronic work, Syncopation Etude, which was included in a CD recording titled New Music-Young Composers; Syncopation Etude became the musical theme for the weekly radio program, Music of the Americas.
Murciano hosted a radio program on WTMI (South Florida’s Classical Music station at 93.1 FM) throughout its entire four-year run. More recently, his moving work, En Memoria, (with text by Luís Serrano) for nine instrumentalists and soprano was premiered as part of the 2007 Festival Miami’s Faculty Composers Concert.
Murciano was born in Miami, Florida and began his musical training at the piano at the age of six. He received private instruction for nine years, the last three with the renowned pedagogue, Gloria Biaggi. At University of Miami he pursued his undergraduate studies, beginning first in music, and later transferring to civil engineering. He returned a decade later to earn a masters and doctorate in composition.
Miami-born composer/pianist, Raul Murciano, Jr. is Associate Dean of Administration and Professor of Professional Practice at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He was formerly the Media Writing and Production (MWP) program director where his leadership led to the development and implementation of the Commercial Music track in Composition. He also works closely with the Department of Musicology, through which he created and teaches courses that extol the rich diversity of Cuban music. Murciano earned Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Composition, all from the University of Miami. An award-winning writer and producer of music for television and film, Murciano’s earliest successes came as a founding member and performer with Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. During his 35-year professional career, he’s created more than 700 commercial music cues for over 100 clients, served as musical director and performer throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America, composed works for the concert stage, held interests in and managed three local recording studios, and enjoyed a four-year stint as radio host on WTMI’s Music of the Americas. Murciano states, “The writing and production of commercial music merits the same level of rigor and craftsmanship afforded any other kind of music. The fact that the Media Writing and Production program resides under the umbrella of the Composition Department is a clear testament to the latter’s inclusive philosophy and its unbiased embracing of this shared aesthetic notion…”