José Manuel Lezcano
- BM - Peabody Conservatory of Music
- MM - University of South Carolina
- Ph.D Music Theory - Florida State University
Dr. José Manuel Lezcano is thrilled to be a part of the Osher School of Music at the University of Southern Maine (Gorham) as the Artist Lecturer in Guitar. In programs of standard, Latin-American, and original works, he has appeared in major venues and festivals, including Carnegie Recital Hall, the NYC North-South Consonance Series, Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago, Spain, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, China, Germany, and the Czech Republic as recitalist and concerto soloist. Described by Fanfare Magazine as "an excellent guitarist as well as an imaginative composer," Jose has earned numerous awards, including first prize in the MTNA National Guitar Competition, the NHSCA Individual Artist Fellowship, NHMTA Composer of the Year (twice), KSC Distinguished Research Award, and a Fulbright Award to Ecuador, where he pursued research on the guitar as ritual instrument in indigenous solstice festivals, and taught courses at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. He has been a frequent guest artist at numerous chamber music series in New England, including Apple Hill, Electric Earth, Wisteria, Portland Chamber Music Festival (where he performed in Osvaldo Golijov’s “Ayre”), and Athenaeum concerts in Portsmouth, NH. He is an avid chamber music collaborator, appearing frequently with pianist Virginia Eskin and cellist Rebecca Hartka (Duo Mundo), in canonical repertoire and his own works.
For his Guitar Concerto, which he recorded with North-South Consonance and conductor/director Max Lifchitz on the CD, “Remembrances / Recuerdos,” he received two nominations and was semi-finalist for Grammys in the categories “Best Contemporary Composition” and “Best Soloist with Orchestra.” He has appeared with the Orquesta Solistas de la Habana, Cuba; National Symphony of Ecuador; the National Symphony of Peru; the Orchestra of Tolima (Colombia); Orquesta Sinfonica de Loja (Ecuador); the Orquesta de Camera de Quito; the Portsmouth Symphony and Granite State Symphonies (NH); and the South Carolina Philharmonic, in concerti by Rodrigo, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Vivaldi, Giuliani, and Lezcano himself. Most recently, José received an Ewing Arts Award in recognition of his distinguished career and contributions to the Arts in the Monadnock region. Jose’s compositions, including chamber music, concerti, and songs involving the guitar, are published by Alry, Cayambis, and MundoArts of Barcelona.
Dr. Lezcano continues to serve Keene State College as Emeritus Professor of Music, after retiring from his tenured position in 2021. Most recently, he served as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Liberal Arts (Spring 2022) at the University of Minnesota at Morris. Students from his guitar studio have frequently won Keene State’s most coveted awards & scholarships, and many have gone on to successful careers as educators and performers. His earliest training was with Cuban guitarist Jose Costa, and he performed his first recital from memory at 14. As a teenager he won the Interlochen Concerto Competition, with the Adagio from Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, performing with the World Youth Symphony. Academic degrees: Peabody Conservatory of Music (BM); University of South Carolina (MM); and Florida State University (Ph.D. music theory). An elected member of the NH State Council on the Arts, he advocates for New Hampshire’s creative communities. He was asked to coordinate Cheshire County Classic Concerts, with grants from the Cheshire County Board of Commissioners and State Representatives, to showcase established local and regional performers of national & international acclaim, and encourage young emerging talents.