Directora Zenaida Romeu

Zenaida Romeu


Director of Choir and Orchestra.



Belonging to the third generation of a family of remarkable Cuban musicians. She received piano lessons from her mother Zenaida Romeu, as well as Choral Direction with the Hungarian teacher Agnes Kralovszky and Orchestral Conducting with Gonzalo Romeu, becoming the first woman to graduate with Orchestral Direction at the Higher Institute of Art of Cuba in 1983. She received master classes with professors Olaf Koch and Gert Frishmuth, in Cuba and Germany.

She has combined her artistic activities with her teaching skills at the Higher Institute of Art of Havana and has given master classes in Choral and Orchestral Conduct, as well as lectures on Cuban music in Spain, Mexico and the US. She has also conducted the “Other Times” program about music on Cuban TV for more than a decade.

In 1982, she founded the “Cohesion” chamber choir, which is her first artistic project which is what renewed the Cuban choral movement; with the inclusion of body language, gestures, and the near repertoire that replicated the instrumental tradition of traditional orchestras. that was implemented throughout the Island.

In 1989 she founded the choir of the company Estudio Lírico and is the Assistant Orchestra Director of Gonzalo Romeu, in that group, dedicated to the rescue of Cuban lyrical music, obtaining great recognition in Cuba and abroad, with the presentation of zarzuelas and operettas . When on tour she directs some seasons of operettas for the Bellini Theater company from Naples throughout all Italy.

In 1990 and 1992 she resides in Spain giving master classes of Choral Direction in Vigo. She then returned and founded a Chamber orchestra with the name of her maternal family, Romeu, in 1993 to pay tribute to the two generations of musicians before her of great prestige on the island. This is how she created the Camerata Romeu, orchestra of strings created under the sponsorship of the Pablo Milanés Foundation, designed in an unusual way for those times, by dedicating itself to the recognition and promotion of Cuban and Latin American music, with a new scenic image, both for the repertoire and the costumes of the young musicians, as well as for the requirement to play her repertoire memory, from Bartok’s Divertimento to Camerata in Guaguancó de Guido López Gavilán or Egberto Gismonti’s Music for Strings. After just one year of founding, the Historian of the City of Havana awarded the young Camerata Romeu, the Minor Basilica of San Francisco de Asís as the orchestra’s headquarters, in the plaza of the same name in Old Havana. In this scenario Zenaida Romeu has received great composers, soloists, groups, orchestra directors who have worked together with their orchestra within Cuba as well as overseas. She has directed all the Cuban orchestras and has been guest director of the National Philharmonic of Cuba, at the head of which she made several National Tours. Founder of the Orchestra of the Higher Institute of Art, she has also directed the Bard University orchestra and the Winston Salem Youth Orchestra in North Carolina. As a conductor she has conducted symphony orchestras not only in Cuba but also in the US, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Canada.

She has accompanied important Cuban soloists and important international figures such as Michel Legrand, Egberto Gismonti, Horacio Franco, Ben Sung, Ernan and Harold Lopez-Nussa, Gonzalo Romeu, Barbara Hendricks, Arve Tellefsen, Øyvind Gimse, Joao Donato, Swami Jr., Maurizio D’Alessandro, Carlos Reyes, Polly Ferman, Antonio Peruch, Serranito, Gerardo di Giusto, Carlos Reyes, Omara Portuondo, and Arturo O’Farrill among others. She has worked as a musical director in animated films such as, The Ugly and The Moon in the Garden of the filmmakers Yemely Cruz and Adanoe Lima as well as the films, The Annunciation by Enrique Pineda Barnet, The Skinny Award and Chamaco by Juan Carlos Cremata, Sold by Jorge Perrugorría and Boccacherias by Arturo Sotto. She has received dozens of awards including two Latin Grammy nominations, several Cubadisco awards, the Marseille Medal, the Philadelphia Bell, a diploma as Illustrious Guest of the City of Los Angeles, and Havana, the Giraldilla, Awards Lucas, Cuba Disco Honor Award, and the Order for Cuban Culture, among others.

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