Jesús Mariá Sanromá (1902-1984)

Sanroma-ExhibitJesús Mariá Sanromá (1902-1984)

A native of Puerto Rico, Sanromá came to Boston at age 14 to study piano with David Sequeira at the New England Conservatory of Music (1917-1920). After winning the Mason & Hamlin Prize, he studied with Antoinette Szumowska (1920-1927), later joining NEC’s faculty (1930-1943). After graduating from NEC, he embarked on a remarkable career centered in Boston. He was appointed the BSO’s first official pianist (1923-1939), responsible for playing the difficult piano parts in contemporary works being performed by the BSO during this era. As a soloist, he performed all over the world, including 330 appearances with the BSO and the Pops between the years 1923 and 1968. In 1952, he moved back to Puerto Rico where he had a second career as a performer, teacher, and cultural ambassador.

CLICK HERE to view Jesús Mariá Sanromá's performance history with the BSO in HENRY, the BSO's Performance History Database!

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PR_ReviewFeatured Documents
Click the links below to view the full documents.

BSO concert program for April 22, 23, 1932 (PDF)
Program book featuring Sanromá performing the U.S. premiere of Martelli’s Concerto for Orchestra, Op. 31 as well as the Boston premiere of Ravel’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, with Serge Koussevitzky conducting Sanromá performed as a soloist with the BSO approximately 130 times between the years 1924 and 1956.
VIew the entire program book from the April 22,23 concerts here

Puerto Rico Benefit Concert Progam, ca. 1932 (PDF)
Sanromá collaborated with Arthur Fiedler to present a benefit concert to raise funds for victims of the 1932 San Ciprian hurricane, a tropical cyclone that devastated Puerto Rico in September 1932.

Boston Evening Transcript, October 24, 1932 (PDF)
October 24, 1932, Boston Evening Transcript article regarding the benefit concert.


Featured Photographs
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Jesús Mariá Sanromá (1902-1984)

Photograph by J. Abresch, courtesy NEC Archives
Arthur Fiedler, a Puerto Rican official, and Jesús María Sanromá, undated

Photograph by John B. Sanroma
Rhapsody in Blue Disc
Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops recorded George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, with Sanromá as the piano soloist, at the Pops inaugural recording session, July 1, 1935. Sanromá and the Boston Pops had introduced Boston audiences to the work on June 17, 1926, at a concert conducted by then Boston Pops conductor Agide Jacchia.
Jesús María Sanromá and Arthur Fiedler, ca. 1930
In addition to being frequent musical collaborators, the two were close friends. Sanromá performed with the Pops 200 times between 1923 and 1968.

Photographer unknown
Jesús María Sanromá: An American Twentieth Century Pianist
To learn more about the remarkable life and career of Sanromá, find a copy of Alberto Hernández’s biography entitled Jesús María Sanromá: An American Twentieth Century Pianist, published by Scarecrow Press in 2008.