José Meléndez, Music Director/Pianist has been an active pianist, coach, accompanist, and conductor in opera, recitals, and concert work in the United States, South America, Central America, Asia, and Puerto Rico. As a recitalist, José Meléndez has worked as part of a double piano team with Akiko Hosaki in a series in Japan, New Jersey, and Minnesota, under the tutelage of Margo Garret. Mr. Meléndez also continues an eight-year collaboration with soprano Maya Hoover in recitals of Latin American music throughout the United States and abroad.
José Meléndez is currently staff accompanist/pianist for the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, The Curtis Institute, as well as rehearsal pianist for the Opera Festival of New Jersey. He has worked with Opera de Puerto Rico, Teatro de la Opera in Puerto Rico, and Indianapolis Opera. As conductor, Mr. Meléndez has worked in the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute (BASOTI) conducting The Medium and The Telephone (Menotti), and conducted Luisa
Fernanda (Torroba) with Orlando Opera in 2004.
In Puerto Rico, Mr. Meléndez had the honor to be one of the pianists for the Plácido Domingo International Voice Competition (Operalia 99). He has participated in numerous master classes given by distinguished artists such as Alfredo Kraus, Pablo Elvira, Mignon Dunn, Eugene Kohn, Licia Albanese, Sharon Sweet, Robert White, Justino Diaz, Christofer Macatsoris, Regina Resnik, Renata Scotto, and Dalton Baldwin. Mr. Meléndez has collaborated with the Casals Festival as pianist and rehearsal accompanist, and has continued his collaboration with the Puerto Rico Metropolitan Opera Council Regional Auditions.
In 1992, Mr. Meléndez won the first prize in the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico's Piano Competition and made his debut with the Puerto Rico Symphonic Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Roselin Pabón, in Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D Major (Haydn). With this orchestra, he has also performed Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra (Copland), Las noches en los jardines de Espa ña and El sombrero de tres picos (de Falla), The Planets (Holst) and Symphony No. 8 (Mahler).
In 2007 Mr. Meléndez joined the administrative staff of The Academy of Vocal Arts as librarian. Mr. Meléndez made his debut with COT as the music director with their production of Naughty Marietta, and was also the music director for Sari, Gems from the American Operetta, and Giuditta.