People - Woodwind Studies

Woodwind Faculty: Pascual Martinez Forteza

Born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Pascual Martinez Forteza is, since 2001, the only Spanish musician in the history of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He started playing clarinet at age 10 with his father Pascual V. Martinez, clarinet teacher of the Baleares Conservatory of Music and principal clarinet at the Baleares Symphony Orchestra for 30 years.

In 1991, at age 18, he joined the Baleares Symphony Orchestra where he performed for 7 years as second clarinet, having also served as principal clarinet on many ocassions. After earning the Master’s degree from the Baleares and Liceo de Barcelona Music Conservatories, Martinez Forteza pursued Advanced Studies at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles with professor Yehuda Gilad where he won first prize in the University’s 1998 Concerto Competition.

From 1998 to 2001, he performed as second clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra also serving as acting associated principal and e-flat during the 1999-2000 season. In May 2001, Pascual Martinez Forteza joined the New York Philharmonic as second clarinet, a position he currently holds.

He has participated in many different festivals and summer camps in Europe, with remarkable teachers such as Andrew Marriner, Anthony Pay, Enrique Perez, Michele Zukovsky, Mitchel Lurie, and Walter Seyfarth.

Martinez Forteza has appeared regularly as soloist, recitalist, and master class teacher. He has performed with numerous leading artists and frequently plays with other New York Philharmonic musicians in venues such as Avery Fisher Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, and Carnegie Hall in New York City. He is a member of the Philharmonic Chamber Soloists, an acclaimed chamber ensemble of virtuoso musicians from the New York Philharmonic.

In 2001, he founded Vent Cameristic, a wind ensemble made up of professional musicians from Spain. As a soloist with Vent Cameristic, he has played every year at the Conciertos d’estiú in Valencia, Spain, performing clarinet concertos by Mozart, Carl Maria Von Weber, and Artie Shaw, as well as the Concerto for two clarinets by F. Krommer and the Rigoletto Fantasy by L. Bassi. In 2003, Spanish National Radio (RNE) produced a CD featuring selections from these performances. Martinez Forteza has also made recordings for radio and television in China, Spain and the United States. In 2004, he was invited to take part in the International Clarinet Festival of Chanchung (China), where he gave master classes and played a solo recital live via TV broadcast together with pianist Gema Nieto. Since their foundation in 2003, the duo Martinez Forteza-Nieto have performed together in Asia, Europe and the USA. In 2005, Martinez Forteza, assisted by Gema Nieto, founded the Benifaio Music Festival, inviting colleagues from the New York Philharmonic to Spain for a week of master classes and concerts.

In 2001 he was invited to be a jury member at the prestigious Dos Hermanas International Clarinet Competition in Seville. He has served on the faculty of the Santanyi Music School in Spain, and has given master classes at the Balearic Music Conservatory, New Jersey Clarinet Symposium, University of Southern California, Mannes School of Music, Manhattan School of Music and the Julliard School. He teaches at the Buffet Crampon Summer Academy in Florida and was invited this year to teach at the Lisbon International Clarinet Meeting. He has been a member of the clarinet faculty at NYU Steinhardt since 2007.

His dedication to helping children who want to become musicians has brought him to take an active part in the New York Philharmonic’s educational programs. He has taken part in the children’s shows ‘The Hare and the Turtle’ and ‘Androcles and the Lion’ with the Prentheses Theater Company and frequently collaborates with the School Partnership Program of the New York Philharmonic, leading workshops for public school students of all ages as well as collaborations in the Young People’s Concerts and Very Young People’s Concerts Series. For two consecutive years he coached the woodwind section of the New York Youth Orchestra. Martinez Forteza also appears in Meet the Musicians, a children’s book by Amy Nathan consisting of a series of interviews with 15 musicians from the New York Philharmonic that presents an in-depth look at what it takes to become a professional musician.

Pascual Martinez Forteza is a Buffet Crampon Artist and plays Tosca Clarinets Green Line, as well as a Vandoren Artist.